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Audit of Statoil's consent processes

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate conducted an audit of Statoil's consent processes on 9 September, 16 September and 18 September 2003. The audit was carried out by means of interviews of onshore and offshore personnel involved in operation and follow-up of the West Navigator rig.

Background for the audit

The NPD has had a dialogue with Statoil for quite some time with the aim of improving the quality of the applications for consent submitted by the company, as well as the company's follow-up of conditions in the consent for mobile installations. The investigation report following the fatal accident on the Byford Dolphin in 2002 confirmed that this was a problem.

Statoil was ordered to improve the deficiencies and weaknesses in the company's follow-up as pointed out in the report.

Statoil prepared specific measures with schedules for closing the orders.

Several meetings were held in 2002 and 2003 in which Statoil presented the status of this work.

The audit was carried out in accordance with the award letter issued by the Ministry of Labour and Government Administration with focus on the objectives:

- "Picture of the HES level"
- "Development of a good HES culture "

and the NPD's performance indicators "Minimize injury to personnel and maintain and further develop a fully satisfactory working environment".

The purpose of the audit

The object of the audit was to verify that the measures implemented by the company to close the orders issued after the fatal accident on the Byford Dolphin had been satisfactorily implemented for the drilling activity with the West Navigator.

Another objective of the audit was to focus on the degree to which the company's implemented measures to improve the quality of preparation and follow-up of applications for consent had been carried out for the West Navigator.

Result of the audit

The audit confirmed that several measures have been implemented for operations with the West Navigator as a result of the incident on the Byford Dolphin in 2002.

The interviewed personnel pointed to the introduction of a rig engineer on the installation and rig follow-up person on land as positive contributions towards increased focus on HES.

Exxon/Mobil's gathering at Voss for all crew members prior to Statoil's well was also listed as a positive contribution in this respect.

Statoil, which also participated in this gathering, opted to continue to build on this work instead of their own scheme "Hands on".

Statoil has also made a lot of progress in its work to establish a satisfactory process for preparation and follow-up of consents. Gatherings with the rig follow-up personnel and preparation of a guideline document for preparation of applications for consent are good examples of this.

What remains to be done in this work is formalization of the controlling documentation that describes the process and better implementation and understanding of the requirements on the part of the involved parties.

Improved understanding of and compliance with OLF's/RF's guidelines for "Acceptance and operation of mobile drilling installations with Acknowledge of Compliance (AoC), or that have started the AoC application process" can also provide a positive contribution to this work.

Statoil has initiated a number of measures that, over the long term, can improve the quality of the process and promote efficient use of resources. Examples of this are increased use of drilling contractors' systems and cooperation with other operators and use of other operators' audit experience in the audit work aimed at installations/contractors.

Cooperation with drilling contractors with regard to inspection programs and HES programs is another example of useful measures. Fewer inspections and audits will reduce the burden on drilling contractors and will allow these contractors the time and opportunity to safeguard their responsibilities.

The audit revealed in part serious deficiencies in Statoil's established system for training and competence for drilling personnel. This relates to requirements for training, documentation of training, availability of documentation, compliance with training requirements and follow-up of training requirements in the line.

Deficiences were also uncovered in the company's management of HES work and follow-up of incidents in the ongoing operation with the West Navigator.

Based on this audit, the NPD has issued a notification of order to Statoil.