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Audit of Statoil - area emergency preparedness Troll/Oseberg

During the period 19-23 January 2004, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Statoil's Troll A and Huldra/Veslefrikk installations. The activity was aimed at introduction of area emergency preparedness on Troll/Oseberg, where Statoil ASA (Statoil) and Norsk Hydro AS (NH) had received consent to establish area emergency preparedness with a trial period of two years.


The audit was a part of an overall audit activity aimed at several of Statoil ASA's (Statoil's) and Norsk Hydro AS' (NH's) installations in the Troll/Oseberg area.

Separate audit reports have been issued for all installations.
Link: Results of the audit of NH's installations >>
Link: Results of the audit of West Venture, which was drilling for NH during the audit >>

Background for the audit

The background for the audit is that Statoil was granted permission to change the consent for use for the Troll A and Huldra/Veslefrikk installations on 1 October 2002. The change related to introduction of area emergency preparedness for the Troll/Oseberg fields.

The audit was primarily based on Sections 29 and 30 of the Framework Regulations, Chapter VI-II Competence and Chapter XI Preparedness of the Framework Regulations.

Reference is also made to the permission granted to change the consent for use which assumes a trial period under more specific conditions. The consent is granted on the following conditions:

  • Two-year trial period
  • A verification program must be implemented for the relevant installation during the trial period to confirm that the requirements in the area emergency preparedness plan and the installation's specific preparedness requirements are fulfilled.
  • The company's evaluation of the results in the trial period must be submitted to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (Petroleum Safety Authority Norway) by the end of the period.
  • During the trial period, supervision will be carried out by both the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (Petroleum Safety Authority Norway) and the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority.

In addition, we assumed that the individual installation will be responsible for ensuring that the emergency preparedness level meets the regulatory requirements at all times.

Purpose of the audit

The goal of the audit was to see how Statoil ensures that the emergency preparedness plans and measures in the company conform with current regulations, with particular focus on Sections 29 and 30 of the Framework Conditions relating to coordination and cooperation on emergency preparedness, the Framework Regulations - Section 15 on verification and Section 38 on monitoring safety zones, Section 11 of the Management Regulations on manning and competence, the Activities Regulations - Section 64 on establishing emergency preparedness and Section 68 on handling hazard and accident situations, the Installation Regulations - Section 40 on equipment for rescuing personnel and Section 43 on means of evacuation, and Section 11 of the Information Duty Regulations on notification and reporting to the supervisory authorities regarding hazard and accident situations.

Key topics reviewed during the audit included establishment of the area emergency preparedness, including SAR helicopter, standby vessel, follow-up and further development of management systems for emergency preparedness, emergency preparedness plans and systems for maintenance of evacuation and rescue equipment, emergency drills, response personnel competence and emergency preparedness organization requirements.

Good organization of the audit activity on Statoil's part, and a good climate of cooperation both as regards the land organizations and on board the installations, contributed to good practical execution of the audit.

Each installation is dealt with in separate audit reports.

Result of the audit - Troll A (excerpt from journal 04/894-1)

The audit on Troll A was started with a kick-off meeting with management on board, as well as the HVO. This was followed by interviews and conversations with management, the safety delegate service and technical personnel, see the enclosed list.

The audit included an emergency drill and a man-over-board drill.

The audit did not reveal any circumstances on Troll A that will lead to a notification of order.

However, observations were made that the PSA defines as items with potential for improvement.

The main impression from the audit is that Troll A demonstrated a robust emergency preparedness organization, although there was some room for improvement in certain emergency preparedness circumstances on board.

The main emphasis of the audit was on factors linked to the area resources, but other preparedness factors on Troll A were also addressed. This means that not all observations made can be linked directly to the emergency preparedness on Troll/Oseberg.

Troll A had an acceptable system for drills. However, the PSA was surprised by the fact that the management was aware of the exercise scenario in advance of the drill.

It also emerged from talks with the response teams that training was carried out for the response teams in advance of the drills, in which personnel trained for the drill scenario.

The PSA finds this unfortunate as it removes all elements of surprise in the drill.

Everyone on the installation can give input regarding the drills. This is a positive feature and provides a basis for improving the drill scenario.

In general, it is difficult to secure exemptions from the installation's emergency preparedness drills, which shows a good attitude as regards the importance of drills.

As regards MOB drills, a sufficient number of these were documented. This was also demonstrated through a drill. The crew was quickly in place and proved competent for the task. The drill was organized by the emergency preparedness center, where it was conducted in an acceptable manner.

Potential for improvement

  • The audit revealed that Troll A has not started to use the emergency number 112.

  • The audit did not find any traceable system for regular transfer of experience between Statoil and NH in connection with the daily operation of emergency preparedness on the Troll/Oseberg fields other than the meetings that take place in the management committee.

  • The audit revealed one non-conformance in the area of competence of the response teams on Troll A.

Result of the audit - Veslefrikk (excerpt from journal 04/894-2)

The audit on Veslefrikk was started with a kick-off meeting with management on board, the safety delegate service, technical personnel, a representative of the Norwegian Maritime Directorate as well as the PSA audit team.

This was followed by interviews and conversations with management, the safety delegate service and technical personnel, see the enclosed list.

The audit included an emergency drill and a man-over-board drill.

The audit did not uncover any circumstances on Veslefrikk that will lead to a notification of order.

Nevertheless, observations were made which the PSA defines as items with potential for improvement.

The main impression from the audit is that Veslefrikk demonstrated a robust emergency preparedness organization, where there is room for improvement for some of the emergency preparedness factors on board.
The main emphasis of the audit was on factors related to the area resources, but also other emergency preparedness factors were addressed. This means that not all of the observations made can be linked directly to the emergency preparedness on Troll/Oseberg.

The drill system appears to conform with the regulatory requirements. Scenarios were used based on the installation's defined hazard and accident situations, and personnel were given the opportunity to provide input to the scenarios. No one in the platform management was aware of the scenario before the drill.

A significant number of MOB drills were also documented. The result of these drills showed predominantly that the pick-up requirements were satisfied. Through the drill, the MOB boat crew also demonstrated that they mastered this task.

Non-conformances

  • 5-year testing of launching arrangement for lifeboat, MOB boat and life-raft davits has not been conducted according to the provisions.

Potential for improvement

  • The audit revealed that Veslefrikk has not started to use the 112 emergency number.

  • The audit did not find any traceable system for regular transfer of experience between the operating companies Statoil and NH in connection with the daily operation of the area emergency preparedness on the Troll/Oseberg fields, other than the meetings that take place in the management committee.

  • The audit revealed that there was only random training of helicopter deck teams on Veslefrikk. No training matrix or other training plan was available.

  • Certain groups are not sufficiently involved in the emergency preparedness drills on board, due to the swing rotation.

  • Some of the fittings components were not ready for sea, particularly in the messroom where fittings were not made fast. This could lead to blockage of doors in the event of listing with subsequent internal evacuation.

Lifeboats 2-3-4-5, type MCR must be checked with regard to stability in the event of damage.

The PSA's follow-up

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss