Conditions occurred on the Draupner S and E platforms on 22 September which meant that safety-critical systems ceased to function while normal operation was maintained for more than half a day.
These two North Sea facilities form part of the pipeline network for gas transport on the Norwegian continental shelf.
They are operated by Gassco, which uses Equinor as its technical service provider.
It emerges from the Gassco/Equinor investigation report concerning the incident that the automatic emergency shutdown (ESD) system was not functioning, and that the facilities would thereby have failed to shut down as intended should the need have arisen.
The PSA takes the view that Gassco and Equinor handled the nonconformity which arose on the relevant date inadequately.
The PSA regards the way the companies handled the incident as a serious breach of the regulations, and Gassco og Equinor have therefore been given the following order.
Pursuant to section 69 of the framework regulations on administrative decisions, Gassco AS and Equinor Energy AS are given the following order with respect to the Draupner facilities.
- Systematically review and map the system expertise available at all times for ensuring that the facilities can be operated prudently in normal operation and in the event of hazards and accidents. Where nonconformities are identified, they must be corrected. Furthermore, assurance must be established that the necessary manning and expertise are available on the facilities to ensure that their use accords at all times with their technical condition and with the prerequisites which ensure prudent operation. See sections 21 paragraph 1, 25 paragraph 1, and 26 of the activities regulations on competence, use of facilities and safety systems respectively, and section 22 of the management regulations on handling of nonconformities.
- Systematically review and deal with the basis for making decisions and decision criteria in order to ensure that issues related to health, safety and the environment are comprehensively and adequately identified before decisions are taken. See section 11 of the management regulations on the basis for making decisions and decision criteria. Implementation of necessary measures must ensure that use of the facilities accords at all times with their technical condition and with the prerequisites which ensure prudent operation, and ensure that compensatory measures are initiated as quickly as possible when impairments arise. Measures must also ensure that the status of safety systems is known to relevant personnel at all times. See sections 25 paragraph 1 and 26 of the activities regulations on use of facilities and on safety systems respectively.
- Present a binding and scheduled plan for implementing corrective measures which identifies the priorities given to measures, with a description of possible compensatory measures to be implemented until nonconformities are corrected. See sections 12 and of the management regulations on planning and on handling of nonconformities respectively.
The PSA must be notified when the order has been complied with. The deadline for compliance is set at 27 August 2021 for parts 1 and 2 of the order and at 1 March 2021 for part 3.