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Audit of Wintershall – emergency preparedness organisation

Audit: During the period 23 April to 11 May 2009 the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of the operator Wintershall Norge ASA (Wintershall). The audit was related to scheduled emergency drills and was carried out in the form of verifications of the operator's second line emergency preparedness.

Wintershall carried out the drills as part of the preparations for exploration drilling on production licence 378, well 35/12-2, with the drilling facility Songa Delta (photo).

Songa Delta (Deepsea Delta) (source: daylife)

Songa Delta (source: Daylife)

Wintershall's second line emergency preparedness capability is provided by Acona CMG AS (Acona), which also staffs the emergency preparedness organisation for Wintershall. The drills were carried out at Acona's emergency operating centre which is located at Forus.

Background for the audit
According to the letter of award from the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion (AID), the PSA shall establish standards for and follow up to ensure that the players in the petroleum activities maintain a high standard for health, safety, the environment and preparedness and through this contribute to creating maximum assets for society.

The PSA shall also contribute towards reducing the risk level in the petroleum activities by following up that the players facilitate technical and operational integrity and the interaction between people, technology and organisation.

Furthermore, one of the tasks of the PSA to follow-up that players maintain the management of their operations. Emergency preparedness makes up central parts of the technical, operational and organisational barrier elements, and maintenance of these are important to maintain a high safety level.

Purpose of the audit
PSA wanted to verify that Wintershall can handle hazardous and emergency situations according to the applicable regulatory requirements, including the use of own emergency preparedness plans and performance requirements. The audit was limited to processes in the second line emergency preparedness organisation at Wintershall.

Result of the audit
Observations during the drill on 23 April 2009 indicate that Wintershall's second line emergency preparedness organisation does not satisfy the regulatory requirements for fast and efficient handling of hazardous and emergency situations.

Meetings with Wintershall were carried out on 28 April 2009 and 30 April 2009. Wintershall implemented corrective measures and carried out a new drill on 11 May 2009.

Following verification of the drill on 11 May 2009, it is the PSA's conclusion that Wintershall is capable of carrying out the planned activity within the regulatory requirements related to fast and efficient handling of hazardous and emergency situations.