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Audit of the working environment on Bideford Dolphin

During the period 30 June - 2 July 2004, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit on board the Bideford Dolphin drilling rig (photo). The activity was aimed at physical/technical working environment conditions and management systems. The main impression after implementing the verification on board is that the working environment in most areas on board is generally good.


The audit makes up the second step in the PSA's processing of the submitted application for an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC). The first part of this activity targeted Dolphin AS' (Dolphin's) systems for managing working environment conditions, and it was carried out in Dolphin's offices in Tananger. The second part was conducted in the form of verifications on board.

Background for the audit

The Bideford Dolphin is a semi-submersible Aker H-3 drilling rig built in 1975. Dolphin has applied for an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for the rig.
The AoC became mandatory as of 1 January 2004, and must be obtained before an installation can be used in the petroleum activities on the Norwegian shelf.
The verification was part of the authorities' follow-up work in the ongoing AoC process.

Purpose of the audit

The objective of this activity was to verify that management and physical/technical aspects relating to the working environment on the Bideford Dolphin, are in compliance with regulatory requirements.
The verifications were based on information received in connection with the company's AoC application.

Result of the audit

The rig had recently arrived on the Vigdis field after a stay in a yard in Sandnes where it was subject to a five-year classification. Improvements were also made to the rig during the stay at the yard in order to satisfy regulatory requirements.
The main impression after implementing the verification on board is that conditions generally facilitate a good working environment in most areas on board.
However, the verification did uncover some non-conformances, as well as conditions with a potential for improvement as regards the working environment on board.
In connection with the AoC activity linked to management of working environment conditions at Dolphin (26 February 2004) and the verification on board the Borgland Dolphin rig (3-4 March 2004), we identified non-conformances including items relating to management of the working environment, as well as handling work tasks for medical personnel and safety delegates.
It emerged during the verification on board the Bideford Dolphin that the company has implemented good processes so that it can adhere to relevant regulatory requirements within these areas.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority:
Mike Theiss