Barrier management audit finds flaws on ExxonMobil’s Ringhorne

Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has found three non-conformities and four improvement points during an audit of barrier management at ExxonMobil’s Ringhorne in the North Sea.

The PSA said on Tuesday that it identified three regulatory non-conformities regarding follow-up of performance requirements, performance requirements, and penetrations in firewalls.

The safety regulator also found four improvement points concerning automatic fire water discharge in the event of confirmed gas detection, passive fire protection, gas detection, and response time for PSD (process shutdown) functions.

The audit of Ringhorne was conducted from May 16 to June 1, 2017, with a goal of examining how ExxonMobil is providing for and ensuring compliance with requirements for barriers and barrier management within the disciplines of safety instrumented systems, ICT security, process safety, and technical safety.

Also, the PSA assessed how the operator was ensuring compliance with the authorities’ regulations, recognized standards and its barrier management requirements for the operation and management of Ringhorne.

The offshore safety body told ExxonMobil to report on how the non-conformities will be dealt with by August 31, 2017, at the latest.

The Ringhorne field is located about 9 km north of the Balder FPSO and includes a platform with initial processing and water injection capabilities. Production started in February 2003. After production start-up, two discoveries in the western and eastern part of the field were included.

ExxonMobil is the operator and has 100 percent ownership in the Ringhorne field, except for Ringhorne East where ExxonMobil’s equity is 77.4 percent. Other Ringhorne East partners are Statoil (14.8 percent) and Faroe Petroleum (7.8 percent).

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