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Audit of materials handling and lifting operations – Gjøa

During the period 22-23 March 2010, the PSA carried out an audit of Statoil Petroleum AS' (Statoil's) preparations and facilitation of safe operation of the Gjøa facility, with emphasis on materials handling and lifting operations. The audit identified several non-conformities and improvement items, for example related to the establishment and implementation of management systems.


The audit was carried out through a meeting with operative management, interviews with relevant personnel and verifications on board Gjøa.

The work to complete the construction of the Gjøa facility is approaching final completion and lifting operations will be started and carried out upon arrival on the field. In addition, Statoil, and subsequently GdF Suez (tentatively 1 October 2010), are planning to apply for consent to use the facility.

The audit was a verification activity related to all these milestones in accordance with the PSA's overall project task for logistics and follow-up of lifting operations. The audit
was focused on the risk associated with logistics and materials handling, including lifting operations, as well as the problem areas identified in the PSA's Report “Causal connection analysis of unintentional offshore crane incidents”.

Purpose
The purpose of the audit activity was to verify that Statoil/GdF Suez utilises the correct expertise and has the necessary resources to ensure that materials handling and crane and lifting operations will be performed in a prudent manner when the platform arrives at the field. Furthermore, the purpose of the activity was to verify regulatory compliance as regards governing documentation and the work to plan compliance with these as regards materials handling and lifting operations.

Result
At the time of the audit, Gjøa was in the final phase of construction. Non-conformities were identified relating to the establishment and implementation of management systems, including lack of clarity surrounding the role of operationally responsible for lifting operations, as well as deficient technical operations support on land from GdF Suez. We also identified improvement items related to improved protection around the cargo area near the platform storage on the main deck and an improvement item related to the system for training maintenance personnel.

Observations
The PSA's observations are generally divided into two categories:

  • Non-conformity: Related to observations where we believe to have identified breaches of the regulatory requirements
  • Improvement item: Related to observations where we see deficiencies, but do not have sufficient information to ascertain breaches of the regulatory requirements

Non-conformities

Deficiencies in the management system for managing materials handling and lifting operations
The management system was not completely developed with the necessary underlying procedures.

Basis:
In presentations and in documentation supplied during the audit, it was specified that the entire NORSOK R-003(N) is applicable on board Gjøa both in the period where Statoil is the operator and after GdF Suez has taken over the operation.

At the time of the audit, we were informed that Statoil's work process management system (APOS) and Statoil's other governing documentation comprises the total management system to be used during the operating period when Statoil will be responsible for the operation of Gjøa, and that GdF Suez is developing a corresponding work process management system called QLM for the phase following the takeover of operation. Necessary local procedures, cf. NORSOK R-003 (N) Annex C, were not fully developed and connected to APOS and the relevant overall governing documents that apply to APOS. Such procedures were also not developed and connected to QLM.

Furthermore, the distribution of roles and responsibilities defined by APOS did not correspond with the organisation charts presented during the audit. For example, designations such as “Deck & Marine manager – Technical responsible” were used on the organisation chart, yet the same designations could not be found in the document labelled 84440/JHA, dated 16 December 2009 “Competence requirements and role descriptions Cranes and Lifting”. According to the presented course matrix, there were also no requirements for training in NORSOK R-003 (N) for management personnel or for the deck crew, with the exception of the “Deck & Material D1” position.

Statoil's governing documents (for example OMC01 with local appendix) were not updated to reflect that Gjøa must comply with these procedures.

Overall operational administration and management of lifting operations is, in the PSA's view, imperative in this area to achieve the level required by relevant regulations, including Section 83 of the Activities Regulations.

In 2000 and 2004, the PSA carried out joint studies with the players with the aim of understanding the causal relations and identifying underlying causes of lifting incidents. An important underlying cause was identified to be deficient management which, in turn, is caused by deficient competence. During the revision of NORSOK R-003N in 2004, It was therefore a clear intention that the role of operationally responsible for lifting operations would lead to increased management involvement and competence within lifting operations. The description in NORSOK R-003N Annex A also assumes that the person carrying out this role is physically present on the facility.

