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Audit of Wellesley – planning and drilling of exploration well 33/9-22 S

We have carried out an audit of Wellesley Petroleum's planning and drilling of the company's first own-operated exploration well on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.


On 23 August 2017 we carried out an audit of operating company Wellesley Petroleum (Wellesley).

The audit was part of our processing of an application for consent for exploration well 33/9-22 S in production licence 881 in the North Sea.

Well 33/9-22 S is Wellesley's first own-operated well on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The PSA prioritises audits of new participants in connection with the processing of consent for first exploration wells in order to verify participants' ability to manage health, safety and the environment.

The audit focuses on the companies' organisation and management, with a focus on the operator's own activities, as well as an assessment of whether technical and operational capacity and competence are adequately provided for. The company's own capacity and competence are the basis for the operator's management of health, safety and the environment.

The objective of the audit is to verify the company's robustness in respect of the management of health, safety and the environment (HSE) in planning and preparations for the execution of exploration drilling.

In addition, the company must show that it has safety margins that enable it to handle unforeseen incidents during the execution of exploration drilling.

Our main impression following the audit is that Wellesley is able to undertake the drilling activities within the regulatory framework for the management of health, safety and the environment.

We identified no regulatory non-conformities, but observed improvement points relating to manning and competence and the company's management system.

We have asked Wellesley to report on how they assess these improvement points.