Photo: Heidrun platform; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

Equinor to tackle nonconformity on Norwegian Sea platform

Norwegian offshore safety regulator has carried out an audit of Equinor’s follow-up on the maintenance of concrete structures and tension legs on a floating tension-leg platform (TLP) operating in the Norwegian Sea and is awaiting a response from the company regarding the way the identified nonconformity will be handled.

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) recently informed that it had conducted this audit from 5 to 9 December 2022 to ensure that Equinor has established systems for condition monitoring, maintenance and repairs of concrete structures and tension legs on the Heidrun TLP to ensure its safety.

While conducting its investigation, the PSA identified one breach of the regulations and this nonconformity is related to the follow-up of manning and competence. In addition, three areas with potential for improvement were observed in connection to the overall plan for the performance of the maintenance programme; the use of data for marine fouling on tension legs; and reporting of damage in CODAM.

Therefore, the regulator has asked Equinor to report how this nonconformity will be addressed and provide an assessment of the observed improvement points by 17 February 2023.

Located about 175 kilometres off the coast of Norway in some 350 metres of water, the Heidrun field was discovered in 1985 by Conoco and has been producing oil and gas since October 1995 from the Heidrun TLP with a concrete hull while the north flank of the field was brought on stream in August 2000.

The gas from Heidrun is piped to Tjeldbergodden in Norway and provides the feedstock for Equinor’s methanol plant there. After the field was tied to Åsgard Transport in 2001, Heidrun gas is piped a total distance of roughly 1,400 kilometres through this trunkline to Kårstø north of Stavanger and on to Dornum in Germany.

Following delivery from Samsung Heavy Industries Korea, a new floating storage unit (FSU) – Heidrun B – was set in operation in 2015 and is currently operating on the Heidrun field at the Halten bank off the coast of Norway.