Equinor – Statfjord C – barrier management – electrical facilities and technical safety

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/20/2023, Location: Europe

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has carried out an audit of Equinor focused on electrical facilities and technical safety at Statfjord C. The audit was conducted between 25 September and 2 October 2023.

Objective
The objective of the audit was to verify that Equinor’s management and follow-up of Statfjord C within the domains of electrical systems and technical safety comply with the company’s own and the authorities’ requirements, so as to reduce the likelihood of failures.

Result
The audit identified four non-conformities in the following areas:
Documentation
Maintenance programme for the emergency shutdown system
Fire doors and passive fire protection
Response time of the fire water system

In addition, we observed two factors that we have chosen to categorise as improvement points. These concerned:
Capacity to execute planned activities
Deficiencies in the firewater system
Follow-up of non-conformities

In the audit, we also investigated how Equinor has addressed certain previously identified non-conformities and orders.

We found that the following order had not been addressed in line with the company’s feedback to us:
Item 1 of the order issued to Equinor and FLX in connection with an investigation following an arc flash incident and a fire in a switchboard room on Statfjord B.

Equinor and FLX were required to identify and implement measures to ensure adequate technical, operational and organisational solutions that reduce the likelihood of harm, failure, hazards and accidents occurring in connection with the operation and maintenance of the electrical facilities.

In our follow-up of the order, we were told in a meeting between Equinor and the PSA on 26 June 2021 that all switchboards on Statfjord C were marked with the correct arc flash level in accordance with a new report carried out in 2020, and that marking of incoming breakers of a higher level than the rest of the switchboard had been performed in 2020. This was also confirmed by the responsible manager in a letter received on 22 December 2021.

Upon inspection on board, there was no such marking on the VFD board for drilling.

Item 4 of the order issued to Equinor and FLX in connection with an investigation following an arc flash incident and a fire in a switchboard room on Statfjord B.

Equinor and FLX were ordered to review arc flash analyses in order to ensure that they are representative of actual conditions.

In our follow-up of the order, we were told at a meeting between Equinor and the PSA on 26 June 2021 that an update of the arc flash report had been carried out in 2020.

We also received this edition of the arc flash analysis in connection with the present audit, but on board it became clear that these values were no longer representative of the actual conditions. The VFD panel for drilling was marked with arc flash values from the analysis conducted in October 2020, but they no longer represented the actual conditions on board since the facility was subsequently converted with arc fault protection that will provide lower incident energy in several switchboards including the VSD switchboard.

What happens now?
We have asked Equinor to report to us by 12 January 2024 on how the non-conformities will be addressed, and to give us their assessment of the improvement points observed.


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