Perenco has been issued with a notice to improve after Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors found more than 400 overdue repairs orders, over 200 of which were safety and safety-critical items.
The report indicates that during an inspection of the group’s onshore headquarters in April, May and June 2022, the HSE identified that it is “not following the procedures and arrangements” as set out in its safety case documentation.
In particular, inspectors pointed to procedures for overdue safety critical work which were not being adhered to.
The delayed maintenance covers various UK assets, which have not been disclosed, including offshore installations.
An extract of the company’s repair orders at the end of June indicated there were 424 items overdue, 237 of which were safety and safety critical items from hydrocarbon-live installations listed as beyond their “max overdue date” – meaning they had not been repaired or further risk assessed.
Of these items, a breakdown showed 117 related to structural components – one of which was a “priority 1” – 114 related to pressure systems, and six related to pipelines.
“The failure to appropriately assess the risk to the health and safety of persons posed by the degraded safety/safety critical items/equipment in a timely manner means their integrity condition is unknown,” the HSE report adds.
It said the risks arising from these conditions could lead to “unanticipated integrity failures” such as a loss of containment or objects being dropped.
A spokesperson for Perenco said: “We are fully cooperating with the HSE to redress any gaps in our processes.
“PUK places primary importance on its duty as a responsible operator to comply with the regulatory framework in place.”
The operator has until 30 September to comply with the improvement notice.
The London-headquartered independent producer and operator processes nearly 15% of UK gas production, according to its website.
It owns and operates the largest infrastructure in the UK North Sea, comprising 45 offshore platforms, 14 subsea wells, and a network of more than 2,400 km of pipelines connected to its two onshore terminals at Bacton and Dimlington where gas is received, treated, and then exported into the National Grid.
It also operates Europe’s largest onshore oil field at Wytch Farm, in Dorset.
Perenco’s daily operated production amounts to around 300 million cubic feet per day (equivalent to 51,400 barrels of oil equivalent), while it processes and exports the same amount again for other producers.
It oversees more than 10% of the entire North Sea well stock, and operates more than 200 permanently producing wells across 40 gas fields, including at Leman, Trent, Cleeton, West Sole and others.
Last year the company completed its Southern Hub Asset Rationalisation Project (SHARP) project – a move to combine the Leman and Inde fields into one fit-for-purpose production hub.