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Audit of technical and operational barriers – Goliat FPSO

During 15 – 22 March 2012, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of Eni Norge AS’ (Eni’s) compliance with requirements for establishment and implementation of technical and operational barriers in the Goliat development.

Barriers are one of the PSA’s four main priorities in 2012. Experience shows that the players have implemented the regulatory barrier requirements to varying degrees.

Making barriers resilient in the different phases of a facility’s life cycle has developed in different directions with varying maturity. Faults and inadequacies in one or more barrier elements’ performance is a pervasive causal factor of incidents. This requires greater attention and closer follow-up, both from the players and authorities, to ensure continuous improvement.

The audit was a follow-up and continuation of the PSA’s previously conducted barrier audits of Goliat FPSO within the process integrity discipline in 2010 and 2011.

Observations from previous audits of the Goliat project show that there is a need for further follow-up.

The objective of the audit activity was to follow-up how Eni ensures compliance with requirements for establishment and implementation of technical and operational barriers in the development project.

The PSA placed special emphasis on how Eni, in cooperation with the building yard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), ensures better understanding of:

  • the collaboration between the operator, development project, suppliers and operations preparations
  • the relationship between the quantitative risk analysis, dimensioning accident loads, design loads, safety strategies and the barrier elements’ performance requirements in a lifetime perspective

The results build upon Eni’s governing documents, presentations and conversations with key personnel, as well as verifications of selected topics. The audit was well-facilitated and both presentations and conversations displayed a considerable degree of openness.

Nonconformities were identified in relation to the following areas:

  • Barrier management
  • Risk reduction
  • Process securing system
  • Qualification and use of new technology

Furthermore, improvement items were identified in the following areas:

  • Quantitative risk analysis – purpose, application, definitions and timely updates in the engineering phase
  • Implementation and verification of “Safety Integrity Level” requirements (SIL requirements)
  • Gas emission system – documentation of chosen solution
  • Performance requirements for the emergency shutdown valves
  • “Cargo pump room” gas spread analyses based on mechanical ventilation and potential gas leaks
  • ATEX implementation – non-electrical equipment
  • Emergency generator unit – independence and vulnerability