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Audit of emergency preparedness, radio and telecommunications systems on Jotun A

During the period 21-23 August 2007, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of the ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway AS (ExxonMobil) facility Jotun A. The audit was aimed at organisation and management of emergency preparedness, including radio and telecommunications systems.


Telenor Maritime Radio, Radio Inspection (Telenor) took part in the audit, providing the PSA with expert assistance within the field of radio and telecommunications.

Telenor has prepared a separate report following the audit. Observations in Telenor's report are not repeated in the PSA's report.

Background for the audit
Follow-up of the players' management of their emergency preparedness, including radio and telecommunications, has been prioritized by the PSA as part of our supervision aimed at management of safety-critical aspects of daily operations on the facilities.

The PSA is conducting several audit activities in 2007 within these technical disciplines, with Telenor providing expert assistance in the field of radio and telecommunications.

Jotun A

ExxonMobil and the Jotun A facility (pictured) were chosen as the target for this audit based on an overall risk assessment, and because an emergency preparedness audit had not been implemented since 2001.

The emergency preparedness part of the audit activity is based in part on the following regulations:

  • Requirements related to establishment of emergency preparedness based on results from risk and emergency preparedness analyses, ref. the Activities Regulations, Sections 64 - 67.

  • Requirements related to competence for the emergency response organisation, ref. the Management Regulations, Section 11.

  • Requirements related to training and exercises, ref. the Activities Regulations, Section 21.

  • Requirements related to handling of hazard and accident situations, ref. the Activities Regulations, Section 68.

  • Requirements related to emergency response on the facility, ref. the Facilities Regulations, Sections 40 - 45.

  • Requirements related to coordination of and collaboration on emergency preparedness, ref. the Framework Regulations, Sections 29 - 30.

  • Requirements related to handling of nonconformities, follow-up and improvement, ref. the Management Regulations, Sections 20 -22.

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The audit of radio and telecommunications systems is based in part on the following regulations:

  • Requirements related to systems for internal and external communication, ref. the Facilities Regulations, Section 17.

  • Requirements related to communication equipment, ref. the Facilities Regulations, Section 18.

  • Requirements related to competence, ref. the Activities Regulations, Section 19.

  • Requirements related to communication, ref. the Activities Regulations, Section 71.

  • Requirements related to training and exercises, ref. the Activities Regulations, Section 21.

  • Requirements related to maintenance and maintenance programs (telecommunications equipment), ref. the Activities Regulations, Sections 42 and 44.

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Purpose of the audit
The purpose the audit was to verify that ExxonMobil handles management of the emergency response organisation, competence and emergency preparedness tasks in accordance with relevant regulations.

The audit targeting radio and telecommunications aimed at verifying whether installation and operation of the radio and communications systems on board Jotun A complies with relevant regulations and are performed in accordance with these regulations.

Emphasis was placed during the audit on verifying the content of the Emergency Preparedness Plan for Jotun A and the documentation which was sent to the PSA in advance. There was similar focus on verifying compliance with requirements related to communication, joint solutions, function and independence as regards communication equipment.

Result from the audit
During the audit, we did not identify any circumstances on Jotun A which would lead to a notification of order.

Within the emergency preparedness area, the PSA did make an observation which is characterised as a nonconformity. The nonconformity is linked to planned lifts in critical situations with baskets (personnel transfer baskets).

The audit team observed several circumstances with potential for improvement which are discussed in more detail in Item 5.2 of the audit report. The potential improvements are mainly related to planning and implementation of training and exercises.

During the audit, a "Man Over Board" drill was conducted, with mustering of the MOB crew. The crew carried out the drill well within the deadline the guidelines give for this activity.

The audit team also observed also an emergency preparedness drill relating to a lifting incident, both from the control room and the emergency site. This drill was also carried out in a good manner by emergency response management and the response team.

During the audit, the PSA's representatives conducted an inspection of the exterior of the facility to review emergency response equipment, signposting and escape routes together with platform management and ExxonMobil's representative from the onshore organisation. The audit team found good tidiness and housekeeping during the inspection, but did note somewhat deficient signposting and a need for repainting of escape route markings in a few locations.

In its report, Telenor describes observations of circumstances with potential for improvement. These observations appear in Item 5 of Telenor's report.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Mike Theiss