Shell burdened with PSA findings

19 February 2013 – Shell has been pulled up by Norway’s safety watchdog for failings related to the integrity of load-bearing structures on its Draugen field platform.

The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) reported that it has identified a number of regulatory non-conformities after carrying out a recent audit of measures implemented by the Anglo-Dutch operator to ensure the technical integrity of the concrete-based facility in the Norwegian Sea.

The inspection was intended to determine how Shell prevents structural failure, with a focus on barrier management in relation to the integrity of load-bearing structures.

However, Shell was unable to present a strategy showing a connection between its risk analysis and barrier maintenance and there was a lack of proper barrier management, while the company also could not document performance requirements for specific structures, according to the PSA report.

Furthermore, emergency procedures in the event of a structural incident were lacking and the agency also found that an analysis stating that “the constructions can resist all forms of explosion” was “misleading and gave an incorrect risk picture”, the PSA said.

Shell, which operates Draugen in partnership with Chevron and Petoro, has been given a deadline of 30 April to respond to the findings of the audit.
*Steve Marshall, Upstreamonline

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