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Notification of order following audit of Statoil's introduction of new operating model

During the period from 20 February – 4 November 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of StatoilHydro UPN (from 1 November, Statoil Petroleum AS) with verifications on Sleipner and Heidrun.

The audit targeted StatoilHydro/Statoil Petroleum AS' management of the implementation project in UPN (Exploration and Production Norway), and working conditions for offshore supervisors.

The audit was conducted by means of meetings with the central implementation group in UPN during the period 16 March – 2 July 2009, and verifications on Sleipner and Heidrun during the period 14 – 25 September 2009.

Background for the audit
The starting point for the audit activities was StatoilHydro's decision to introduce a new operating model. The changes in UPN are extensive, with the introduction of the new organisation model, new management system and movement of personnel. At the same time, the company's activity level is high.

Therefore, the overall risk scenario is characterized by a combination of change-related risk and operational risk.

The overarching perspective of the audit activities was management and major accident risk.

Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to follow up to ensure that StatoilHydro manages the implementation process in such a manner that safe operation is maintained and prioritised in the implementation of a new joint operating model in UPN, and that this is in accordance with the company's requirements as well as regulatory requirements.

This was done by checking that:

  • assumptions and actions set out in the decision-making basis for the new organisation are followed
  • the company achieves its objective of HSE gains
  • employee participation is safeguarded in the implementation phase
  • capacity and competence in the new organisation model are followed up, including multiple field operations.

Simultaneously with the audit of management of the implementation process, the PSA also conducted an audit activity aimed at the working conditions for offshore supervisors. This part of the activity targeted the supervisors' competence and available resources measured against their roles, tasks and responsibility.

The purpose was to ensure accordance between job requirements and the wide range of tasks on the one side, and training, competence and allocated resources on the other.

Result of the audit
It is our opinion that UPN faces considerable challenges in ensuring adequate capacity and competence in the implementation phase, and in monitoring the impact of the implementation process on the overall risk on the respective facilities.

During the audit, we uncovered four nonconformities in relation to regulatory requirements:

  • Deficient compliance and follow-up of assumptions
  • Deficient management of capacity and competence in the implementation phase
  • Offshore supervisors do not have sufficient capacity or resources available in relation to the scope of the work tasks
  • The scope and duration of extended offshore periods mean that the overall strain on individual groups and for individual employees can be extremely high, so that workers are exposed to unfortunate physical and mental strain, and such that the ability to take care of safety considerations is impaired.

An improvement item was identified in the area of employee participation.

Notification of order
Based on the findings made during the audit, we have issued Statoil Petroleum AS the following notification of order:

Pursuant to Section 15 of the Framework Regulations relating to verifications and Section 18 of the Management Regulations relating to collection, processing and use of data, cf. Section 58 of the Framework Regulations relating to individual decisions, Statoil Petroleum AS is ordered to monitor and verify management of capacity and competence on its facilities in the ongoing implementation phase, ref. Chapter 5.1 of the report.

The deadline for submitting a plan with dates for complying with the order is set at 5 December 2009.

Pursuant to Section 10-2 (1) of the Working Environment Act relating to working hours schemes and Section 52 of the Framework Regulations relating to periods of stay, cf. Section 58 of the Framework Regulations relating to individual decisions, Statoil Petroleum AS is ordered to evaluate the strain on individuals and groups, inter alia as a consequence of using extended offshore periods and additional work, and to implement necessary measures, ref. Chapter 5.1.4 of the report.

The deadline for complying with this order is set at 14 December 2009.

We must be notified when the orders have been carried out.

We have requested that Statoil submit any comments it may have regarding the notification and the audit report by 25 November 2009.

About “orders” vs. “notification of order":
An order is a administrative decision made pursuant to the regulations. Before we issue an order, we usually submit a "notification of order" to the companies involved.

A notification of order is neither a measure nor a warning of sanctions, but part of our administrative process in accordance with the established rules of procedure. The notification is just a first step before an administrative decision is made.

Journal 2009/140 (documents in Norwegian)