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Audit of technical and operational barriers – electrical installations at Ula

From 24 to 27 August 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of BP's management of technical and operational barriers at the Ula facility. The audit, which was limited to electrical installations, identified three regulatory nonconformities.

The audit was carried out in the form of a start-up meeting with personnel in the operations organisation at Forus on 18 August 2009 and with subsequent verifications, functional testing and interviews with personnel at Ula in week 35.

The PSA is to set standards for and follow up to ensure that the players in the petroleum industry maintain high standards as regards health, safety , the environment and preparedness, thereby also contributing towards creating the greatest possible values for the Norwegian society.

The follow-up shall be system-oriented and risk-based, and shall be supplementary to the industry's own follow-up.
The audit is based on guidelines provided in the PSA's main priorities for 2009 relating to follow-up of technical and operational safety. The audit also raises experiences from previous audits, both with BP and the industry in general.

The purpose of the audit was to gain an overview of BP's systems and work processes for management of technical and operational safety in connection with electrical installations at Ula, and evaluate this in regards to applicable regulatory requirements.

The audit emphasised the following topics:

  • Organisation and follow-up of operations and maintenance
  • Ignition source disconnection of electrical equipment
  • Competence and training
  • Identified findings and challenges from internal audits of electrical installations
  • Function tests of selected safety systems

The audit identified three regulatory nonconformities. These are related to signposting of doors to rooms with pressure monitoring, updating of documentation and shielding of live parts.

The report (see link in the column on the right) also contains observations where there is potential for improvements.
We request that the operator submit an account of how the nonconformities and observations of potential improvements will be handled no later than 9 October 2009.