Photo: Grane field; Source: Equinor

Offshore safety watchdog finds ‘serious breaches’ on Equinor’s North Sea field

Norwegian energy player Equinor has received a notification of order from the country’s offshore safety watchdog after an audit found serious regulatory breaches on the Grane field in the North Sea.

The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said on Monday it ha carried out an audit of Equinor’s and Archer’s management of working environment risk at Grane.

The audit, conducted between 25 May and 18 June 2020, revealed serious regulatory breaches and PSA is consequently issuing Equinor with a notification of order.

The objective of the audit was to verify that Equinor’s and the contractor’s management of working environment risk prevents employees from being exposed to health hazards and the risk of sickness absence.

As a result of the audit, five non-conformities were identified, relating to the management of working environment risk at Grane; management of the risk of musculoskeletal disorders; management of the physical and chemical working environment; manning and competence; and training of the safety delegates.

On the basis of its observations, the PSA has given Equinor notification of the order to review the company’s management system and practices for working environment follow-up in order to ensure that potential working environment risks are identified in a systematic manner, mapping of working environment conditions is undertaken that is appropriate for assessing health risks, comprehensive risk assessments of working environment factors are made at group level and are used as decision support for measures, and measures are followed up and their outcomes are validated and verified by qualified personnel.

Furthermore, the notification of order has been given to Equinor to perform a comprehensive review of working environment conditions at Grane.

The deadline for complying with the order is 26 February 2021.

A time-delimited schedule for complying with the order will be sent to the PSA by 15 November 2020.

Equinor must now follow up the non-conformities that have justified the notification of order. The company must also report on how the other non-conformities in the report will be addressed.

The PSA has requested a response to the non-conformities in the report by 21 December 2020.

The oil field Grane in the North Sea has been developed with an integrated accommodation, processing and drilling platform with a fixed steel frame construction resting on the sea bed.

The platform is located around 185 kilometres west of Haugesund, where sea depth is 127 metres.

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