Vår Energi to address nonconformity for its FPSO modification project
Norwegian offshore safety regulator has carried out an audit of Vår Energi and its management of barriers in the field of process integrity and maintenance in an FPSO modification project. The watchdog is now awaiting the oil and gas player’s response regarding the way the identified nonconformity will be handled.
The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) informed last week that it had conducted this audit between 27 September and 6 October 2022 with the objective of assessing how Vår Energi was ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements for the management of major accident risk and barriers in respect of the conversion of Jotun FPSO with the purpose of achieving safe start-up and operation.
While conducting the audit, the PSA identified one breach of the regulations and this nonconformity is related to the overpressure protection of storage tanks. In addition, the regulator observed one factor it categorised as an improvement point, which is connected with barrier management.
As the PSA’s investigation has now been completed, the offshore safety watchdog has asked Vår Energi to report how this nonconformity will be addressed by 16 January 2023 and provide its assessment of the improvement point observed.
As part of its growth strategy for the Balder area in the North Sea, Vår Energi plans to replace the Balder FPU’s production capacity with the Jotun FPSO by 2030. Back in August 2022, the Norwegian firm took steps to take over new operatorship in the Balder area thanks to deals for two licences, including two existing discoveries, to increase the firm’s acreage positions in the Norwegian North Sea.
Vår Energi has set the wheels into motion to extend the lifetime of the Balder field through the Balder X project, extending the production from the Balder hub beyond 2045. To this end, the company has four ongoing projects, including the Balder FPU life extension through a vessel upgrade and drilling new wells on the Ringhorne III and Ringhorne IV projects.
The firm’s plan for the Balder field also entails an upgrade of the Jotun FPSO and the drilling of 14 new production wells along with one water injection well. In addition, the firm is considering drilling new exploration wells in the area.
The Balder field is situated in production license PL 001, which was acquired in 1965 and the license owners are Vår Energi (operator, with 90 per cent interest) and Mime Petroleum (10 per cent).