PSA Norway Audits Drilling Systems on Rowan Gorilla VI

From September 8 to September 10, 2009, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of drilling systems on board the Rowan Gorilla VI (RG6) jackup. During the audit, two non-conformities in relation to the regulatory requirements and two potential improvement items were identified.

Background for the Audit

Rowan Drilling (Rowan) has applied for an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for the facility in order to carry out assignments on the Norwegian Shelf, with scheduled start-up this year. The audit of the drilling systems is part of our administrative process of the application.
The audit on board the RG6 was carried out while facility was moored at a shipyard in Dundee, UK, for five-year classification and various upgrades.

Purpose of the Audit

The purpose of the audit activities was to verify that the relevant regulatory requirements were met, and to confirm that the company's management systems on board the facility were in place before the drilling activities are implemented on the Norwegian Shelf.

Result of the Audit

The audit of the facility was based on spot checks to see if the equipment was in accordance with the Norwegian regulatory requirements and as described in the AoC application.

Our general impression is that Rowan has made substantial progress in the drilling area compared with the condition during previous verifications in December 2007.

One concern related to the drilling activities which is scheduled on the Norwegian Shelf, is the large amounts of new equipment which must be installed, adapted to other equipment and tested before the planned start-up of drilling activities.

The documentation related to the new equipment and the handling thereof, consequences for changes in management systems, training of employees, both as individuals and the collective expertise, is a challenge in this regard.

During the verifications on board we identified two non-conformities in relation to the regulatory requirements: lack of mapping of the safety zone on the drilling deck in connection with pipe handling and extensive use of manual valves in drilling fluid systems and in the bulk facilities.

Two potential improvement items were also identified.