The PSA has conducted a total of 68 supervisory activities in 2019-20 with Equinor’s exploration and production Norway (EPN) business area, which is responsible for operating the company’s fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. About two-thirds of these activities have found deficiencies in the management of manning and/or competence.

Nonconformities related to manning and/or competence have been found in 17 supervisory activities involving Equinor-operated facilities since 2019. In addition, improvement points have been identified by a further 12 activities. Comments on challenges with manning and competence are included in the results section of 10 more audit reports.

These observations relate primarily to requirements in section 14 of the management regulations on manning and competence and sections 21 and 23 of the activities regulations on competence and on training and drills respectively.

The PSA has also reviewed a selection of internal Equinor investigation reports on incidents in 2018-20. Lack of competence has been highlighted or appears to have been a contributory factor in a substantial proportion of these. Pressure of time and stress are also mentioned in individual incident reports.

The overall picture from the PSA audits and Equinor’s own investigations reveals deficiencies in Equinor EPN’s management of manning and competence.

On that basis, the management of Equinor EPN has been requested to explain

  • how it has assessed these findings overall
  • what possible measures have been initiated on the basis of its assessments
  • its assessment of the effects of these measures
  • how the workers have been involved in this work.

Equinor has been given until 18 December 2020 to respond. Based on the company’s responses, the PSA will decide on its further follow-up.