Centrica has received consent to conduct exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea with the West Alpha semisub. Well 6506/9-2 S is located 252 km west of Brønnøysund and is part of production license 433. The water depth at the site is 281 meters.
Start-up of drilling is planned in February 2010. The expected duration of the activity is 78 days.
In connection with the PSA's processing of this application, an audit of Centrica's planning and execution of the drilling operation was carried out on January 19.
Based on the responsibility that rests with the license group, we have also obtained this group's overall assessment of risk factors related to this activity, and to the operator's resources for managing the activity.
PSA has also participated as observers in two emergency preparedness exercises with the operator. The report subsequent to the audit revealed nonconformities in relation to requirements for managing the activities and emergency preparedness aspects, and also pointed out a potential for improvement as regards Centrica's organization.
Centrica has evaluated the above-mentioned factors, and has identified a number of compensating measures. A precondition for the consent is therefore that these measures, summarized in a binding plan with dates, are implemented as described.
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