Offshore safety watchdog probes Snorre B

Norwegian offshore safety agency, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has revealed several flaws at Statoil-operated Snorre B platform, off Norway, following audits within several disciplines. 

Snorre is an oil field in the Tampen area of the North Sea, around 150 kilometers west of Florø. The field has been developed using two floating integrated production platforms, Snorre A and B, and one subsea template tied back to Snorre A. Statoil is the field’s operator.

The Snorre B platform is in the northern part of the Snorre field. Production at Snorre B began in 2001, and the platform’s design life runs to 2021. Statoil has given notice that they are planning to apply to extend the operating life of the platform.

From 24 October to 7 November 2016, the PSA carried out an audit of Statoil’s handling of major accident and working environment risk at Snorre B. The audit focused on process integrity, working environment, materials handling, maintenance, and drills and wells. This audit is part of the PSA’s efforts to follow up late-life facilities.

The audit revealed non-conformities relating to follow-up of working environment factors and operator cabin for pipe handling crane.

An improvement point was also identified concerning the use of process shutdown valves as emergency shutdown valves.

Statoil has been given a deadline of February 1, 2017, to report on how the non-conformities will be dealt with and how the improvement point assessed.

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