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Statoil and Smedvig receive notification of order following serious incident on Statfjord C

Both Statoil as operator and Smedvig as drilling contractor will receive notifications of orders following a serious incident involving personal injury on the drill floor of Statfjord C on 25 March of this year. If circumstances had been only slightly altered, the incident could have led to loss of life. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway's (PSA's) investigation has uncovered a number of nonconformities in relation to the regulations.

On 25 March 2005, there was an accident on the drill floor in connection with pulling casing in a well on Statfjord C. The derrickman and two roughnecks were engaged in manual work on the bottom hole string (BHS), when this was accidentally loosened from the elevator collar. The BHS fell towards the drill floor, striking and seriously injuring the derrickman in both feet.

The incident had the potential for the loss of multiple human lives. In addition to the derrickman who was hit, two other roughnecks were on the drill floor during the incident. These two were also in the direction of the BHS' fall, and could have been struck.

On the same day as the incident occurred, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway appointed an investigation group which has both assisted the police in their investigation of the incident, and has also performed its own investigation.

The investigation has identified nonconformities in the following areas:

  • Deficient work management

  • Deficient compliance with governing documents

  • Deficient identification and communication of risk contributors

  • Deficient implementation of Safe Job Analysis (SJA)

  • Deficient execution of restricting access to the drill floor during lifting operations

  • Deficient manning and competence in the drilling area

  • Flaws in the design and control of the drill


Notification of order to Statoil:

Based on the investigation report, we have issued Statoil a notification of order requiring the company to perform a review and document that the crew composition, including required personnel competence, is safeguarded. Statoil must also perform a review of the design and control of the drilling system in order to ensure that the operation is not subject to failures and errors.

The deadline for complying with the order is set at 1 October 2005. The PSA is to be notified when the order has been executed. Any comments regarding the notification must reach us within three weeks after receipt of this letter.

The report contains nonconformities in addition to those for which a notification of order has been issued. These nonconformities were also identified in the order to Statoil in connection with the gas blowout on Snorre A on 28 November 2004, and constitute a part of the order issued after that incident.

Link: Comprehensive notification of order following Snorre A

This entails a review of all of Statoil's activities with particular focus on management involvement, compliance with governing documents and risk assessments.

We ask for a report on how the nonconformities identified in addition to the notification of order for Statfjord C will be addressed by 15 August 2005.

Notification of order to Smedvig:

Smedvig Offshore on Statfjord C is ordered to identify and implement measures aimed at work management, planning of work, compliance with governing documents and execution of the activities in accordance with the risk assessments performed. The company is also ordered to evaluate the composition of the crew and implement measures to ensure individual competence, group competence and distribution of work tasks among the positions in the drilling crew on Statfjord C.

Based on this review, Smedvig Offshore shall also carry out investigations to clarify whether deficiencies uncovered in the drilling operations on Statfjord C also apply to other Statoil facilities where the company is involved, and to implement the necessary measures to rectify this, if applicable.

The deadline for complying with the order is set at 1 October 2005. The PSA is to be notified when the order has been executed.

Press contact in the PSA:
Ole-Johan Faret
Tel.: +47 416 83 546