Emergency Preparedness On Gullfaks A Platform Satisfactorily Safeguarded- PSA Norway

During the period 18-20 August 2010, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of Gullfaks A, directed towards Statoil’s emergency preparedness management on board.

The audit covered various activities, such as document review, interviews, inspections, meetings/presentations, verifications and observations in meetings, exercises and drills.

Prior to travelling to the facility, the PSA was in dialogue with Statoil’s authority coordinator regarding the audit activity. A review was carried out of central governing documents for emergency preparedness matters.

On board the facility, the audit team started with a safety round (familiarity round). After this, a start-up meeting was held. Participants in the meeting included management personnel on board, as well as representatives from the safety delegate service. Interviews were then carried out of personnel with emergency preparedness functions. The audit team conducted 11 interviews divided among about 30 employees and held a separate meeting with the safety delegate service. The audit team observed the conduct of an emergency preparedness exercise in which the facility’s entire emergency preparedness organisation was involved. The audit team also observed the deployment of an MOB boat (man over board boat).

A facility inspection was carried out. Limited verifications of competency overviews were carried out for personnel with emergency preparedness functions, as well as other document reviews of exercises and drills. In conclusion, a summary meeting was carried out on board the facility, where the audit team presented its observations.

The audit activity was well facilitated by Statoil, and the involved personnel contributed in a constructive and positive manner.


Statoil was notified of the audit on 30 April 2010 as a scheduled activity in accordance with the PSA’s audit plan for 2010. Originally, the plan was to carry out the audit on Gullfaks C, but due to several concerns, it was moved to and carried out on Gullfaks A.

The audit activity was directed towards the specific discipline emergency preparedness. Key provisions in the regulations relating to this audit activity are: ”Regulations relating to conduct of activities in the petroleum activities (the Activities Regulations), Chapter VI-II regarding competence and XI regarding emergency preparedness; Regulations relating to design and outfitting of facilities, etc. in the petroleum activities (the Facilities Regulations), Chapters III-IV regarding emergency preparedness; and Regulations relating to management in the petroleum activities (the Management Regulations), Chapter III regarding resources and processes.”

The audit activity was rooted in one of the PSA’s four main priorities for 2010, technical and operational barriers.


The audit activity was directed towards the specific discipline emergency preparedness, where the purpose was to evaluate whether personnel on the facility take into account and operate within the relevant requirements stipulated in the regulations and in Statoil’s own internal company requirements and governing documents. The regulatory requirements and Statoil’s internal company requirements are considered audit criteria.

The audit covered the following topics:

* Coordination and management of emergency preparedness on board

* Management of the capacity and expertise of personnel with emergency preparedness functions, as well as tools for expertise management in UPN

* Maintenance of emergency preparedness equipment on the facility

* Organisation of emergency preparedness on board

* Organisation of area emergency preparedness for Tampen

* Conduct of emergency preparedness exercise, and generally as regards exercises and drills

* Incident management, including ICT-related incidents

* Handling of emergency preparedness matters in the event of loss of ICT systems

* In general regarding ICT security on board

* System for conducting and learning from exercises and drills

* Technical safety condition (TTS), status of emergency preparedness matters

* Signage, marking of and access to escape routes for response, rescue and evacuation equipment

* Training of the deputy role in the emergency preparedness organisation on board

* Drug use, routines for identifying and following up personnel with drug problems

* Facility-specific and general DFUs


The audit activity was carried out according to the set plan. The main impression is that emergency preparedness is satisfactorily safeguarded on Gullfaks A. The emergency preparedness organisation appears to be robust. Still, PSA registered a need for improving technical and operational conditions for better safeguarding of emergency preparedness.

PSA identified the following nonconformities and improvement items:

* MOB boat rescue requirements were not satisfied during the exercise (nonconformity)

* Deficient robustness in MOB boat emergency preparedness (improvement item)

* Deficiencies in safety signage and marking (improvement item)

* Deficient expertise in ICT security guidelines on board (improvement item)

* Deficient communication in connection with handling hazard and accident situations (improvement item)

* Deficiencies in quick and efficient evacuation (improvement item)

* Deficient document management and conduct of supervisory duty in connection with changes in governing documents (improvement item)

* Deficiencies in marking and contents of certain lockers for storing rescue equipment(improvement item)


Source: PTIL, November 1, 2010;

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