Seadrill given notice of order following ‘West Hercules’ audit

Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), has given a notice of order to Seadrill regarding its management of emergency preparedness, logistics, maintenance and the working environment on the West Hercules drilling rig.

West Hercules drilling rig. Source: Lundin

The PSA said on Thursday that the notice of order was given to Seadrill following an audit which identified extensive breaches of the regulations and detected that the company did not rectify non-conformities previously pointed out. The audit took place between February 4-7.

West Hercules is a semi-submersible drilling rig, owned by Seadrill and operated by North Atlantic Norway. The rig received Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in December 2012.

The semi-sub has operated in the British sector and was cold stacked until October 2018. The facility is now on lease to Equinor and during the audit the West Hercules was in the process of drilling the Gjøkåsen well.

The PSA added that the audit was also a follow-up of its 2018 audit of West Phoenix, to monitor how Seadrill followed up systemic non-conformities on its other facilities on the NCS.


Audit results

The PSA said that the audit identified extensive breaches of the regulations. The offshore safety body also observed that Seadrill did not rectify a number of previously spotted regulatory violations.

In total, the PSA identified 12 regulatory non-conformities were identified. These included non-conformity handling, the maintenance management system, maintenance of lifting equipment, the management system for cranes and lifting, and responsibilities and authorities.

The PSA also noted non-conformities regarding technical conditions, follow-up of mapping and overarching assessments of health risk, the line managers’ roles and responsibilities for working environment risk and employee participation, management of emergency preparedness training on board, fire stations, man-over-board preparedness, and contents of cabinets marked with emergency equipment.


Notice of order

Based on the observations during the audit, the offshore watchdog issued a notice of order to Seadrill.

In the notice of order, the PSA told Seadrill to review the company’s maintenance management system and associated work processes and implement measures so that they works as intended and analyze why important deficiencies in the maintenance management system were not identified and followed up in connection with the process of implementing a new system on West Hercules.

Seadrill was also instructed to review and assess the effect of implemented measures that were undertaken and instigated on all facilities with AoCs under Seadrill’s responsibility in Norway in the aftermath of the order issued after the audit of West Phoenix from January 9-11, 2018.

The final point relates to undertaking measures to ensure that lessons learned and initiatives from the previous points of the order include all facilities with AoCs under Seadrill’s responsibility in Norway.

The PSA told Seadrill to submit a time-delimited schedule for how this work would be performed and followed by April 26. The schedule needs to describe how this work will be performed and followed up and when the order will have been complied with.

The safety body also told Seadrill to report on how the other non-conformities, which are not part of the basis of this notification of order, would be addressed. In addition, the PSA asked the company for an assessment of improvement points observed.

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