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PSA Cites Rowan, Statoil for Violations

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Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) issued orders Wednesday for Rowan Cos., subsidiary Rowan Drilling Norway AS after identifying serious breaches of regulations in audits carried out earlier this fall on the jackup Rowan Gorilla VI (450’ ILC).

An audit of carried out Sept. 24 and from Oct. 14 to 17 found that Rowan’s maintenance management system does not meet regulatory requirements for internal audits, verifications and follow up activities; the technical condition of the facility; maintenance management; lifting equipment and materials handling plan and competent enterprise.

PSA has ordered the company to review its management system and implement measures to so Rowan’s follow-up systems meet the intended needs in all parts of the organization, PSA said in a Dec. 18 press release.

Rowan has until Feb. 15, 2014 to comply with the order. Rowan Gorilla VI is currently under contract to ConocoPhillips. The jackup, which is currently in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will begin another contract with ConocoPhillips in mid-January 2014. The rig will work under contract through July 2017 at a day rate in the high $350,000s, according to Rigzone’s RigLogix database.

PSA also issued Statoil Petroleum AS with a notification of order following an investigation into a Sept. 30 incident at Statoil’s Statfjord C-field, in which a seven-inch production pipe fell 46.92 feet (14.3 meters) from a feed table. The feed table is connected to a pipe belt, which is part of the pipe handling system for carrying pipes into and out of the derrick.

The 572-kg production pipe landed on an access stairway after a pipe-handling crane, with a spreader fitted, was used to lift an open basket. The pipe-handling crane’s overload alarm was triggered and the crane operator immediately lowered the basket, hitting two seven-inch production pipes, causing one to lift up and swing over the railing and onto the stairway.

After finding serious breaches in regulations, PSA ordered Statoil to preview its process for plant integrity and proficiency certification in order to ensure that lifting equipment is suitable and safe to use. The certification company that verifies Statoil’s proficiency also must have sufficient expertise to detect faults and deficiencies in lifting equipment, PSA said in a Dec. 18 press release.

Statoil has until April 1, 2014 to comply with the order.

Statfjord straddles the Norwegian and British sectors of the northern North Sea. The Norwegian portfion of the field lies on Blocks 33/9 and 33/12 in production license 037; the UK section is on Block 211/25 in licenses 104 and 293. Statfjord, which lies in 492 feet of water, produces about 140,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), according to Rigzone’s field development database SubseaIQ. Statoil is operator of the field with 44.34 percent interest.



Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com.

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