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Statoil scolded over Gudrun leak

Written by  OE Staff Monday, 01 February 2016 13:04

The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has completed its investigation into a hydrocarbon leak on the Statoil-operated Gudrun facility in the North Sea on 18 February 2015. 

The PSA’s investigation has identified serious breaches to the regulations. These nonconformities cover:

  • weaknesses in Statoil’s fulfilment of its responsibilities

  • insufficient robustness in the design

  • deficiencies in information management and competence

  • inadequate information at shift and personnel changes

  • weaknesses in experience transfer and learning

  • execution of work on electrical installations.

Several of these nonconformities also involve weaknesses in management follow-up to ensure that activities are conducted in an acceptable manner.

On the basis of the findings made by its investigation, the PSA has given notification of the following order:

Statoil is ordered to ensure that management of health, safety and the environment in the operation of Gudrun embraces the activities required to identify, risk-assess and deal with signals from the process plant during operation and to take the necessary measures. Furthermore, it is ordered to ensure that knowledge and necessary information from key specialist teams are conveyed in a systematic and appropriate manner to the operations department, and that such information is applied in every phase.

The deadline for complying with this order is set as 1 June 2016.

The direct cause of this incident was a leak from a rupture in a 2in pipe in the bypass line directly downstream of the first-stage separator. Statoil estimated that condensate from the separator leaked to the open air 8kg/s. The total emission/discharge is estimated at 2800kg/4cu m condensate, and more than 1cu m is estimated to have been discharged to the sea. The incident did not cause personal injuries.

Image of Gudrun, from Statoil.

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