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Audit of Talisman in connection with start-up of drilling

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Talisman Energy Norge AS (TENAS) on land in the period 10-11 March 2004 and offshore on Gyda 17-19 March 2004. The audit concerned the company's start-up of drilling on Gyda (photo) and was conducted in the form of presentations and talks with personnel on land and offshore from TENAS and Smedvig Offshore AS.

Background for the audit

TENAS assumed operator responsibility on Gyda from BP on 1 September 2003 without experience as a licensee or operator on the Norwegian shelf.

The company completed a cable operation campaign in the course of the autumn of 2003 and an upgrade of the drilling area prior to start-up of drilling on Gyda.

Planning and implementation of the upgrades were to a great extent carried out through a contract with Smedvig Offshore, who has the drilling contract.

Part of the staff in the land organization consists of former BP employees. They have knowledge of Gyda from previous work tasks, but only to a limited extent within drilling and well operations.

Former BP employees offshore constitute nearly 100%, while Smedvig has a combination of personnel with previous experience from Gyda and other installations.

The audit's starting point was the following selected areas related to drilling and well activities: Daily drilling reporting, requirements for expertise, training in the use of new equipment, well planning, maintenance of drilling equipment and third party equipment and handling of non-conformances.

Purpose of the audit

The objective of the audit was to verify that current regulatory requirements and company routines were complied with in connection with the upgrading of drilling equipment and systems prior to start-up of drilling in January 2004, and that these are implemented and followed up during the ongoing drilling activities on Gyda.

Result of the audit

During the audit we found no matters that require a notification of order.

Following the audit, it is our impression that:

  • the upgrades prior to start-up of drilling complied with relevant regulatory requirements,
  • planning and follow-up of the drilling program and associated detailed hole section documents and risk assessments comply with current regulatory requirements and the company's internal routines,
  • the company's use of BP procedures within most areas in a transitional period functions as described, while the company is working on adaptation or adjustment in relation to TENAS' routines,
  • Smedvig's checklist system for training of individual persons functions as described on Gyda.

We have identified a need for

  • a review and improvement of daily drilling reporting to the PSA,
  • improved structure and clarification of the content of on-the-job training in connection with training of maintenance personnel in the use of new equipment,
  • a structured review of descriptions of routines in the maintenance system "Workmate" and entering of new equipment, including maintenance routines following the upgrading project.

Criticality assessments of equipment in the maintenance system have not been entered.

TENAS has informed the PSA that project work has started to comply with the regulatory requirements related to this. The matter is a non-conformance for which the company must apply to the PSA for an exemption up to completion of the initiated project.

A review of conformity or gaps between the physical solutions on Gyda, including the company's routines and auxiliary systems, in relation to current regulatory requirements should be considered.

The PSA's follow-up

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss