OSLO, Norway – The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has identified numerous breaches of regulations in connection with a dropped object incident on the Jotun B platform in the North Sea on May 19.
Operator Point Resources had commissioned a well plugging campaign on the production facility.
A high-pressure riser fell around 8 m (26 ft) onto the wellhead. The riser was 15 m (49 ft) long with a weight of 15.7 metric tons (17.3 tons), corresponding to around 1.23 megajoules in kinetic energy just prior to impact.
The PSA concluded that the direct cause of the incident was the failure of the locking mechanism on the lifting appliance. This appliance lacked a secondary locking mechanism for suspended loads in the event that the primary device failed.
The incident caused damage to equipment and a temporary postponement of the plugging program which lasted for several days. But under different circumstances, there could have been fatal or serious injuries affecting two or more people that were standing relatively close to the dropped riser.
Investigations have revealed numerous breaches of the regulations, including risk analyses, training, user manuals for lifting equipment, use of uncertified lifting equipment, classification of equipment in the drilling module, and the division of responsibility for lifting appliances and drilling equipment.
Point Resources must explain to the PSA by Oct. 15 how it will deal with these nonconformities and provide an assessment of the identified improvement point.
Previously, the PSA had issued an order to Point Resources and contractor Halliburton after its investigation had identified serious deficiencies in systems and processes.