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Audit of the management of fabrication and joining of pipeline for Norne Satellites

During the period 9 - 11 March 2005, we conducted an audit of Statoil's management of fabrication and joining of the "clad-pipe" pipeline to the Norne Satellites (Stær and Svale).

The Audit activities were accomplished in accordance with the following schedule:

  1. Initial meeting with NSAT-project, Hamang 9 March 2005.

  2. Meetings, discussions and verifications with the supplier Technip in Orkanger 10 and 11 March 2005.

  3. Summing-up meeting at Technip in Orkanger 11 March 2005.

Background for the audit

Key priorities for our HSE follow-up is to

  • ensure that the players facilitate and provide for technical and operational integrity at the installations.

  • ensure that the players work to prevent incidents that have a potential to become major accidents as well as accidents resulting in loss of human life or severe personal injury, including hydro carbon leakages.

The production pipeline for the Norne Satellites will be installed through coiling, and the petroleum industry has little experience with coiling of clad-pipes. Statoil has implemented a qualification program for the use of this kind of piping.

About the Norne Satellites

The Norne field is located on an ocean depth of 380 metres in the Norwegian Sea, 80 kilometres north of the Heidrun field, and 200 kilometres off the Helgeland coast.

Norne with satellites (source: Statoil)The satellites Stær and Svale will be developed with seabed installations tied in to the production ship at the Norne field.

The satellite production start is planned for the autumn of 2005. The two fields together will produce around 70,000 barrels of oil a day.

The gas, which is found in relatively small amounts, will be exported together with the gas from the Norne field in the pipeline Åsgard Transport.
Svale will be developed with two seabed templates and Stær with one. A total of eight production and injection wells will be tied in to Norne.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of this audit has been to check that the fabrication of the "clad-pipe" pipeline is managed and implemented in accordance with existing regulations and approved standards, so that the assumptions from design, qualification of materials and technology are ensured through fabrication and joining of the production pipeline for the Norne Satellites.

It has also been a purpose to follow up Statoil's attention to their obligation to monitor the suppliers' control of the deliveries to the project.

Result of the audit

Statoil has established a management system for delivery of clad-pipes to NSAT. This management system is implemented in the project, but we have identified some areas with potential for improvement.

The qualification for the fabrication procedure for the clad-pipe shows too low values for impact toughness for longitudinal weld seams, and work remains in this area before Statoil has met the requirements of the petroleum regulations.

The criterion for acceptance of weld defects is not fully defined for the use of Automatic Ultrasonic Testing (AUT) even though the pipe fabrication is in progress and the equipment is in use.

Contact person i the Petroleum Safety Authority
Mike Theiss