PSA issues sanction and caution to Statoil

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway -- Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has sanctioned Statoil’s request to deploy new subsea facilities on the Hyme oil and gas field in the Norwegian Sea.

Hyme is 19 km (12 mi) northeast of the Njord complex and 10 km (6 mi) west of Draugen. It is being developed with a subsea template, tied in to the Njord A facility.

The location is 82 km (51 mi) from shore in a water depth of around 250 m (820 ft). Statoil aims for startup during 1Q 2013.

PSA’s consent relates to use of the facility and associated pipelines and equipment.

On a negative note, PSA has also notified Statoil of an order following investigations of a hydrocarbon leak on the Heimdal complex in the North Sea on May 26 this year.

The report identified serious non-conformities from the regulations which have significant implications.

According to PSA, the leak was related to testing of two emergency shutdown valves on Heimdal’s HMP1 production, drilling, and quarters platform.

In preparation for the test, a pipeline was due to be depressurized to the flare. This contained a ball valve with a 16-bar (232-psi) pressure class as the final barrier against the flare.

However, prior to closure the valve experienced a pressure of 129 bar (1,871 psi), causing the seal in the valve flange to fail, and resulting in a gas leak estimated at 3 500 kg over a period of 252 seconds. The initial leak rate was 16.9 kg/sec, with gas detected across a large area of the installation.

PSA says improvement measures implemented by Statoil following previous incidents, such as the hydrocarbon leak on Gullfaks B in December 2010, did not have the anticipated effect on Heimdal.

At Heimdal, PSA identified non-conformities in connection with the design solution, descriptions of how the work should be done, Statoil’s document management, risk assessment during planning, experience transfer, and learning from previous incidents.

Additionally, there was inadequate capacity in the fire water system and in the fire wall between the production and drilling areas was identified.

Statoil must explain why its measures did not have the necessary effect on Heimdal; present a plan for the work required to achieve its targets, and confirm that similar conditions do not apply on its other installations.

Deadline for compliance is March 1, 2013.


Heimdal complex illustration

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