PSA Norway Posts Findings from StatoilHydro's Heavy Lifting Operations

Saipem Lifting Vessel S 7000
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From March 28 to June 22, 2008, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of StatoilHydro's (SH's) planning and implementation of heavy lifting operations. No non-conformities were identified in SH's relevant systems in relation to the regulatory requirements.

The audit concerned SH's duty to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements, and the contractors duties concerning management of technical, operational and administrative conditions for planning, engineering and associated risk analyses, and implementation of heavy lifting operations in 2008.
The contractor for the lifting operations was Saipem UK Limited (Saipem), and the lifting vessel was S 7000.

The audit was divided into two parts:

  • Part 1 was an audit of SH's systems for complying with its duty to ensure that contractors observe the relevant HSE regulatory requirements for lifting and DP (dynamic positioning) operations. The audit also included how SH involves its expertise and exercises its supervisory duty in practice, including follow-up of measures after the fatality on S 7000 in 2007.
  • Part 2 was an audit of Saipem's planning and implementation of DP and lifting operations, including follow-up of measures after the fatality on S 7000 in 2007.

The following is an extract of the report covering the audit of SH.

Background for the Audit

The audit was a follow-up of the order issued to SH after the fatality on S 7000 on 12 August 2007. The audit of SH was also a follow-up of previous matters where the PSA believed that SH's expertise had not been sufficiently involved. Examples are as follows:

  • Completion wells on Snohvit. Drilling rig with marginal/insufficient lifting capacity of offshore cranes to be able to lift the X-mas trees on board was selected for the task. The led to two incidents with a serious potential.
  • Acquisition of new offshore crane for storage tanks for the Volve development resulting in one crane with substantial non-conformities in relation to the regulatory requirements.

This type of heavy lifting operations also represent a risk of major accidents in the event of DP drive/drift off or falling cargo.

The audit was linked to the PSA's main priorities for 2008; groups exposed to risk and management’s contribution to reducing the risk of major accidents.

Purpose of the Audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that SH has a system that ensures compliance with the supervisory duty, and satisfactory follow-up of the order issued after the fatality in 2007.

The objective was also to verify compliance with regulatory requirements for the planned lifting operations with S 7000 for SH in 2008.

Result of the Audit

SH still has a potential for improvement in connection with its supervisory duty for this type of operations.
No non-conformities in relation to the regulatory requirements were identified in SH’s relevant systems.


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