Statoil Ramps Safety Operations

More than half the backlog in safety-critical servicing on installations operated by Statoil off Norway has been eliminated over the past year. The organization is working continuously to get better at operating these facilities safely and effectively.

"There'll always be some outstanding maintenance, but we shared the dissatisfaction expressed by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) over its scope," said Jannicke Nilsson, head of operations North Sea west.

"We've accordingly worked throughout the year to reduce the number of jobs queuing up to be done."


Statoil appointed an action team during the summer after the PSA identified seven non-conformances and two improvement items during audits of the Oseberg field center and the Brage, Heimdal and Grane platforms.

"The team assessing the maintenance backlog has come up with a number of measures to close the non-conformances and improve the position," said Nilsson.

Action proposed includes developing better methods for calculating present and future needs for servicing.

Work process related to maintenance and risk management will also be improved, and efforts to reduce the maintenance backlog stepped up.

Statoil has built up a specialist team in the maintenance management area, which works continuously on analyses, improvement work and enhancing expertise in the organization.


Statoil has completed its internal investigation into riser incidents on Visund and Njord, and submitted its response earlier this week to the conditions identified in the PSA's report.

"The gas leaks on these two fields occurred when the pressure layer in three-layer Coflon risers on the installations was breached," explains Nilsson.

"Our investigation found that these breaches on April 9 and 24 respectively could not have caused the actual risers to be ripped off, with an escalation into a major accident."

Statoil and the PSA identify the same immediate and underlying causes of the incidents. These relate primarily to the way the group has organized servicing of flexible risers, a lack of governing documentation and a need for further training.

"In the investigation report and our response to the PSA, we list a number of specific measures which have already been implemented since the incidents," reported Nilsson.

"We also detail action that we're considering taking in the rather longer term.

"These measures are based on our own experience from the incidents, the PSA's findings and the lessons learned during work on the issue since last winter."


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