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Audit of the drilling systems on Bredford Dolphin

In the period 22-24 March 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) audited the drilling systems on Bredford Dolphin at the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk. The audit was related to Dolphin's application for an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for the mobile drilling facility Bredford Dolphin. Among other things, we have found new non-conformities which the drilling contractor had not previously registered in its non-conformities lists.

Background for the audit

Bredford Dolphin (kilde: Dolphin)Bredford Dolphin (pictured) is a Semisub Aker H-3 type facility. Bredford Dolphin has been in operation on the British shelf and applied for an (link) on 8 June 2006.

Use of the facility is planned for activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in a three-year contract with a consortium consisting of Det Norske Oljeselskap AS, Pertra AS, Revus Energy ASA, BG Norge Ltd, Endeavour Norge AS, Lundin Norway AS and Marathon Petroleum Norge AS.

Since the third quarter of 2006, Bredford Dolphin has been in a shipyard in connection with major upgrades and carrying out the 5-year main classing (Det Norske Veritas).

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that the management-related and technical matters as regards drilling and drilling systems on Bredford Dolphin are in accordance with prevailing regulatory requirements. The audit was carried out on the basis of information received from Dolphin in connection with the AoC application and meetings between the PSA and Dolphin.

Result of the audit

Extensive modification work and upgrades of the facility and drilling systems were underway during the audit. This meant that all verification areas, for instance the cement unit, pump room, shaker room and drilling deck, were not completed for verification and had limited accessibility.

It was not possible to access the drilling tower in this period due to ongoing modification and installation work. BOP was not available at the shipyard. The opportunity for verifying how equipment and systems are to function in operation was therefore limited.

We have found new non-conformities and areas with potential for improvement which the drilling operator had not previously registered in its non-conformities lists, informed the authorities about or applied for dispensation for.

The PSA also registered that the crew had spent little time onboard and had limited knowledge of the facility, systems and equipment. This applied to both existing and new equipment. We have been informed of the company's established familiarisation programme for training in systems and equipment, but we are uncertain how this can be implemented and followed up with the extensive modification work which took place on the facility during the audit.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Mike Theiss