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Notification of order following audit of HSE management on Ocean Vanguard

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of Diamond Offshore Netherlands BV (Diamond) during the period 21 - 24 February 2006 in connection with the drilling activities with Ocean Vanguard. The activity targeted Diamond's management system and the facility's technical and operational conditions during the activity for ExxonMobil at Wishbone. On the basis of our discoveries during the audit, we have issued a notification of order to Diamond.


Background for the audit

The background for the audit activity is the issuance of an (AoC) to Diamond on 2 July 2004 for Ocean Vanguard and ExxonMobil's consent to use the facility.

The consent is granted based in part on documentation related to the AoC for the facility, with the assumptions and obligations which the Acknowledgement of Compliance constitutes for the drilling contractor.

Diamond only has Ocean Vanguard in operation on the Norwegian Shelf. The operation of the facility was taken over from Smedvig (West Vanguard) in 2004 and is managed by a separate operating organization in Norway, but with joint support functions from the company's organizations in Aberdeen and Houston.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that Diamond safeguards the requirements related to HSE management in connection with their drilling activity with Ocean Vanguard.

This includes risk reduction and risk understanding, follow-up of internal objectives and strategies, follow-up of incidents, technical condition/ maintenance, handling of nonconformity, internal audits, as well as how the company safeguards the principal company responsibility and the requirements for competence and training.

Result of the audit

During the audit we discovered that there have been improvements in the HSE work in recent months on all levels in the organization.

At the same time we noted nonconformities in certain important areas which were reviewed and verified during the audit. This calls for some management-related conditions to be reviewed, and further measures for improvement must be implemented in order to achieve full conformity with the HSE regulations.

During the audit we noted nonconformities in relation to the following:

  • The company's internal handling and follow-up of nonconformities and exceptions.

  • The company's maintenance control system.

  • The company's system for internal follow-up and improvement.

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In addition, potential for improvement was identified in the following areas:

  • Knowledge of the regime for AoC and regulations.

  • The company's objectives and strategies for 2006.

  • The company's management system GEMS and use of internal procedures.

  • Competence and training.

  • Employee participation.

  • Rest and restitution.

  • Welding equipment.

  • Escape routes. 

Based on our findings during the audit we have issued the following notification of order to Diamond Offshore:

1. Pursuant to Section 20 of the Management Regulations relating to handling of nonconformities, Diamond Offshore B.V. is ordered to implement a system for handling nonconformity which takes into account the requirements of the regulation, cf. Chapter 5.1.1 of the report.

Deadline for complying with the order is 3 May 2006. We must be notified when the order has been carried out.

2. Pursuant to Section 42 of the Activities Regulations relating to maintenance, and Section 44 relating to the maintenance program, Diamond Offshore Netherlands B.V. is instructed to ensure that the maintenance system ORION comprises all equipment on the facility, and that the equipment and systems are maintained pursuant to the company's requirements, cf. Chapter 5.1.2 of the report. Safety-critical equipment must be given priority.

Deadline for complying with the order is 31 May 2006. We must be notified when the order has been carried out.

3. Pursuant to Section 21 of the Management Regulations relating to follow-up, Diamond Offshore Netherlands B.V .is instructed to implement necessary corrective measures in the management system, in order for the company's follow-up activities to contribute towards preventing the weaknesses, faults and flaws pointed out in the report, cf. Chapter 5.1.3 of the report.

Deadline for complying with the order is 23 June 2006. We must be notified when the order has been carried out.

We have requested that the company submit any comments regarding the notification by 3 April 2006.

Contact in the PSA:
Inger Anda, press spokeswoman
E-mail: inger.anda@ptil.no
Tel.: +47 970 54 064