New assignment for Equinor to tackle nonconformities at North Sea project

New assignment for Equinor to tackle nonconformities at North Sea project

After conducting an audit of Equinor’s system for follow-up of technical and operational barriers at a project in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, Norway’s offshore safety regulator is awaiting a response from the state-owned energy giant regarding the way the identified nonconformities will be handled.

Grane; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) informed earlier this week that it had conducted this audit from 10 to 28 October 2022 with the objective of verifying that Equinor’s own management system at Grane complies with the regulatory requirements in terms of detecting faults or weaknesses in technical and operational barriers, such that the Norwegian giant maintains a prudent HSE level.

During this investigation, the regulator identified breaches of the regulations, which entail two nonconformities, concerning barrier management and fire protection. In addition, the PSA observed three factors categorised as improvement points, which include barrier management in the Breidablikk project; improvement of the TTS (technical condition safety) process; and operational and organisational barrier elements.

As a result, the safety watchdog has asked Equinor to report how these nonconformities will be addressed by 15 February 2023 and provide an assessment of the improvement points observed.

Located in the central North Sea, east of the Balder field in a water depth of 128 metres, the Grane field was discovered in 1991 and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 2000. This project has been developed with an integrated accommodation, drilling and processing facility with 40 well slots and a steel jacket. The production at the field started in 2003 and the Svalin field is tied-back to the Grane platform.

Equinor is currently working on the Breidablikk subsea tie-back development, which will be tied to the Grane platform for oil processing before being brought ashore at the Sture terminal.