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Audit of Statoil - load-bearing structures, marine systems and risk analyses

During the period 18 November - 7 December 2005 we conducted an audit of Statoil aimed at load-bearing structures, marine systems and risk analyses in the Volve project. Our impression following the audit is that Statoil is working diligently to solve the challenges associated with the development.


The audit was implemented as follows:

  • 18 November 2005 at Statoil's offices at Forus concerning project management of Volve.

  • 22 November 2005 at Teekay at Verven concerning risk analyses for Navion Saga.

  • 23 November 2005 at Teekay at Verven concerning structures and maritime systems for Navion Saga.

  • 5 December 2005 at Teekay at Verven concerning risk analyses for Navion Saga.

  • 7 December 2005 at MSC in Schiedam concerning structural analyses for Maersk Inspirer.

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About Volve

Location of Volve (Source: Statoil)The Volve oil field is located about 200 km west of Stavanger.

There are several gas and condensate fields in the area around Volve, but none of these fields have infrastructure which is suitable for phasing in Volve. Therefore, Volve is planned as a stand-alone development, which means that an oil production facility will now be established in this area.

The licensees have selected a concept which will allow any potential additional resources in the area to be phased in to Volve when capacity becomes available in the infrastructure of the field.

In the development plan, maximum oil production from Volve is estimated at 50 000 barrels per day, while investments are expected to reach about NOK 2 billion. Resource recovery from Volve is estimated at 11.4 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of oil and 1.5 billion Sm3 gas. The plan calls for production to start in early 2007. Statoil is the operator of Volve.

The oil will be produced from a jack-up process and drilling facility, with intermediate storage on ships. The gas will be sent to the Sleipner A facility for processing and export.

The Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) was approved by the Crown Prince Regent in Council on 22 April 2005.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit activity was to ensure that Statoil complies with the regulatory requirements as regards health, safety and environment in the Volve project. Particular attention was given to application of Section 3 of the Framework Regulations relating to Use of maritime legislation in the petroleum activities, and what this entails.

The objectives of the audit activity also included ensuring that

  • mooring analyses are conducted properly, following several serious incidents on the Norwegian shelf in recent years.

  • the risk analysis is sufficiently detailed so that it can be an aid in reducing risk in the activities.

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Result of the audit

The main impression from the audit activity is that Statoil is working diligently to solve the challenges entailed in the development. However, we did reveal that Statoil did not have documented compliance with several regulatory requirements.

We have pointed out three nonconformities in relation to regulations linked to deficient documentation of compliance with maritime regulations, deficient specification of requirements for acceptance criteria for risk and risk analyses for marine systems that are not in compliance with regulations.

As spot checks carried out during the audit showed a lack of documentation of compliance with the Norwegian Maritime Directorate's regulations, we ask that Statoil conduct a review of the technical requirements in these regulations and ensure that compliance is safeguarded.

In addition, Statoil should perform a new review of the acceptance criteria for risk and risk analyses for marine systems, so that the analyses are a tool that can be used to improve the risk level.

Moreover, the PSA has noted five items where there are deviations from standards, as well as six items with potential for improvement.

Contact in the PSA:
Mike Theiss