PSA Norway Issues Order to Dolphin Drilling after Regulatory Breaches Found on Rig

Borgland Dolphin - Credit: Dolphin Drilling
Borgland Dolphin - Credit: Dolphin Drilling

The Norwegian offshore oil and gas safety body Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has identified breaches of regulations aboard Dolphin Drilling's Borgland Dolphin drilling rig and has issued the rig owner with a notification of order.

The PSA conducted a working environment audit from May 26 to June 4, 2021, as a follow-out to its audit of the working environment and electrical facilities carried out in January 2020, and non-conformities from this audit were checked.

The objective of the audit was to verify that Dolphin's management of the working environment and employee participation on Borgland Dolphin complied with the regulatory requirements.

The follow-up audit found improvements in the systematic management of the working environment since the audit was performed in January 2020. 

"Dolphin had performed a number of surveys and implemented various measures, but there were still shortcomings in the systematic management of the working environment on Borgland Dolphin," the regulator said.


"Non-conformities from the previous audit had not been followed up in line with the company’s feedback to us, and they had not adequately ensured that the employees were protected against health hazards in their work. Non-conformities within employee participation and the working environment committee were also found," the PSA said.

The PSA issued a list of several categories in relation to which it has identified irregularities.

First, in relation to the follow-up of non-conformities from the previous audit, irregularities were spotted in relation to the management of the working environment; Working environment competence of line managers; Employee participation.

Also, the safety body found non-conformities with regards to chemical inventory and storage of chemicals; Diesel exhaust; Working environment in the shaker area; Register of workers exposed to carcinogenic or mutagenic chemicals and lead; Noise and vibration; Personal protective equipment; Ergonomic arrangements; and Working environment committee.

Due to the identified regulatory breaches and failures to follow up previous audits and findings the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway ordered Dolphin Drilling to ensure that all non-conformities identified are rectified including that sufficient competence in the working environment and genuine employee participation are ensured, comprehensive risk assessments are carried out at group level for the working environment factors and that these are used as a basis for adopting measures, and that measures are followed up and their impact is validated and verified by qualified personnel.

"The deadline for complying with the order is 1 December 2021. We are to be notified when the order has been carried out," the regulator said.

Also, Dolphin Drilling has until September 1 to send the regulator a time-delimited schedule for complying with the order in which it needs to describe how this work is to be performed and followed up and when the order will have been carried out.

The drilling rig is currently on a contract with the Norwegian oil and gas company DNO, which recently started has started drilling at the Gomez exploration well using the Borgland Dolphin. The rig arrived on site on August 7 and started drilling the well which is expected to take 45 days.

Pre-drill estimates range 26-80 million barrels of oil equivalent. The well is close to existing infrastructure, including the Tor and Ekofisk complexes.

In other related news, Dolphin Drilling earlier this month filed a bid with Transocean to acquire rival Seadrill. Read more here.

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