Offshore safety body finds irregularities during Gyda audit

The Norwegian offshore safety body the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has found several irregularities during an audit of Repsol’s Gyda facility off Norway.

Gyda; Photo by: Banja-Frans Mulder; Source: Wikimedia - under the CC BY 3.0 license
Gyda; Photo by: Banja-Frans Mulder; Source: Wikimedia – under the CC BY 3.0 license

The PSA said that the audit, conducted from May 25 to June 1, focused on how Repsol was complying with regulatory technical, operational and organizational requirements associated with electrical installations, safety instrumented systems, and maintenance management.

The safety watchdog added that, in many areas, the main impression was positive.

“Repsol appeared to be focused on working on problems within the remit of the audit. It was possible to point to a number of resilience measures implemented in recent years. We also gained a positive impression of how the company has arranged the role of ‘responsible person for electrical facilities’ and its associated delegations. Responsibilities, roles and authorities connected with electrical installations appeared clearly defined,” the PSA said.

Repsol is in a phase in which Gyda is being prepared for well plugging and removal. The company is also currently working on improvements to the drilling facility.

On the other hand, the audit detected serious non-conformities linked to ignition source control. Due to deficiencies in ignition source decoupling and the uncertainty this represented for the safety instrumented systems, Repsol immediately introduced compensatory measures.

This included the company shutting down production pending further investigations and improvements. PSA said that the company acted in a positive way based on detected deficiencies.

During the audit, the safety body identified non-conformities linked to ignition source control, electrical installations, work in and operation of electrical facilities. The PSA also observed improvement points linked to emergency lighting, fire and gas detection, maintenance management and barrier management.

The offshore safety regulator told Repsol to report on how the non-conformities would be addressed by August 27. The PSA also asked for the assessment of the observed improvement points.

The Gyda field is located in the southern North Sea between Ula and Ekofisk. It has been developed using an integrated facility with a steel jacket located in water depths of 66 meters.

Repsol took over operatorship of the Gyda field through the acquisition of Talisman Energy in 2015. The field started producing in 1990.