Statoil takes action following Gullfaks well incident

Statoil says it has responded to the most recent requests from Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) concerning the Gullfaks C well control incident in the North Sea last May.

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – Statoil says it has responded to the most recent requests from Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) concerning the Gullfaks C well control incident in the North Sea last May.

Risk assessment and work processes in Statoil’s drilling/well area have been evaluated and improved. These, Statoil claims, have led to safer drilling processes and closer collaboration between its operational teams and technical specialists.

The company has also worked on identifying further improvement areas to ensure better learning of lessons from future incidents.

The International Research Institute of Stavanger (Iris), has conducted a study into why measures adopted after earlier incidents with similar causes failed to achieve the desired results on Gullfaks.

Union-management action teams have also cooperated on the same issue to assess whether findings of this work could be valid for other parts of Statoil’s organization. Based on the Iris report and Statoil’s own work, seven areas of improvement have been identified.

“A major and important effort has been made to ensure that we’ll learn from the Gullfaks incident,” says Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.

Statoil plans to simplify its management system, cut bureaucracy, and empower its managers to more effectively assume responsibility to use the authority they are given. It also plans to implement a more “open and reflective corporate culture,” and to continue developing investigations of incidents as a learning tool.

Additionally, a major accident forum will be established to focus on events that could develop into incidents of this kind. And there will be more systematic training of Statoil’s employees and closer collaboration with its contractors.

12/19/2011

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