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Audit of working environment conditions related to the use of drilling fluids and lifetime extension on Veslefrikk.

During the period 26 - 28 August 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of working environment conditions on Veslefrikk A and B. The audit was aimed at the chemical working environment related to the use of drilling fluids, as well as follow-up of the working environment in connection with the application for consent for lifetime extension. Three non-conformities and one potential improvement item were identified:

The PSA has identified priority areas where action will have the biggest impact, and where special attention is needed if Norway is to fulfil its ambition of being a world leader in petroleum-related HSE.

Priority areas

Veslefrikk A og B
The Veslefrikk field is developed with two facilities, one fixed steel wellhead facility - Veslefrikk A (right), and one semi-submersible processing and accomodation facility - Veslefrikk B.

The audit covers the PSA's main priorities, which are groups exposed to risk and prevention of damage to the external environment. The audit was carried out from 26 - 28 August 2009 and comprised review of documents, interviews with relevant personnel and verification on the facilities.

Background for the audit
The audit is a continuation of the supervision of overall HSE management related to development, use and disposal of drilling fluids. The audit was also related to the application for consent to extend the lifetime of Veslefrikk A and B.

The PSA has monitored the development of HSE risk in connection with the use and disposal of drilling fluids since the early 1980s, and realises that the companies are still facing challenges in terms of achieving a good HSE level:

StatoilHydro has applied for consent to extend the lifetimes of Veslefrikk A and B until 2020. As part of the PSA's processing of the application for consent, we find it necessary to follow up management elements in the process leading up to the application for consent, and to verify that the facilities fulfil the requirements of the working environment regulations.

Purpose of the audit
The objective of the various elements in the audit was as follows:

Result of the audit
The audit identified flaws in StatoilHydro's ability to obtain an adequate basis for prioritising and determining risk-reducing measures in the working environment area. This applies both to a short-term and long-term perspective in connection with a lifetime extension until 2020. StatoilHydro does not have a sufficient overview of non-conformities relating to the regulatory requirements or internal requirements. This means that neither the risk profile nor potential consequences of any non-conformities are fully known.

The audit also showed that there is a potential for improving the working environment conditions, as well as reducing the health risk in connection with the use of drilling mud

Three non-conformities were identified

In addition, the following potential improvement item was identified: