Nov 262010

Big Orange XVIII Took it on the nose

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority and the Norwegian Maritime Directorate have released an audit of ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS’ management of technical, organisational and administrative issues as regards hired vessels and vessel operations on the Ekofisk field.

The audit follows and investigation into an incident on 8 June 2009, the vessel Big Orange XVIII collided with the water injection facility Ekofisk 2/4-W. The collision caused extensive material damage to both the facility and the vessel.

The audit also included Schlumberger as the supplier of well stimulation services using vessels.


Big Orange XVIII before and after and damage sustained on Ekofisk

ConocoPhillips and Schlumberger carried out an investigation after the collision, which pointed out issues to improve the companies’ routines for hired vessels, follow-up of contracted vessels and vessel operations on the field.

The audit is related to the PSA’s main priority in 2010 regarding management and major accident risk, with emphasis on learning from serious incidents.

PSA says that its audit is to verify that recommendations and implemented measures following the companies’ investigation have contributed to improvements within the areas vessel arrival, follow-up of vessels and vessel operations.

The following areas were emphasised:
– organisation and responsibility for vessel reception, follow-up and operations,
– governing documents,
– expertise requirements,
– management of vessel reception, follow-up and operations, including plans for verification,
– what effect the implemented measures following the companies’ investigation have had and
– transfer of experience internally and externally.

The audit was carried out as meetings at ConocoPhillips and Schlumberger, as well as inspection, verifications and interviews on the Ekofisk field.

Based on proposed measures following the internal investigation, extensive studies have been carried out by both ConocoPhillips and Schlumberger. This mainly comes to light as changed organisational and administrative issues, such as the establishment of a central organisation unit with responsibility for all vessel receptions, introduction of approval procedures for vessels on a company level and a familiarisation programme for vessels.

The PSA also noted that the vessel monitoring on the Ekofisk field has improved as a result of logistics tasks being transferred to the onshore organisation, electronic visualisation aids for vessel monitoring will be developed further and the procedure for accepting vessels within the 500 metre zone has been tightened.

The audit identified three improvement items related to decision basis for speed limitation, ensure understanding of marine induction and governing documentation.

PSA Audit

PSA Incident Investigation


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