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Audit of management and follow-up of technical integrity - Gyda

On 29 September and from 21 – 23 October 2011, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of Talisman Energy Norge’s management and follow-up of the technical integrity of load-bearing structures on Gyda. The audit was related to the barrier management topic.

The Gyda oil field is located in the southern part of the North Sea, between Ula and Ekofisk. The field was developed with a facility resting on the seabed at a water depth of 66 metres. The facility was put to use in 1990, with an expected lifetime of 20 years. From 2009, the facility has a planned (expected) lifetime until 2030. The production is low (tail production).

The audit activity builds upon previous audit activities within the same topic with the operator and in the industry. The objective of the audit method is to establish an understanding of the status of barrier management and structural integrity with the operator and contribute to an understanding for the industry’s performances based on several audits employing the same method.

The audit activity was established to assess Talisman’s work on technical integrity of load-bearing structures on Gyda, and is included in our prioritised area “Operational and technical barriers”.

The PSA has developed a method for use in the audit activities for systematic follow-up of barriers. Parts of this method have been utilised in several other audit activities of the technical integrity of load-bearing structures in the industry.

The objective of the audit activity was to verify how Talisman prevents structural failure, with a particular emphasis on barrier management in connection with technical integrity of load-bearing structures.

Key topics of the audit activity included assessing how Talisman:

  • Has identified, analysed and evaluated risk
  • Has highlighted the connection between risk and hazard assessments, need for barriers and the barriers’ role in each area on the facility (strategies)
  • Has identified, described and implemented performance requirements and/or performance standards for barriers/barrier elements
  • Operates and maintains the facility/installation pursuant to terms for use and preconditions
  • Has identified factors that could reduce the barriers’ performance over time (change to terms for use, change in risk picture, degradation mechanisms, ageing, etc.)
  • Has established verification activities and indicators for monitoring barriers and performance over time
  • Works in practice to ensure continuous improvement as regards barrier management through the entire facility’s lifetime

The task included Talisman’s follow-up of the supervisory duty vis-à-vis its suppliers.

The industry must be able to describe and implement work processes, and the individual elements in these processes, for barrier management in a lifetime perspective through:

  • Describing and highlighting the connection between the risk and hazard assessments, the need for barriers and the barriers’ role in each area (strategies)
  • Identifying, describing and implementing performance standards for defined barrier and risk-impacted factors
  • Identifying factors that could reduce the barriers’ performance over time (change to terms for use, degradation mechanisms, ageing, incidents, etc.), establishing indicators for monitoring the function, performance and processes for making barrier functions and performance robust enough to handle these conditions
  • Continuously improve the barriers and barrier management system

Ten nonconformities and two improvement items were identified during the audit.

The nonconformities are related to the structures and barriers within the following areas:

  • Risk management
  • Operation and maintenance, including preparedness
  • Measurement and verification
  • Continuous improvement