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Rowan Gorilla VI not granted an AoC

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has turned down the application from Rowan Drilling U.K. Ltd (Rowan) for an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for the mobile drilling facility Rowan Gorilla VI.

In connection with our consideration of the above application, we have conducted a number of verifications, both on board the facility and at Rowan’s offices. During several of these verifications, particularly those on board the facility, we identified major differences between what is described in the application and the facility’s actual technical condition.
In the course of our inspections we have found a number of serious deviations from the regulatory requirements. Several deviations had not been identified by Rowan.
In its present condition, Rowan Gorilla VI does not meet the requirements for an AoC. The number of new deviations identified through our verifications also indicates that the compliance assessments conducted by the applicant in the AoC process were insufficient in scope as well as quality.
The operating company BG Norge AS (BG) has a contract with Rowan Drilling to use Rowan Gorilla VI on the Norwegian continental shelf. We have in a letter dated 31 January 2008 informed BG of our decision to turn down Rowan’s application for an AoC for ”Rowan Gorilla VI”.
We have asked BG to assess their own compliance with the requirements for an operator and to organise a meeting where the results of the company’s own assessments and any measures will be presented.
An AoC has since 1 January 2004 been one of the preconditions before a mobile drilling facility is permitted to carry out petroleum-related activities on the Norwegian shelf. This is the first time the PSA has had to turn down an application for AoC.