Norway Issues First AoC for a Well Intervention Facility
The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has granted an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for the well intervention facility Island Frontier, operated by Island Offshore Subsea AS.
This is the first AoC issued as a consequence of the expansion of the system to include a number of types of mobile facilities.
The AoC for the Island Frontier was presented by PSA director Magne Ognedal in a ceremony held on Tuesday, October 31st.
"This is also an important milestone for the PSA. Both we as the authority and the industry have good experience with the AoC system for mobile facilities. We believe that an expanded AoC system will also have the same positive effect on other types of mobile facilities that carry out petroleum activities on the Norwegian shelf," Ognedal emphasized, and added that the PSA is excited about gaining new players on the Norwegian shelf.
"Carrying out petroleum activities is not the same as traditional shipping activities. There are different requirements, both as regards regulations and management systems. This company has shown the ability to adapt to an activity which is new for them."
An Acknowledgement of Compliance documents that the technical condition of the facility, as well as the owner's organization and management systems, comply with the HSE regulations (see description of the AoC system).
Ognedal points out that, because of the AoC system, drilling contractors have had to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the regulations and evaluate their facilities in relation to the requirements. The AoC system also clarifies the interfaces vis-à-vis the operators.
"Educational and demanding process"
"The process surrounding the AoC application has been educational and demanding - both for the personnel on board the Island Frontier and, not least, for the land organization in Ulsteinvik," says Sissel Haugen, HSE&Q manager in Island Offshore Subsea, which is responsible for the daily operation of the facilities belonging to Island Offshore Management.
When the Island Frontier was put to use on the Norwegian shelf this past spring, we had some nonconformities in relation to the PSA's regulations. We have been through a learning process, and it has been a challenging task for the personnel offshore to remedy technical nonconformities, and for the organization on land to implement good management systems.
As a consequence of the work surrounding the AoC application, we have enhanced expertise both on board and on land with regard to understanding the regulations," says Haugen.
"In some areas, we have learned that we face different challenges than mobile drilling facilities and fixed facilities. The advantage for us is that, with the AoC, we can communicate directly with the PSA and obtain advice and guidance regarding how the regulations should be interpreted - straight from the "source"," says Haugen.
The company is currently building a new facility - the Island Wellserver - which will also be used on the Norwegian shelf.
"Our original plan was to replace the Island Frontier with Island Wellserver when it is ready.
Now, however, our experience has been so positive that we want to have both facilities working on the Norwegian shelf," says Haugen, who is looking forward to securing an AoC for the new facility as well.
The AoC is a statement issued by the PSA to confirm that a mobile facility's technical condition, the applicant's organization and management system have been examined and found to be in accordance with relevant requirements in Norwegian shelf legislation.
Since January 1, 2004, the AoC has been one of the requirements for a mobile drilling facility to carry out drilling activity on the Norwegian shelf.
Effective January 1, 2007, the AoC becomes mandatory for a number of other types of mobile facilities registered in a national ship's register.
In addition to drilling facilities, the following types of facilities must also have an AoC: living quarters facilities, facilities for production, storage and offloading, facilities for drilling, production, storage and offloading, as well as well intervention facilities that are to carry out petroleum activities on the shelf.
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