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Order issued to Norsk Hydro and Prosafe as notified following serious incident with personal injury on Oseberg B

Norsk Hydro (Hydro) as operator and Prosafe Drilling Services (Prosafe) as drilling contractor have been issued orders in accordance with the notification following the serious incident in connection with a lifting operation on Oseberg B in April of this year. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway's (PSA's) investigation revealed several breaches of the regulations.


On 26 April 2005, a person was struck by a drill pipe weighing approx. 600 kg which fell from the pipe handling crane during a pipe moving operation on Hydro's facility Oseberg B. The person suffered severe head injuries. The direct cause of the accident is that a drill pipe being transported with the pipe handling crane came loose from the magnetic lifting yoke, striking a person in the head. This person was inside an area that had been cordoned off. If circumstances had been altered only slightly, the incident could have resulted in a fatality.

The PSA decided to investigate the incident, and was also asked to provide assistance to the police. Our investigation has defined a number of underlying causes and has revealed a number of breaches of the regulations See previous coverage (link).

Orders will now be issued to Hydro and Prosafe in accordance with the previous notification.

The Hydro order:
The company is ordered to review its lifting operations on the Oseberg B pipe deck so as to identify and implement necessary measures to ensure that such operations are carried out in accordance with the regulations.

Based on this review, Hydro shall also perform investigations to clarify whether the deficiencies uncovered on the Oseberg pipe deck also apply to other facilities operated by the company - and if so, to implement necessary measures to improve such deficiencies.

In Hydro's reply to the PSA's notification of order and our investigation report, the company has informed us that it has drawn up a plan for implementation of measures, and that many of the measures have already been implemented. The PSA notes that some of the measures have a completion deadline that extends beyond the deadline stipulated in our order. We assume that Hydro will review its plan to confirm that these go beyond the measures that are necessary in order to comply with the order. We ask that the company submit to us the updated plan for complying with the order, when it is available.

The deadline for preparing a plan for compliance with the order is four weeks after the order was issued. The deadline for implementing the measures is 1 October 2005. The PSA must be informed when the company has complied with the order.

The Prosafe order:
Prosafe is ordered to review its operations on the Oseberg B pipe deck and to implement the necessary measures to ensure that such operations are carried out in line with the regulatory requirements.
Based on this review, Prosafe shall perform investigations to clarify whether deficiencies revealed on the Oseberg B pipe deck also apply to other Hydro facilities where the company is involved - and if applicable, to implement the necessary measures to correct this.

Prosafe's reply to the notification of order states that the company has prepared a plan for implementing measures, and that many of the measures have already been implemented. We note that several of the planned measures do not have a deadline for completion. The PSA assumes that Prosafe will review the plan to confirm that no measures extend beyond the deadline for complying with the order. We ask that the updated plan be submitted to us when it is available.

The deadline for completing the plan to ensure compliance with the order is four weeks after the order is issued. The deadline for implementing measures is 1 October 2005. The PSA must be informed when the company has complied with the order.


The order issued to the companies assumes that Hydro and Prosafe will cooperate closely in this matter. Measures that are identical in whole or in part shall be coordinated so that there are no misunderstandings as regards roles and responsibilities in connection with implementation of the measures.

Contact in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Inger Anda, press spokesperson
E-mail: ">inger.anda@ptil.no
Tel.: +47 970 54 064