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Audit of ConocoPhillips - heavy lift on Ekofisk J

During the period March-August 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of how ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS (COPSAS) manages technical and opertional aspects associated with planning and execution of heavy lift operations.

The crane vessel Thialf carried out heavy lifts involving the EPWH module (Ekofisk Produced Water Handling)* on Ekofisk J.

* The EPWH module is part of the new facilities for the EPWH project. The purpose of the project is to improve the quality of produced water that is discharged to the sea. The weight of the module is approx. 500 tonnes.

Thialf (kilde: Heerema)Since the Thialf (pictured) is a vessel, only parts of the vessel and its operations are subject to the PSA's regulations. In brief, our regulations apply to operations that represent a hazard to the petroleum facilities, such as dynamic positioning and the actual heavy lift itself, as well as the parts of the vessel and the personnel on board that are essential for these operations.

The start-up meeting and preliminary audit activities were carried out at Heerema Marine Contractors (Heerema) in Holland. The audit was completed on board the Thialf during the period 29 July to 1 August 2006. The audit was concluded with observation of the heavy lift.

Background for the audit

The audit was a verification activity in accordance with the PSA's general project task as regards following up lifting operations. The audit was aimed at the risk associated with heavy lift operations, as well as problem areas that emerged in the PSA's report "Causal relations in incidents involving offshore cranes" (link).

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that safety is ensured through COPSAS and Heerema's management of technical and operational aspects associated with planning and executing heavy lift operations.

Result of the audit

The audit uncovered one nonconformity and some improvement items. The nonconformity was linked to the maintenance system, which did not meet regulatory requirements.

The heavy lift itself was planned and executed in a very controlled, professional and safe manner.

Contact person i the Petroleum Safety Authority
Mike Theiss