Order & Coercive Fine for Gassco

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 10/20/2021, Location: Europe

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has carried out an audit of electrical facilities and safety instrumented systems on the Draupner facilities. The audit identified regulatory breaches and deficient follow-up of previous orders, and we have now issued Gassco with an order and a coercive fine.

From 30 August to 6 September 2021, we carried out an audit of electrical facilities and safety instrumented systems on the Draupner facilities.

The Draupner facilities are located in block 16/11 in the North Sea and are an important hub for the gas pipeline network on the Norwegian shelf.

Gassco is the operator of the facilities and employs Equinor ASA (Equinor) as the technical service provider (TSP).

The objective of the audit was to monitor how Gassco, with its technical service provider (TSP), is complying with technical, operational and organisational regulations for safety instrumented systems and electrical facilities and associated installations.

The objective was also to monitor the company's work on barrier elements relating to ignition source control, ventilation (HVAC), fire and gas detection systems, emergency shutdown system, emergency power and emergency lighting.

In addition, elements of the following audits and orders were verified as part of the audit:

Order following audit of electrical facilities on the Draupner facilities (order issued on 15 November 2019)

Order following incident involving failure of safety functions (order issued on 2 February 2021)

Our checks showed that the companies had failed to implement several of the communicated measures relating to the previously issued orders of 15 November 2019 and 2 February 2021. Additionally, not all other non-conformities in the report of 6 November 2019 had been rectified.

The impression was that Gassco had largely implemented measures in its own management system and organisation, as communicated. However, Gassco had not sufficiently required the TSP to implement all the communicated measures. This concerned in particular the work on ignition source control.

The following non-conformities were identified:
Non-conformity handling, follow-up, planning and work processes
Ignition source control
Electrical facilities technical conditions
Work in and operation of electrical facilities
Risk assessment of health hazards from electromagnetic fields
Human-machine interfaces and the presentation of information

In addition, three improvement points were identified, concerning:
Outdated operating procedures and drawings in control rooms
Maintenance of industrial nodes
Overpressure areas

We have identified serious breaches of the regulations and a failure to follow up previous orders. We have therefore given Gassco the following order and coercive fine:
Pursuant to the Framework Regulations, section 69 concerning administrative decisions, Gassco is ordered to:

ensure that measures ensuing from the order of 15 November 2019, part 1, and the order of 2 February 2021, parts 1 and 2, are implemented, with reference to the Management Regulations, sections 12, second para, concerning planning; 13, first para, concerning work processes; and 22, second to fourth paras, concerning the handling of non-conformities. Necessary follow-up and verification shall also be ensured, with reference to the Management Regulations section 21, first and second paras, concerning follow-up.

The PSA is to be notified when the order has been carried out. The deadline for complying with the order is set at 15 March 2022.

Decision concerning coercive fine
If the order has not been carried out by the end of 15 March 2022, a coercive fine of NOK 100,000 per day will be incurred with effect from 16 March 2022 and until such time as the order has been carried out. An order to pay a coercive fine is grounds for enforcement of distraint, with reference to the Enforcement Act, section 7-2, and the coercive fine may be collected immediately by the State. The decision to impose a coercive fine has been taken pursuant to the Petroleum Act, section 10-16, first para.

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