The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has given Equinor notice of orders directed at fully integrated drilling contracts and implementation of the IO model.
A series of meetings was initiated by the PSA in 2019 with Equinor as well as with drilling contractors and drilling and well service companies which had been awarded “fully integrated” contracts (previously known as the IO3 model and hereafter called the IO model) on Equinor’s fixed facilities.
Audits have subsequently been conducted by the PSA concerning implementation and execution of the IO model on Gullfaks A in 2019, Oseberg South in 2020 and Heidrun in 2022.
The IO model involves closer interaction than earlier between operator, drilling contractor and the main supplier of drilling and well services. It also produces an overall reduction in manning for the offshore roles involved.
A gap has been identified by the PSA between Equinor’s own description of how the IO model functions and the information received by the authority through whistleblowing reports, experience and audit findings
PSA audits have identified absent or inadequate facility-specific risk assessments related to the IO model and its implementation.
Another finding is that weaknesses and challenges already identified on the facilities had not been included or taken into account in developing and improving the IO model.
On that basis, the following notice of orders has now been given to Equinor.
Pursuant to section 69 of the framework regulations on administrative decisions, Equinor is ordered to implement the following measures.
Chart and assess whether the IO model functions as intended and to identify technical, operational or organisational weaknesses, faults and deficiencies in the model on the individual facility where the IO model has been implemented. The charting must include facility and field-specific conditions, interaction between sea and shore, relevant operational knowledge gained from experience, and audit findings from the various facilities where the IO model is implemented.
See section 21, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the management regulations on follow-up.
The deadline for compliance with this order is 1 June 2024. We must be notified when the order has been complied with.
Before a decision is taken to implement the IO model on new facilities, Equinor must ensure that issues related to health, safety and the environment on the individual facility cover all aspects and have been adequately identified. Experience gained from facilities where the model has already been implemented must be included in the decision basis, along with facility- and field-specific conditions.
See section 11, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the management regulations on the basis for making decision and decision criteria.
This order applies to all Equinor’s activities on the Norwegian continental shelf, where the model has been implemented.