Varg is an oil field located in the southern part of the North Sea, south of Sleipner Øst, in 84 meters of water. The field produces with the aid of a production facility (Petrojarl Varg, production ship, see photo) with integrated oil storage linked to the wellhead facility Varg A.
TENAS took over as operator of the Varg field in 2005. In connection with this, TENAS applied for consent to commence use of the facilities on the Varg field. In this consent process, TENAS presented its plan for following up the operation of the field. This plan was used as a basis for the audit, together with applicable regulations and relevant TENAS' internal requirements and procedures.
Link: TENAS secures consent to use Varg (April 2005)
Background for the audit
The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway is charged with setting standards and following up to ensure that the players in the petroleum activities maintain high standards as regards health, safety and environment, and thereby also contribute towards creating the greatest possible value for the society at large. As a basis for this, the PSA's follow-up shall be system-oriented and risk-based, and shall come in addition to the follow-up conducted by the industry itself.
This audit was aimed at how TENAS complies with the operator's supervisor responsibility* vis-à-vis Petrojarl ASA, ref. Regulations relating to health, environment and safety in the petroleum activities (the Framework Regulations, FR), Section 5 relating to responsibility under these regulations.
*The operator's supervision obligation
The operator shall ensure that all parties that perform work on its behalf, either personally, through employment, through contractors or subcontractors, comply with requirements laid down in the health, environment and safety legislation. The employees are obliged to contribute pursuant to Section 2-3 of the Working Environment Act.
Purpose of the audit
The purpose of the audit was to verify that TENAS safeguards the supervisor obligation vis-à-vis Petrojarl on the Varg field in accordance with the requirements in the HSE regulations. Another goal was to achieve insight as regards experience gained in the use of this model for compliance with the supervisor obligation.
Result of the audit
In this audit, we were presented with a new and reinforced TENAS organization, compared with the organization presented in connection with the change in operator on the Varg field in 2005.
We have received supplementary information regarding how various elements of TENAS' system for safeguarding the supervisor obligation vis-à-vis Petrojarl actually functions:
Through the presentations given and the conversations we had, our general impression of how TENAS safeguards its supervisor obligation on the Varg field is good.
We found one nonconformity in relation to internal procedures and regulatory requirements linked to handling of verification activities. This is described in more detail in Chapter 5 of our audit report.
In addition, an observation was made in relation to follow-up of results from the review of technical condition of safety systems (TTS), which is described in Chapter 6 of our audit report. This factor has also been identified by TENAS, and reference was made to planned activities to rectify this.
Contact person i the Petroleum Safety Authority