The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has given an order to Equinor after an audit of that company and KCA Deutag (KCAD) as well as their development of technology and use of digital well planning, automated drilling and digital twins on Askepott/Oseberg South. This audit was conducted in March and April 2022.
The goal of the audit was to follow up how Equinor, as operator of the Oseberg South field, and KCAD, as holder of the acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) for the Askepott mobile drilling facility, identify and follow up issues related to health, safety and the environment and comply with regulatory requirements related to developing, implementing and using automated drilling control (ADC) and digital well planning.
The audit identified seven nonconformities. These concerned:
• qualification of technology (Equinor)
• design of the human-machine interface (KCAD)
• monitoring and control of alarms (KCAD)
• risk assessment and analysis (KCAD)
• handling of nonconformities (KCAD)
• design of work processes and procedures (KCAD)
• expertise and training (KCAD).
The audit identified serious breaches of the regulations. On that basis, the PSA has given Equinor the following order.
Pursuant to section 69 of the framework regulations on administrative decisions, Equinor is ordered to do the following.
1. Draw up criteria for developing, testing and using the Novo ADC technology which ensure that the requirements for health, safety and the environment are met. Assurance must be obtained that the criteria are representative for the relevant conditions of use, and that the technology is adapted to already accepted solutions. Qualification must demonstrate that applicable requirements can be met with the use of Novos, see section 9 of the facilities regulations on the qualification and use of new technology and new methods.
2. Adopt necessary compensatory measures to maintain a prudent level of health, safety and the environment with the use of the Novos ADC technology in drilling operations where Equinor is the operator until qualification has been completed. See section 1 above. See section 22, paragraph 3 of the management regulations on handling of nonconformities.
The deadline for compliance with the order is 1 May 2023 for section 1 and 1 October 2022 for section 2. We must be notified when sections 1 and 2 of the order respectively have been complied with.
KCAD has also been requested to provide an explanation of how the nonconformities will be handled to the PSA by 1 October 2022.