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Deficiencies in the drop lifeboats as well

Model tests with the drop lifeboats from Umoe-Schat-Harding indicate that these have a similar weakness to the skid-launched lifeboats from the same manufacturer. Seven facilities on the Norwegian shelf have this type of drop lifeboats. All of them have now introduced restrictions and compensatory measures on account of the tests so far.

The testing of the drop lifeboats (FF 1000 D) from Umoe-Schat-Harding is related to the testing of the skid-launched lifeboats (FF 1000 S) on the Statoil-operated Veslefrikk B on 21 June this year, when one of the boats was fairly badly damaged.

Link: Previous mention of this matter on the PSA's webpages

Based on the incident on Veslefrikk B, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) obtained a list of the facilities on the Norwegian shelf that have free-fall lifeboats from Umoe-Schat-Harding. The list showed that Veslefrikk and Kristin have the skid-launched version, while Oseberg Sør and Troll C (Norsk Hydro), West Venture (Smedvig), Valhall (BP), Kvitebjørn and Visund (Statoil) are using drop lifeboats from the same manufacturer. Ekofisk 2/4 M (ConocoPhillips) also has a drop lifeboat, but so far this has not been installed. There is a total of 21 drop lifeboats on the seven facilities.

Statoil started model tests of the drop lifeboats immediately after the rebuilding of the skid-launched lifeboats on Veslefrikk and Kristin. Before the weekend the PSA was informed that the interim results indicate similar weaknesses in the drop version. The results were communicated to all the operators affected, who quickly implemented the necessary measures - such as introducing weather restrictions and subsequent demanning. The PSA considers these measures satisfactory.

OLF initiative
The PSA takes the situation with the deficient free-fall lifeboats very seriously, however.
"It is important that a united industry makes sure the reason for the proven weaknesses is found, so that our confidence in the means of evacuation is restored," says Finn Carlsen, director for supervisory activities in the PSA.

OLF (The Norwegian Oil Industry Association) will now get involved in the work on this issue on behalf of the industry. The goal is to identify the reason for the overall test results from the Umoe-Schat-Harding boats.

"We must find out as soon as possible what went wrong - including whether the regulations are deficient with regard to testing and test criteria for lifeboats. The PSA is pleased that OLF is getting involved in this matter, so that a united industry will now be involved in the follow up work," says Carlsen.

Contact in the PSA:
Inger Anda, press spokeswoman
Tel.: +47 970 54 064