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Audit of safety systems at Mongstad

During the period 21-22 November 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of StatoilHydro's management and follow-up of safety systems at the process facility at Mongstad.


Mongstad (source: StatoilHydro)

The Mongstad facility

The audit was conducted by means of conversations and verifications with selected persons at their respective job sites.

The audit comprised the following topics and areas:

  • Technical safety

  • Shutdown systems

  • Process safety

  • Emergency systems

  • Handling of alarms

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Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to obtain information on how the safety systems are operated and maintained, and how regulatory requirements are fulfilled.

Background for the audit
The audit was based on requirements in the temporary regulations relating to safety and working environment for certain petroleum facilities on land and associated pipeline systems and the Regulations relating to systematic health, safety and environment work in enterprises (the Internal Control Regulations / HSE Regulations).

Result of the audit
The Mongstad facility has been modified and expanded several times, and consists of both old and new equipment. The overall risk picture is also more complex and different than for other land facilities where the PSA has supervisory authority.

The feedback from operators indicates that it may be advantageous to train more on handling of near-misses for major accidents and escalation of such incidents. This is not least due to the fact that the Mongstad facility currently experiences only small operational interruptions and high regularity.

During the audit, there was a genuine H2S leak which lead to an alarm situation and evacuation of the factory area. We received a good impression of how this incident was handled.

An updated risk analysis of the Mongstad facility has recently been conducted. The analysis points out a number of risk factors which must be addressed as regards how they should be handled and how they can be reduced.

The topics and impressions from this audit may be raised again in subsequent planned audits.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Mike Theiss