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Audit of well control on Oseberg Sør

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s (Hydro), Prosafe Drilling Services AS (Prosafe) and Cameron Norge AS (Cameron) onshore during the period 4 - 5 April 2005 and of Hydro and Prosafe offshore on Oseberg Sør during the period 6 - 8 April 2005. The audit was related to the field of well control and maintenance included in the complete overhaul of the well control equipment.

Background for the audit

After having completed audits of mobile drilling facilities and the ship owners in 2000 and 2003 respectively, audits on selected permanent facilities with drilling equipment were planned and completed in order to verify similarities and potential differences related to well control and well control systems between permanent and mobile facilities, as well as between drilling and well interventions. This audit is included in this series of audits.

This audit covers an important area within health, environment and safety which we want the companies to focus on.

The audit includes a review of selected parts of the companies' systems and routines within the following areas:

  • Competence and training related to well control

  • Implementation and documentation of well control drills

  • Testing, maintenance and complete overhaul of the well control equipment/BOP

  • Documentation of competence requirements, testing and equipment maintenance

  • Interfaces between operator and drilling contractor

  • Involvement of and relations to equipment supplier and independent verification

  • Handling of deviation


Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that current regulations and the company's routines have been maintained with regard to maintenance and complete overhaul of well control equipment and within well control training for drilling and well activities.

Result of the audit

Oseberg Sør (source: OED)Hydro and Prosafe have clearly defined requirements regarding basic competence within well control for relevant drilling position on the same level as elsewhere in the industry.

We note that Prosafe and Cameron have carried out a complete overhaul of the well control equipment in 2004.

The scope of the work has been clarified between the companies and no deviations have appeared in the final documentation with regards to the technical requirement specifications for such equipment.

The audit has revealed deviations from the Norwegian regulations requirements related to maintenance management and independent verification.

We have found some points for improvement in Cameron, Prosafe and Hydro related to:

  • Lack of/inadequate involvement and follow-up regarding complete overhaul of well control equipment

  • Lack of independent verification regarding complete overhaul of drilling and BOP

  • Control and supervisory responsibility

  • Offshore well control drills

  • Well control course based on International Well Control Forum (IWCF) and the need for additional training

  • Transfer of expertise

  • Maintenance management

Contact person i the Petroleum Safety Authority
Mike Theiss