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Audit of technical integrity in load-bearing structures on Valhall

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has carried out an audit of management and handling of the activity "safeguarding technical integrity in load-bearing structures" in BP Norge AS. The audit was carried out 9-10 September 2003 in the company's offices at Forus.

The background for the audit

In the NPD's HES follow-up, a key priority is to verify that the players facilitate and maintain technical integrity on the installations.

One of the goals of the NPD is to help the responsible companies achieve good management of their activities, transfer of experience and continual improvements, a reduced probability of accidents and less serious consequences if they should occur, good technical integrity and sufficient expertise and capacity to handle the tasks at hand.

Valhall and the other BP-operated installations are approaching their initially intended lifetime, while one now considers using the installations on Valhall beyond their initially intended lifetime.

In addition, there is subsidence in the Valhall reservoir.

The purpose of the audit

The NPD's goal for the audit:

  • to make sure BP has management systems that reduce the risk of structure failure in ageing installations

  • to make sure BP has qualified solutions for the handling of technical integrity in load-bearing structures, thus complying with the intentions of the current regulatory requirements

  • to make sure the management systems for safeguarding technical integrity in load-bearing structures satisfy BP's requirements concerning quality assurance as well as the requirements laid down in the current regulatory requirements.

The result of the audit

We found some deviations in BP's management of the activity "safeguarding of technical integrity in load-bearing structures".

We see a potential for improvement in the following areas:

  • Carry out risk analyses for load-bearing structures

  • An overview of expertise that is needed to safeguard the technical integrity of load-bearing structures

  • Classify load-bearing structures on Valhall with regard to HES consequences of potential faults

  • Make sure there is an overview of trends in the condition of the structure barriers

  • Determine a method and criteria for measuring the maturity of the organisation as regards safeguarding the technical integrity of load-bearing structures.