Dropped pipe risked lives on Jotun B platform, PSA says

The Jotun A field with Jotun B in the background. Picture courtesy of Point Resources.
The Jotun A field with Jotun B in the background. Picture courtesy of Point Resources.

A dropped pipe on a Norwegian oil platform could have killed two or more workers earlier this year, an offshore safety body has said.

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has completed its investigation of an incident involving a dropped pipe on the Jotun B facility on May 19.

The high-pressure riser fell around eight metres onto the wellhead.

It had the potential to cause fatal or serious injuries to two or more people standing nearby.

The direct cause was identified as the failure of a locking mechanism on the lifting appliance.

Operator Point Resources was also accused of several breaches of regulations related to training, the use of uncertified lifting equipment and risk analyses.

Point Resources has until October 15 to explain how it will deal with the issues.

The company said it had carried out an internal investigation and had cooperated with the PSA.

Point Resources said:

Despite the fact that no one got hurt, we take this incident seriously. After the incident, we have done the following:

o   We organized a third party to survey all lifting equipment to ensure that all requirements are met.

o   All items pointed out by the PSA have been closed, and learnings have been implemented to ensure safe, future operations.

o   The remaining operations at Jotun B resumed with alternative equipment and procedures. The operations were finally completed this summer, without any further incidents.

On the equipment classification point, we wish to mention that:

o   This particular tool has been in use in similar operations worldwide for many years as a standard for the O&G industry, and it was used in the previous drilling campaign at Jotun B.

o    In accordance with standard procedures, we sent the equipment to the original manufacturer for inspection and refurbishment and the equipment was cleared for use as a running tool.

o    In hindsight, we acknowledge that the equipment should have been classified as lifting equipment. In this case, we would have applied a different procedure.

o    After the incident at Jotun B, we entered into a dialogue with the manufacturer, who has now distributed a warning to the global industry, with the aim of preventing any future, similar incidents.

The Jotun B incident can be subject to learning for the entire O&G industry, including our own organization, as our main objective in all our operations and activities on operated fields is that no one gets hurt.