PSA Norway’s audit reveals ‘serious breaches of regulations’ on Ula field

Norway’s safety watchdog, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has issued orders to oil giant, BP, following an audit of materials handling, cranes and lifting, and late life at the Ula platform in the North Sea, off Norway.

PSA said on Wednesday that, based on the findings during the audit that took place February 1-4, serious breaches of regulations were identified.

The organization stated that a number of breaches have been previously pointed out in connection with audits, investigations, and applications for consent to operate the Ula platforms until 2028. The consent to extend the operating life of the Ula pipeline by the PSA currently allows BP to operate the platform until December 31, 2028.

In conformity with the announcement of the breaches, PSA has issued orders to BP, which must be complied to by December 1. The orders entail a systematic review and mapping of all areas and systems in respect to materials handling and assessing fulfillment of the requirements relating to prudent materials handling.

Also, BP must present a binding, time-delimited schedule for corrective measures setting out their prioritization, and describe any compensatory measures to be implemented until the non-conformities have been rectified.

Furthermore, BP is ordered to review and assess systems for management of the maintenance of offshore cranes, ensuring that the maintenance program and its execution are adapted to the age and condition of the facilities and equipment. BP must implement measures relating to the follow-up of technical faults and defects revealed by the maintenance history and in notifications from “enterprises of competence” following annual checks of lifting equipment. The company is obliged to implement measures for defining and coordinating areas of responsibility and authority in respect of crane maintenance and implement measures to reduce the risk of ignition of stray gas clouds linked to ignition sources in the engine room for diesel-powered offshore cranes.