PSA Norway Issues Report On December Fire at Songa Dee

On 4 December 2007, a fire broke out on the mobile facility Songa Dee during drilling activity for StatoilHydro on the Troll field. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has investigated the incident and, among other things, identified four nonconformities in relation to regulatory requirements.

The fire broke out in an HVAC unit on the facility, which is operated by Stena Drilling AS (Stena). The fire resulted in the evacuation of the entire crew, with the exception of a safety manning crew. During the incident, the facility's control room and emergency preparedness center also had to be evacuated due to smoke development.

In its investigation, the PSA identified four nonconformities in relation to regulatory requirements:

(1)Necessary barriers had not been established to discover and implement necessary measures in the event of failure of the ventilation system for the living quarters.

(2)Adequate risk assessments were not implemented in connection with replacement of the HVAC unit.

(3)The new HVAC unit was not designed and installed to operate under system conditions which could lead to air flow in the opposite direction in the event that the fan shut down.

(4)The communication systems on the facility, both internal and vis-a-vis land, including the internal VHF/UHF systems on the facility and vis-a-vis nearby units, were not accessible to the emergency preparedness management and other emergency response personnel in a satisfactory manner during the initial phase of the incident.

The report also includes 12 observations of items where there is a potential for improvement.

Any findings that emerge during Falck Nutec's review of the emergency preparedness factors on the facility will be followed up, ref. Chapters 5.2.5 and 6 of the report.


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