Eni ordered to reassess its Goliat plans

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority has identified multiple breaches in regulations aboard the Eni-operated Goliat platform in the Barents Sea.


The PSA Norway on Thursday released reports tackling different issues identified aboard the giant cylindrical FPSO and has ordered Eni to reassess the ways it manages the operations there.

The Goliat has been plagued by incidents since the start, with the company only last year reporting as much as 34 incidents.

One of the recent ones was the discovery of damage on an offloading hose late in December 2016, causing a halt of production since oil could not be unloaded and transported onshore. The issue has yet to be resolved, and production is still shut.

Back in August, Eni was also forced to stop the output from the Goliat field after a power outage, caused by a gas leak in an „unwanted area.“ The production resumed a month later.

In June,  a deck operator on the Goliat facility was seriously injured when he was hit on the head by wire rope being reeled in using a work winch. The accident occurred while the area was being cleared after offloading crude oil the day before.


Could have been fatal


The PSA’s investigation concluded that the socket termination on the wire rope got caught in the guide roller in front of the winch, which caused it to come under considerable strain. Findings at the site and witness statements indicate that the cast socket came free and that the rope struck the deck operator on the head.


Several regulatory breaches have been identified, including a lack of or inadequate barriers which could otherwise have prevented the serious incident. A number of underlying technical, organizational and operational causes have thereby contributed to allowing this accident to happen. The investigation has found deficiencies in governing documents, inadequate management of risk and competence, and a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities


According to PSA  under different circumstances,  the deck operator could have suffered several serious injuries or died.


Following the investigation and the release of the report, the PSA on Thursday said it issued am order to Eni to systematically identify and review all lifting equipment and winches used for material handling on board and assess measures for further use or possibly ceasing to use this equipment; present a binding and timetabled plan with a deadline for implementing measures based on findings from the review; and present a plan for permanent resolution of design deficiencies in the loading hose with regard to twisting, and describe risk-reducing measures until a permanent solution is in place.


Working environment and employees


From April to December 2016, the PSA carried out an audit of Eni Norge’s management of the working environment and employee participation at Goliat. The audit identified several breaches of the regulations.

The non-conformities concern: management of health, safety and the environment mapping, capacity and competence within the working environment roles, responsibilities, and information use of coordinating working environment committee and arrangements for real employee participation.

The PSA also identified a heavy workload related to completion, modifications and simultaneous production on Goliat. Furthermore, it has said the investigation shows that new findings are being made and weaknesses identified on the facility, in the management system, and in the organization.

Furthermore, the safety watchdog highlighted that Eni „has a history which reveals a weak ability to implement existing plans.“



PSA concerned


In a statement on Thursday, the PSA said it had given Eni notice of an order to reassess current plans, priorities and use of resources to ensure acceptable completion and operation of Goliat.


“We’re concerned about Eni’s management of operations on the Goliat field, and have now given it notice of an order,” says PSA director general Anne Myhrvold.

“This notice and our concern build on both individual findings and an overall assessment of the position.”


Myhrvold was referring to findings from the on-going supervisory activity on risk management, an audit covering management of the working environment and provision for employee participation, and the investigation of the above-mentioned head injury.


“We see there’s been good progress in the dialogue between employees and management, and Eni has established a project for improvements to the organization and operational conditions as a consequence of many earlier conditions and incidents,” says Myhrvold.


Keeping a close eye on Eni


Myhrvold added: “At the same time, we see that Eni has revealed a limited ability to implement existing plans. At the same time, constant new findings are being made and weaknesses identified on the facility, in the management system, and in the organization


“It’s a matter of concern that a great deal of work related to completion, modifications, and simultaneous production remains to be done on Goliat. Our order, therefore, requires Eni to reassess its plans and to ensure the necessary capacity and competence for the total volume of work on the field.


“We’ll be continuing to keep a close eye on Eni and Goliat in the time to come. Our supervisory activity directed at the company’s risk management forms an important part of this follow-up.”


Eni has until January 17, to provide the PSA with a date for completing the reassessment.


Offshore Energy Today Staff

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