Photo: Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Saipem

Regulatory order for Saipem over barrier and maintenance management on rig

Following an audit into barriers and maintenance management for electrical facilities, instrumented safety systems and drilling-related systems on one of Saipem’s semi-submersible rigs, the Norwegian offshore safety regulator followed it up with an order to the offshore drilling contractor.

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) informed on Monday that it has issued an order to Saipem after carrying out an audit of barriers and maintenance management on facilities, systems and equipment related to electrical facilities, instrumented safety systems and drilling-related systems on Scarabeo 8.

The audit was conducted on 22-29 April 2022 and following notice of the order on 23 June 2022, the order was issued on 4 July 2022. The regulator explained that the purpose of the audit was to follow up on how Saipem complies with the regulatory requirements for barrier and maintenance management.

While conducting its investigation, the PSA identified 18 nonconformities, including follow-up; barrier management; handling of nonconformities; disconnection of ignition sources; overpressure protection; emergency power facilities; emergency lighting; electrical facilities and installations; electrotechnical system analysis; documentation of pressure and function testing; overview of equipment; classification; maintenance programme; planning and prioritization; maintenance efficiency; training and drills; work on and operation of electrical facilities; and risk assessment of the health risk from electromagnetic fields.

Since the audit identified serious breaches of the regulations, the offshore safety watchdog ordered Saipem Drilling Norway to ensure the necessary follow-up and verification, identify and establish necessary barrier, making known which functions and performance requirements are set for the specific technical, operational or organisational barrier elements required for the individual barrier to be effective.

In addition, the Norwegian regulator ordered Saipem to implement technical solutions to ensure that all non-critical equipment which represents an ignition source is automatically disconnected when gas is detected.

The Petroleum Safety Authority outlined that the deadline for compliance with this order is 1 October 2022 for part 1, 1 March 2023 for part 2 and the completion of docking in 2022 for part 3. The regular underscored that it “must be notified when the order in its entirety has been complied with,” adding that separate notifications “must also be submitted for the individual parts of the order” when they are completed.

The 2012-built Scarabeo 8 is an ultra-deepwater 6th generation semi-submersible drilling rig of CS50 MKII design. The rig recently completed a drilling campaign for Wintershall Dea Norge at a field located in the North Sea off Norway.