Workers on the Johan Sverdrup field centre in the North Sea - Equinor

Equinor halves the number of serious safety incidents

Norwegian energy giant Equinor has more than halved the number of serious safety incidents in the company in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020.

Workers on the Johan Sverdrup field centre in the North Sea. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Equinor reported on Tuesday that its safety statistics in 1Q 2021 indicate fewer serious incidents and personal injuries in the company compared to the same period last year.

Equinor chief operating officer (COO), Jannicke Nilsson, said: “We are working on further improving our safety performance by daily improvement efforts and targeted projects. An important part of this work is increased transparency of our safety performance.

“By sharing results and experience widely across the industry, we want to help enhance awareness of how we jointly can work even harder to reduce risk and avoid incidents and injuries, both among our own employees and those of our suppliers”.

The twelve-month average serious incident frequency, SIF (number of serious incidents per million hours worked), is per March 0.5, equivalent to the level Equinor saw at the end of 2020.

SIF includes both incidents with an actual serious consequence (injury) and incidents with serious potential, Equinor explained.

According to the company, 10 serious incidents were recorded in the first quarter of this year, compared to 21 serious incidents in the same period in 2020.

The twelve-month average total recordable incident frequency, TRIF (number of personal injuries per million hours worked) is 2.3, the same as at the end of 2020.

A total of 66 injuries have been recorded in the period, compared to 78 in the first quarter of 2020.

During the first three months of this year, two gas leaks have been recorded, one at the Visund field in the North Sea and one hydrogen leak at the Mongstad refinery. Six leaks were reported for the same period last year.

No serious well incidents have been reported in the first quarter of 2021.

Dialogue & collaboration

“The number of incidents is still too high, and we see the need for enhancing our understanding of risk. At the same time, we must prove that we learn from previous incidents by avoiding new ones. Only then we can succeed in taking our safety effort to a higher level”, said Nilsson.

Nilsson underlines that one of the strongest premises for good and continuous improvement of our safety work builds on the tripartite cooperation between the authorities, employee representatives and the company.

Nilsson added: “In some connections, there will be different views on what measures to choose to reach our common goals. Close dialogue with regulatory authorities and employee representatives is crucial to us in our safety work. Our common goal is to enhance the safety culture and make sure that everyone comes home safe. We do this through our work on the “I am safety” roadmap.

“By charter cooperation and the internet platform we have introduced a common initiative across the industry to enhance the safety culture and work together to reach the goal of no major accidents and no injuries or undesirable incidents in our daily work”.

In related news, Equinor this week revealed that its in-house investigation team studied the deviation in quality of welding and inspection of the Johan Castberg production vessel currently under construction at the Sembcorp Marine yard in Singapore.

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In October 2020, Equinor reported that the Johan Castberg project would be delayed by one year, with planned production start in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The main cause of the delay is the Covid-19 pandemic and associated infection control measures introduced at the yards in Singapore, Stord, Verdal and Sandnessjøen.

Other challenges include the progress in Singapore and deviations in welding quality.