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Audit of the technical safety and preparedness on Oseberg Sør

During the period 12-14 October 2004, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted a verification on board the Oseberg Sør facility (photo). The audit targeted management systems and technical conditions within the areas technical safety and preparedness. No serious non-conformances with the regulatory requirements were found.

The activity was conducted by document reviews, interviews, conversations and verifications.

A preparedness drill including the entire preparedness organization on the facility was also carried out during the audit.

The audit was primarily based on the regulations relating to the implementation of activities in the petroleum activity (the Activity Regulations), Section VI-II Competence and Section XI Preparedness. In addition we focused on the regulatory requirements relating to technical safety, ref. the Activity Regulations Section VI-IV Conditions for use including associated regulations.

The audit was well-organised by Norsk Hydro.

Owing to the good cooperation climate on board Oseberg Sør, the audit was carried out more or less as planned.

Certain tests were omitted in agreement with the platform management.

Background for the audit

The PSA is to establish terms and follow up that the players in the activity maintain a high health, safety and environmental level, thereby contributing towards creating as much value as possible for society.

To reach this goal one of the prioritized follow-up areas for audits during 2004 is to follow up that the players facilitate/prepare for technical and operational integrity on the installations, and follow up the interaction between people, technology and the organization in HSE-critical systems and operations.

We have also stressed that it has been a relatively long time since audits had been carried out on Oseberg Sør targeting preparedness and technical safety.

Purpose of the audit

The objective of this activity was to verify that the management, operational, technical and organisational conditions relating to the work areas technical safety and preparedness on board Oseberg Sør comply with regulatory requirements.

Result of he audit

The audit uncovered no serious conditions resulting in notification of injunction. The main impression from the audit was that there was room for improvements in certain areas relating to preparedness and technical safety on board Oseberg Sør.

Regarding preparedness this applies to a weather station which produces insufficient weather data, including wind measuring, handling of MOB preparedness requiring two independent systems, somewhat worn marking of escape routes in parts of the outside area and insufficient training of deputy roles in the preparedness organisation.

The technical safety-related conditions apply to problems with overpressure protection in the drilling module, function faults on certain solenoid valves in the well control system and that the H2S gas detectors in the drilling area were not registered in the maintenance system SAP.

In addition, we uncovered insufficient function testing of the early detection system after installation of new cabinets in an equipment room, and furthermore that the diesel motor that runs the sea water/fire pumps releases exhaust into the HVAC system, and that the pressure surge compensator in the sea water and fire water system did not work satisfactorily.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority:
Mike Theiss