Conducted from 21-30 June 2022, the audit identified serious breaches of the regulations.

The audit report remains under preparation, but the PSA has taken the view that an immediate reaction is necessary for some of the conditions it observed.

Big differences in perception were identified by the audit between the Equinor FLX/onshore organisation and personnel on Statfjord A about the decision base for setting priorities and the technical condition on the facility.

As part of the audit, a meeting was held at the PSA on 5 July 2022, with reviews from Equinor FLX concerning the level of safety and processes for improving robustness.

This review, supplemented with descriptions of processes and conditions on board, strengthened the PSA’s impression that the Equinor FLX/onshore organisation has not rooted its assessments and priorities in the necessary knowledge of technical and organisational conditions on Statfjord A.

The factual basis for decisions must rest on the existing conditions and on the actual design and technical condition of the facility.

Pursuant to section 6 of the management regulations, management of health, safety and the environment must comprise the activities, resources, processes and organisation necessary to ensure prudent activities and continuous improvement, with reference to section 17 of the framework regulations.

Deficiencies in the decision basis mean that plans for implementing assignments on Statfjord A are insufficiently matured. The PSA also sees that the actual technical and organisational conditions on the facility require the use of compensatory measures and the need for supplementary resources or reprioritising activities when executing the assignments.

On that basis, Equinor has now been given the following order.

Pursuant to section 69 of the framework regulations on administrative decisions, Equinor is ordered to do the following.

  • Verify that the assumptions which form the basis for safe operation of Statfjord A are valid by ensuring that the relevant technical specialists and user groups with facility-specific expertise are involved, so that information on organisational, technical and safety challenges on Statfjord A forms the basis for assessments and decision, see sections 11 and 15 of the management regulations on the basis for making decisions and decision criteria  and on information respectively, in order to ensure that issues relating to health, safety and the environment are comprehensively and adequately illuminated by acquiring, processing and communicating necessary information to relevant users before decisions are taken.
  • Assess and describe how measures to increase robustness and improve barrier weaknesses are prioritised on Statfjord A in combination with other activities as well as with the resources this requires, see section 12 of the management regulations on planning, so that the plans fulfil the requirements for health, safety and the environment and that the resources required for executing the planned activities are available to the project and operations organisation.

Equinor has been given until 30 September 2022 to comply with the order.