Feb 212016
 

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA,  says an improperly adjusted winch brake, which it refers to as ‘vulnerable’, led to the unintentionally launch of a lifeboat from the mobile unit Mærsk Giant at about 05.10 on Wednesday 14 January 2015.

This incident occurred during testing of the lifeboat systems.

During testing, one of the lifeboats unintentionally descended to the sea. Efforts were made to activate the manual brake on the lifeboat winch, but it was not working. The lifeboat entered the water and drifted beneath the unit. The steel wires holding it were eventually torn off.

After the incident, the lifeboat drifted away from Mærsk Giant, accompanied by a standby vessel. The lifeboat eventually reached land at Obrestad south of Stavanger.

Nobody was in the lifeboat when the incident occurred, and no personnel were injured.

The PSA conducted an investigation which established that the direct cause of the incident was a reduction in the braking effect of the brake on the lifeboat winch owing to faulty adjustment. If the manual brake failed during maintenance with people in the lifeboat, or during an actual evacuation, serious personal injury or deaths could have resulted.

Should the lifeboat have descended during an actual evacuation, a partially filled lifeboat could have reached the sea without a lifeboat captain on board. The PSA also considers it likely that people would have been at risk of falling from the lifeboat or the muster area should a descent have started. The potential consequence could be fatalities.

Five nonconformities were identified by this investigation. These related to

  • maintenance routines for the lifeboat davit system
  • training
  • procedures relating to lifeboats and evacuation
  • periodic programme for competent control and ensuring the expertise of personnel carrying out maintenance work
  • qualification and follow-up of contractors.

Mærsk Giant is operated by Maersk Drilling Norge.

PSA Report (Norwegian)

Oct 092014
 

PSAlifeboatSparked by a freefall lifeboat incident nine years ago Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority will chew on comments regarding proposed new lifeboat safety rules over the next few months. The aim, says the PSA is “returning us to the level of safety we thought prevailed in 2005”.

Some 480 lifeboats may be affected and the offshor industry has alleged that the regulations could cost $10bn to implement. While the changes will apply to operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, NCS, it is likely that PSA’s opposite number, the UK’s Health and Safety Authority, may review its own regulations on lifeboats. Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 

eldfiskNorway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA, says that it is going to carry out its own investigation into a hydrogen incident early on the morning of Thursday 7 August, which led to the discharge of stabilised oil to the sea from the Eldfisk FTP field terminal platform.

PSA says its decision to launch its own investigation “reflects the seriousness of the incident and the information received about it. Among other goals, the inquiry will seek to establish the course of events, identify the direct and underlying causes, and follow up ConocoPhillips’ own investigations of the ESD and leak”.

Continue reading »

Jul 182014
 

320px-Melkøya-2006Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has ordered Statoil Petroleum AS to why the company ignored a decision by the PSA that its camp at Melkøya, Finnmark, Norway, should not be used during planned shutdowns at Hammerfest LNG. The order is legally binding.

On 20 February 2013, Statoil received consent to use the accommodation camp in connection with planned shutdowns at Hammerfest LNG at Melkøya, once the facility had been shut down and depressurised. The consent applies up to 31 December 2017. In December 2013, Statoil applied for consent to also use the accommodation camp during the decommissioning and recommissioning period in connection with the planned shutdown in May/June 2014, when the facility was not depressurised. The application was rejected by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway in a decision of 6 February 2014. Continue reading »

Dec 242012
 
The hydrocarbon leak occurred in connection with the testing of two emergency shutdown valves (ESDVs) on Heimdal’s HMP1 production, drilling and quarters platform. Photo: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

The hydrocarbon leak occurred in connection with the testing of two emergency shutdown valves (ESDVs) on Heimdal’s HMP1 production, drilling and quarters platform. Photo: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, PSA, has notified Statoil of an order after its investigation of a hydrocarbon leak on Heimdal on 26 May 2012. The leak is described as among the most serious for several years on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The report identifies serious non-conformities from the regulations which are significant for safety. PSA wants Statoil to confirm that “a lack of effect” is not present on other Statoil platforms.

The hydrocarbon leak occurred in connection with the testing of two emergency shutdown valves (ESDVs) on Heimdal’s HMP1 production, drilling and quarters platform.

To prepare for the test, a pipeline was to be depressurised to the flare. This contained a ball valve with a 16-bar pressure class as the final barrier against the flare. Because it was closed, the valve experienced a pressure of 129 bar.

Gas leak
The pressure caused the seal in the valve flange to fail, resulting in a gas leak estimated at 3 500 kilograms. The initial leak rate was 16.9 kilograms per second (k/s). Gas was detected across a large area of the installation.

This leak ranks among the most serious gas emissions on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) for several years. See the RNNP reports on trends in risk level in the petroleum activity for 2001-11. Continue reading »

Jun 092011
 

PSA looks at lessons from the Deepwater Horizon tragedy

Preliminary conclusions by Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority Norway and action recommended after the Deepwater Horizon accident were presented to the Safety Forum’s annual conference on 9 June.

These assessments and recommendations build on the investigation reports published so far, as well as on a number of assessments by various professional bodies and various national and international processes.

The PSA will continue to keep a close eye on the many processes and activities launched after the accident in April 2010, and which are still under way.

This means that final conclusions and recommendations for action (amendments to the Norwegian regulations and so forth) have yet to be produced by the PSA.

An English summary of the PSA’s report, with its assessments and recommendations, is available for download (see the right-hand margin). The full report will be published next week in Norwegian only.

On the PSA’s follow-up
A project team was established by the PSA on 7 May 2010 following the disaster with the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

The overall goal of this work has been systematise and assess experience from and investigation of the major accident so that they can contribute to learning and improvement on the NCS.

Summary: The Deepwater Horizon accident – assessments and recommendations for the Norwegian petroleum industy

The Deepwater Horizon – the PSA’s follow-up

Apr 162011
 

Statoil's Njord A Photo: Øyvind Nesvåg / Statoil

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA, is hauling Statoil over the coals regarding the safety of lifting operations following investigation of a potenially lethal incident involving a ‘dropped object’ weighing 23 tonnes.

The lifting incident on Njord A on 18 December 2010 could,  says the PSA, “under insignificantly altered circumstances, have resulted in loss of life and significant material damage.”

Continue reading »

Apr 062011
 

Shell's Draugen platform photo: Shell

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has given A/S Norske Shell (Shell) a notification of order following completion of the investigation of a well incident on Draugen in December 2010.

The incident on the Draugen facility occurred in connection with a wireline operation in well 6407/9-A-01 on 4 December 2010. Shell was the operator and Seawell AS (Seawell) was the contractor for the wireline operation. The objective of the wireline operation was to replace a gas lift valve. Continue reading »

Mar 312011
 

On 5 January 2011, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, PSA, and the Civil Aviation Authority, CAA, conducted an audit of BP Norway’s Valhall PH directed towards emergency preparedness management and helicopter deck operations.

The audit was a supplement to the previous technical audit of Valhall PH, and included emergency preparedness analyses, emergency preparedness plans and organisation, as well as a review of CAA report 2010F505.

A helicopter trip to the Valhall field is longer than to any other field in the Norwegian sector. In 2010 and 2011 additional accommodation is present, and the manning level higher in order to execute a lot of planned activities such as the Valhall redevelopment project (VRD). Regular manning levels during these two years will be between 400 and 600 people. Continue reading »