Offshore safety body probes Lundin’s managed pressure drilling

Norwegian safety watchdog, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has found three improvement points during a safety probe of Lundin’s managed pressure drilling (MPD) in the Barents Sea.

To remind, Lundin received a drilling permit for the 7120/1-5 exploration well in mid-December 2016. The Barents Sea well, named Gohta, was spud by the Leiv Eiriksson semi-submersible drilling rig.

The company is the operator of production license 492, where the well is located, some 185 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest.

The PSA said on Wednesday that the audit was conducted on February 15 and 16, 2017. The audit was focused on the company’s plans to deploy MPD using the controlled mud level (CML) method.

The safety body added that the method was relatively new, even on an international scale. The drilling method involves the use of temporary and heavy equipment.

The altered operational procedures from this requirement entail customized robust risk assessments.

PSA’s audit assessed how Lundin and the companies involved are meeting the regulatory requirements in respect of drilling using the MPD method.

In that regard, no non-conformities were found while three improvement points were identified related to information about the new drilling method in the application for consent, information about the method in the well-control manual, manual shutoff valve in the drilling fluid return pipe.

The audit also covered how Lundin is involving the drilling contractor Ocean Rig and service provider Enhanced Drilling.

Lundin was asked to respond by April 6 on how the improvement points will be assessed.

As far as the drilling rig goes, the Leiv Eiriksson is a semi-submersible rig, owned and operated by Ocean Rig. It is of a BINGO 9000 type, built in 2001. It is classified by DNV GL and registered in the Bahamas. Lundin received consent from the PSA to use the rig on the 7120/1-5 well back in late December 2016.