Offshore safety body looks into Maria field pipeline fabrication

Norway’s offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has found two improvement points during its audit of Wintershall’s pipeline fabrication management for the Maria field, off Norway.

Wintershall Norge is the operator of the Maria field, located approximately 20 kilometers east of the Kristin field and about 45 kilometers south of the Heidrun field on the Halten Terrace in blocks 6407/1 and 6406/3 in the Norwegian Sea, some 200 kilometers from the mainland.

PSA said on Wednesday that the audit was conducted from February 5-17, 2017. Since Subsea 7 has a contract with Wintershall for the engineering, purchasing, fabrication, and installation of the pipelines, the audit also covered Subsea 7’s fulfillment of its responsibility for complying with regulatory requirements and those of the operator.

The identified improvement points were in connection with the work description for the operator’s on-site representatives for the pipeline fabrication, and with the organization chart for the welding control function.

The safety watchdog did not find any regulatory non-conformities during the audit.

As part of the field’s development, the German oil firm plans to drill six subsea wells in 2017 using Odfjell Drilling’s semi-submersible drilling rig, the Deepsea Stavanger.

Wintershall operates the field with a 50 percent share while its partners Petoro and Centrica own the other half, 30% and 20%, respectively. Maria is the first field that the company is developing as the operator. The field lies in around 300 meters of water and is being developed using subsea solutions tied back to various nearby facilities. Maria is scheduled to come on stream in 2018.

The PSA told Wintershall to report on how the identified improvement points would be assessed by March 27 at the latest.