Photo: Askeladden rig; Source: Equinor

New task lined up for KCA Deutag to address nonconformities on rig

Norwegian offshore safety regulator has carried out an audit of KCA Deutag Drilling and its management of the working environment on a rig, currently carrying out operations for Equinor off Norway. The regulator is awaiting a response from the offshore drilling contractor regarding the way the identified nonconformities will be handled.

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) informed earlier this week that it had conducted this audit from 16 to 25 November 2022 with the objective of verifying KCA Deutag’s management of the working environment and employee participation on board the Askeladden rig.

While conducting its investigation, the PSA identified several breaches of the regulations. The seven nonconformities that the regulator found concern joint, local working environment committee (FS-AMU); arrangements for employee participation; ergonomic factors; management of the psychosocial working environment; health risks from the chemical working environment; noise-related health risks; and training related to health risks.

Following this investigation, the regulator has asked KCA Deutag to report how these nonconformities will be addressed by 1 February 2023.

As a reminder, Equinor, and its license partners in Gullfaks and Oseberg area, acquired two rigs – named Askepott and Askeladden – in 2013 with Samsung Heavy Industries and KCA Deutag getting contracts for the construction and operation.

At the time, arrangements were made for these rigs to be owned by the Gullfaks and Oseberg licensees, but operated by a drilling contractor. The initial operation contract was for a period of eight years with the option to extend by 4×3 years.

The two Cat J rigs are tailored to the conditions in the North Sea and specially designed to perform drilling operations on subsea development solutions in addition to conventional surface drilling from fixed platforms.

In late March 2018, the Askeladden rig started drilling for Equinor on the Gullfaks field offshore Norway with the goal of providing new production from old wells.