In governing document OMC01, final version dated 13 January 2010, Items 2.11.16.1 and 2.11.16.2, a requirement is set for the “offshore logistics manager” and “offshore logistics/maritime manager” to fill the role of operationally responsible for lifting operations, as described in NORSOK R-003N Annex A.

The distribution of roles and tasks described in NORSOK R-003N Annex A, also concurs with the PSA's understanding of this role's responsibility to consider the improvement work
that has been ongoing for the last 20 years to achieve safer offshore lifting operations. In our opinion, the chosen solution for Gjøa provides a lower level of safety what follows from the
relevant regulatory requirements, including Section 83 of the Activities Regulations.

Deficient Implementation of management system for crane and lifting operations.
We identified deficiencies in the implementation of APOS as a management system for crane and lifting operations.

Basis:
In meetings and conversations with personnel on board, it emerged that APOS training was given in the form of an e-learning course. Deficiencies in the completion of procedures and management systems has, naturally enough, also caused deficient implementation of these procedures and systems. During conversations, we also found limited knowledge concerning relevant governing documents connected to the APOS system. Knowledge relating to requirements in NORSOK R-003 (N) was also deficient, especially among
supervisory personnel

Confusion surrounding the role of operationally responsible
During conversations and review of documentation, considerable uncertainty emerged surrounding the role of operationally responsible for lifting operations.

Basis:
On the organisation chart for Gjøa, which was presented to the PSA, a position was defined as Crane operator/Operationally responsible. We were informed that this position fills the role of operationally responsible for lifting operations as defined in NORSOK R-003 (N) and that this was defined in a manner corresponding to other Statoil facilities. No one linked these role descriptions to OMC01 Item 2.11.16 or OMC01 ANNEX C, where Statoil defines this role. During conversations we also learned that personnel who were assigned this role, were assigned the appurtenant responsibility without the necessary authority and possibility to make the decisions required by this role.

Insufficient technical operations support
A system has not been established in GdF Suez' organisation to provide the necessary technical operations support for materials handling and lifting operations.

Basis:
During the audit, there were continual references to Statoil's organisation as regards technical support in connection with establishing a management system and technical questions. Based on the organisation charts presented to us, the PSA cannot see that GdF has access to the corresponding professional support following the takeover of the operations (tentatively 1 October 2010).


Improvement items:

Somewhat deficient protection around the cargo area near the platform storage on the main deck's north-western corner (Q30 north).

Basis
In general, the physical facilitation of safe and efficient materials handling was good on Gjøa. The Q30 cargo area outside the storage room on the main deck was very open and has a central location. The area was only partly sheltered by protective structures. Protective structures were not rigged up between the cargo area and adjacent gangways/escape routes.

Improve the system for training maintenance personnel
During the audit we identified ambiguities surrounding the scope of maintenance to be performed by the platform organisation

Basis
Which type of maintenance was to be performed by the platform's own personnel on the platform cranes and travelling cranes was still not clearly defined. It was therefore not possible to consider whether the requirements related to training of maintenance personnel were in accordance with the work they would perform.

Other comments

As previously mentioned, Statoil plans to use APOS as its management system during the period it will be the operating company on Gjøa. GdF Suez plans to develop its own system, QLM, based on the same principles. Statoil will only be the operating company for a short period of time (tentatively three months) and it could be very demanding and a significant challenge for the organisation to relate to two different management systems in this initial phase. Close follow-up will be required to ensure that this, in itself, does not contribute to increased risk in daily operations.

Some equipment was certified a relatively long time ago. NORSOK R-003 (N) Annex H stipulates requirements relating to competent body inspection of lifting equipment at least every 12 months.