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Gassco receives notification of order

On the basis of a number of undesirable incidents at the Kårstø terminal (photo), the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has issued a notification of order to Gassco AS (Gassco). There has been a disturbing development, both as regards the number of incidents and their criticality.

The PSA has noted that Gassco is working on a wide range of measures to improve the level of safety and to prevent recurrence of recent incidents. However, we feel that a comprehensive assessment of the measures, which is needed in order to ensure the desired effect, is lacking.

It is a serious state of affairs that verifications and audits previously carried out by Gassco and Statoil have uncovered circumstances that are again emerging in the causal relations for several of the incidents. We take a particularly serious view of the factors that have come to light in relation to work permits and competence.

The regulations require that systems/work process be in place to ensure that identified observations and non-conformities are permanently corrected. It is unacceptable that previously identified and corrected needs for improvement re-emerge as causes of incidents. We refer to the provisional regulations of 19 December 2003 relating to safety and working environment for certain land facilities, etc., Section 10, ref. Section 11, ref. the Internal Control Regulations of 6 December 1996, Section 5.

Reference is also made to the incident that occurred on 10 March 2005, when corrosion was revealed under insulation material, with a subsequent shut-down of the facility. Notification of the incident was not provided in accordance with Section 22 of the provisional regulations. This is not the first incident of inadequate notification of the PSA by Gassco.

On this basis, Gassco is notified of the following order:

Pursuant to Section 22 of the provisional regulations, ref. Section 51, Gassco is ordered:

  • To evaluate its procedures for notification of the PSA regarding hazard and accident situations.
  • To implement necessary improvement measures which ensure immediate notification of hazard and accident situations, as defined in Section 22.

Pursuant to Section 10 of the provisional regulations, ref. Section 11; ref. the Internal Control Regulations, Section 5, No. 6, No. 7, ref. No. 8, ref. Section 51 of the provisional regulations, Gassco is ordered:

  • To verify that measures that have been developed and implemented after both previous observations and recent incidents related to the work permit system and competence function as intended.
  • To verify that the control procedures used by the company to confirm the implementation and effect of measures are adequate.

A binding plan with specific dates for implementation of the orders must be presented to the PSA within two weeks after the order is sent.


Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority :
Inger Anda
Telephone: 970 54 064