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Report from audit of lifting appliances on Valhall

During the period 20-23 November 2006, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of lifting appliances and technical condition of offshore cranes on BP Norge AS' (BP's) facilities on the Valhall field. In this audit, we identified two nonconformities in relation to regulatory requirements; however, it is our opinion that BP has significantly improved the safety level in recent years as regards the technical condition and use of lifting appliances on the Valhall field.

The audit was conducted by means of verifications of the technical condition of offshore cranes, verification of documentation, observation of lifting activities and conversations with personnel on the facilities.

Valhall (kilde: ABBs nettsted)

Valhall (Source: ABB's website)

The summary meeting following the audit was held in BP's offices at Forus. In addition to personnel from BP's land organization, personnel from the offshore organization on Valhall also took part by means of TV transmission.

Background for the audit

Most of the facilities on the Valhall complex are more than 20 years old. In addition to aging, the facilities are also subject to subsidence, which has led to the stipulation of operational limitations for several of the facilities. BP is in the process of planning new facilities so as to phase out the oldest facilities in a few years. The audit was conducted to verify the technical condition and the operational preconditions for safe use of the older offshore cranes during the extended lifetime up to disposal.

In order to address the previously proven challenges BP has faced in the area of lifting equipment and lifting operations, the company has over a period of time strengthened both technical and operational competence. The company has also revised and lifted the requirements for training of personnel and management involvement. The audit was also conducted to verify the implementation of user requirements, as well as requirements related to organization and management follow-up.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that BP complies with requirements laid down in regulations, standards and internal control documents so that safety is ensured through management of technical and operational aspects associated with the planning and execution of lifting operations.

Another objective was to verify that technical condition is safeguarded through inspection and maintenance of lifting appliances and lifting gear, as well as that follow-up of undesirable incidents satisfies the relevant requirements.

Result of the audit

It is our opinion that BP has achieved a significant improvement of the safety level in recent years as regards the technical condition and use of lifting appliances on the Valhall field.

By establishing dedicated expertise in an internal company expert body for lifting appliances, preparation and implementation of an HSE manual with procedures and requirements for implementation of lifting operations, training of personnel and management follow-up, BP has established a good organization and a good management tool for the use of lifting appliances and implementation of lifting operations in a safe and prudent manner.

Two nonconformities in relation to the regulatory requirements were identified during the audit:

  • Deficient user instructions for the Aker offshore cranes.
  • Access to the crane on IP is constructed from scaffolding material.

We also noted some deficiencies and potential for improvement associated with crane documentation, technical condition of lifting appliances, training of personnel and implementation of lifting operations.

Link: Supervisory activities on our web site

Contact person i the Petroleum Safety Authority
Mike Theiss