Total slapped with Martin Linge safety order

Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has issued an order to Total to fix faults and deficiencies on the Martin Linge platform being constructed in South Korea.

The safety authority said on Thursday that it conducted an audit of the Martin Linge project from March 28-30, 2017, focusing on technical safety, electrical equipment, maintenance management, and Total’s follow-up of technical barriers during the commissioning phase at the Samsung yard in South Korea.

During the audit, the PSA found serious deficiencies relating to areas such as preservation, electrical facilities, and barrier management. These were a result of inadequate compliance with requirements in the regulations as well as with project requirements and procedures which show inadequate follow-up in the project.

Along with non-conformities, the Norwegian safety authority found that the preservation of equipment and systems, both indoors and outdoors, was inadequate, meaning that equipment and systems were exposed to large quantities of dust, water, particles, impurities, and so forth from ongoing construction and commissioning activities.

Faults and deficiencies were also identified in the professional execution of electrical installations.

On the basis of the observations made during the audit, the PSA gave Total a notice of an order in late April.

In the meantime, six people were killed and over 20 injured last week after a crane collapsed at Samsung Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, where modules for Total’s Martin Linge topsides are being built.


The order

Based on the findings, the PSA gave the following order: “We order Total E&P Norge AS to identify and correct as far as possible faults and deficiencies, and to assess applicable plans, prioritization and use of resources to ensure acceptable commissioning before installation on the field.”

The order also requires the company to initiate measures which can ensure compliance with its procedures for preservation of systems and equipment which take account of the site-specific conditions.

The deadline for complying with this order is May 29, 2017. Also, the PSA must be notified when the order has been complied with.

To clarify, an order is an administrative decision and a strongly preventive instrument which is legally binding on the recipient, in this case, Total.


Martin Linge

Total E&P Norge is the operator of the Martin Linge field, which is located offshore Norway near the British part of the North Sea, about 42 kilometers west of the Oseberg field.

The Martin Linge development plan includes integrated wellhead, production, and accommodation platform with a jacket, in addition to a floating, storage and offloading (FSO) vessel used for oil storage. The start of production initially planned for the end of 2016, has been delayed and set for 2018.