A Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) audit on Teekay’s floating oil and gas production, storage and offloading facility (FPSO), named Petrojarl Knarr, has revealed issues with export pipeline overpressure and fire protection. Accordingly, the facility has been deemed to be in a state of regulatory non-conformity. The audit was split into two parts. It was supposed to show how field owner Shell is “managing the integrity of flexible risers, transfer lines and safety equipment,” the PSA states.
Secondly, the auditors looked at Teekay’s qualities as operator. They found that the emergency shutdown of the gas exports pipeline’s pressure protection, which falls into Shell’s responsibilities, was not installed according to regulations. “The emergency shutdown system has more functions than solely being for emergency shutdown,” Eileen Brundtland, PSA spokesperson, told The Marine Professional.
The report uncovered that Teekay is not properly assessing performance indicators for the overpressure protection of the pipeline during internal testing. Additionally, the audit revealed that the passive fire protection, which refers to having fire-resistant walls, floors and doors, was temporarily removed in some areas by the company without a schedule for replacing.
It is not the first time that the FPSO was found to have problems with fire prevention. Not even a month after production started in 2015, the cause for a fire in the ventilation system, which supplied air to the engine room beneath the living quarters, was later identified due to design errors and faulty operation by PSA. Commenting on this, Brundtland said that the fire in 2015 was in a HVAC-room with no relevance to the latest audit’s focus.
It is of note that Shell was criticised for having a shortcoming in the follow up of flexible risers maintenance. Furthermore, the auditors suggested improvement points after onboard equipment was not properly labelled and maintenance responsibilities between owner and unit operator Teekay and Knarr field operator Shell were partly unclear.
“The companies have been given a deadline of 1 February 2017 to report on how the non-conformities will be dealt with and how the improvement points will be assessed,” PSA states.
Petrojarl Knarr was built at Korean Samsung Heavy Industries and started production from the Knarr oil field in the North Sea in March 2015. The oil is loaded into tankers and gas is being piped to St.Fergus in Scotland. According to Teekay, it’s the company’s largest ever newbuilding project, with a production capacity of 63,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and a storage capacity of 800,000 barrels of oil.