Norwegian Safety Agency Orders More Improvements at Goliat

Goliat (file image courtesy Eni Norge)

By The Maritime Executive 12-11-2018 07:09:00

Eni Norge's long-troubled Goliat platform has received another order for required improvemets from Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority. While the facility has made progress in correcting previously-identified deficiencies, newly-discovered issues and the overall quantity of outstanding maintenance pose potential problems going forward, PSA asserted. 

"The PSA’s observations from this audit show that faults and deficiencies still exist which, until they are corrected, represent a source of uncertainty which makes a negative contribution to the risk picture for the Goliat FPSO," the agency wrote in a notice of order published Tuesday. 

According to PSA, the work backlog for the platform's electrical and instrumentation equipment is relatively large, including required improvements and general maintenance. The PSA's latest audit identified nonconformities in several core areas, including fire dampers, emergency shutdown system, emergency lighting, monitoring and control systems, and a variety of safety management policies and procedures. Among other issues, PSA auditors recorded the following concerns:

- Four fire dampers in air intakes for important areas would not close upon activation.

- Permanently installed electrical equipment lacked ATEX certification / Ex protection in hazardous areas (an issue that has affected Goliat before).

- Inadequate availability of backup electrical power in the emergency hospital in the event of a main power outage. 

- Several improper electrical cable installations, leading to the potential for mechanical wear on cables.

- Several fire doors with broken gaskets and closing mechanisms that did not work.

- Inadequate training and operating procedures for personnel in central positions, including on-the-job training systems for control room operators and instrumentation technicians. 

To address these issues, PSA has issued Eni Norge its eighth notice of order for Goliat, setting a new record for safety orders affecting a platform on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The new notice requires the firm to "draw up a realistic and binding plan for completing outstanding safety-critical work." Eni will have until March 1, 2019 to meet the order's requirements; in addition, it has until January 15 to explain how it will address certain other nonconformities. 

"Goliat stands in a special position. They have had big challenges, and that's why we've been back on surveillance over and over again," said PSA spokesperson Eileen Brundtland, speaking to DN. 

Merger and rebranding

On the same day as the new notice of order, Eni ceased use of the Eni Norge name, a consequence of the successful conclusion of its merger with Norwegian oil company Point Resources. The newly-rebranded, combined firm is now Vår Energi (in English translation, "Our Energy"). The new company has 170,000 boe of daily production, and Eni holds a 70 percent share of its equity. 

At roughly 100,000 bpd of rated output capacity, Eni's Goliat platform constitutes a large share of the rebranded firm's current output. Before the merger, Point Resources reported average production of 35,000 boe per day.