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Supervision of emergency preparedness and technical safety on Heimdal

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) conducted a supervision activity in the period 22 - 23 May 2003 directed at emergency preparedness and fire-related conditions on Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s' installation Heimdal.


Heimdal

The NPD also requested that an emergency preparedness drill be conducted during the supervision on Heimdal (photo), including the use of an MOB boat.

The drill included the entire emergency preparedness organization on board and on the stand-by vessel "Sølvbas".

Good facilitation of the supervision activity on the part of Norsk Hydro and a good climate of cooperation on board contributed to good practical implementation of the supervision.

Background for the supervision

The NPD's strategic plan emphasizes the significance of health, environment and safety (HES) as an important element in the value creation chain.

The Ministry's priorities in the charter for 2003 state that the NPD shall contribute to establishing a realistic and concordant picture of the development of the HES level that substantiates the NPD's and the industry's measures for improving the HES level in the petroleum activities. (Ref. HES White Paper, items 2 and 17 in the follow-up matrix).

Our emphasis has been that a long time has passed since the last emergency preparedness supervision on Heimdal, which was in 1999, and that the operating organization for the installation has recently been through a hectic period with major upgrades and demanding maintenance activities on board Heimdal.

The purpose of the supervision

The objective of the supervision was to see how Norsk Hydro ensures that the company's emergency preparedness plans and measures are in compliance with the current regulatory requirements, with particular focus on

· Sections 29 and 30 of the Framework Regulations relating to Coordination of emergency preparedness and Section 38 relating to Monitoring of safety zones.
· Section 11 of the Management Regulations relating to Manning and competence
· Section 64 of the Activities Regulations relating to Establishment of emergency preparedness and Section 68 relating to Handling of situations of hazard and accident
· Section 40 of the Facilities Regulations relating to Equipment for rescue of personnel and Section 43 relating to Means of evacuation
· Section 11 of the Information Duty Regulations relating to Alert and notification to the supervisory authorities of situations of hazard and accident.

The result of the supervision

Key factors reviewed during the supervision were

· establishment, follow-up and further development of management systems for emergency preparedness
· emergency preparedness plans
· system for maintenance of evacuation and rescue equipment · emergency preparedness drills
· competence of response personnel
· requirements for the emergency preparedness organization.

Similar factors in the fire-related area were function and technical condition of passive fire protection, fire barriers and active fire fighting systems.

The supervision did not identify any serious conditions that lead to notification of order.
The main impression is that there is room for improvement of some emergency and fire-related factors on board. This applies firstly to posting and marking of escape routes, repairing self-closing fire doors and repairing the insulation material Pyrocrete on the flare boom.

The supervision revealed that training of the lifeboat crew is perceived as being incomplete by the employees involved because a different type of lifeboat is used for training on land than the skid type installed on board Heimdal.