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Audit of StatoilHydro – discharges in connection with light well interventions

Audit: On 20 May 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway conducted an audit of StatoilHydro (SH) relating to the prevention of discharges to the external environment in connection with light well interventions carried out by the facilities Island Wellserver and Island Frontier. No non-conformities with the regulatory requirements were identified.

The audit was conducted as meetings and interviews with personnel from SH, Island Offshore, FMC and Aker Wellservice.

Background for the audit
There is an increasing number of new and older subsea facilities on the Norwegian shelf, creating a need for light well interventions. This has increased demand for specialty vessels suitable for such operations. The use of such vessels constitutes new risk factors.

An Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) was granted to the well intervention facility Island Frontier in 2006, and in 2009 an AoC was granted to Island Wellserver. Both facilities are in operation for SH.

It has been common practice to grant one consent per well intervention campaign. The company has now been granted light well intervention consents for both facilities for several of the company’s production licences on the Norwegian shelf until 31 December 2011.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to assess how SH plans and conducts light well interventions viewed in relation to the prevention of damage to the external environment, which is one of Ptil’s main priorities for 2009.

During the audit, we focused on how SH’s measures to reduce environmentally harmful discharges and emissions are assessed in general, both with regard to the risk to people and the external environment, as well as how the company manages this risk.

Central topics during the audit:

  • Operational planning  
    - resource management
    - relevant governing documentation
    - risk assessments
    - preventive measures against discharges to the external environment
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Challenges related to AoCs valid for several years
  • Incidents with consequences for discharges to the external environment
    - Prevention of incidents and maintenance of equipment

Result of the audit
No non-conformities with the regulatory requirements were identified.

Areas of improvements were identified relating to the following:

  • Procedures
  • Risk assessments
  • Handover documentation