PSA: Serious breaches of regulations uncovered in Castberg investigation, Equinor ordered to fix errors

Johan Castberg hullPhoto: Equinor / ASA / NTB

The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway (PSA) has investigated the challenges with the construction of the production vessel for Equinor’s Johan Castberg field, and has identified serious breaches of the regulations – Equinor has been given several orders.

This has happened after it became public knowledge in July 2020 that Equinor had discovered major problems with the quality of the welding on the ship under construction at Sembcorp Marine (SCM) in Singapore.

“The investigation has identified serious breaches of the regulations, and we have now issued an order to Equinor,” the PSA stated in a press release on Tuesday.

Several deviations

The audit requires Equinor to review its systems to identify risks in critical deliveries and the follow-up of suppliers in its projects. The company has been given a deadline of October 1 to comply with the orders.

The investigation has revealed several discrepancies. The PSA points out, among other things, that the welding competence and quality control at SCM were deficient and believes that Equinor did not address these problems early enough.

“Several identified risks remained unresolved for a long time, and for several of these, the severity increased during the project period,” it is stated.

Huge damage potential

The PSA also points out that Equinor has not ensured that SMC has the competence to perform the job and that this can be performed in a responsible manner. 

The company has insufficiently used knowledge from its own and others’ activities to ensure sufficient staffing and overall competence for follow-up of the contractor, it is stated. The errors worry Bellona leader Frederic Hauge.

“The potential for damage is enormous should an unwanted incident occur. In the Barents Sea, the production ship will encounter ice, polar low pressure, and thick fog. It is crucial that this production ship can withstand the loads it will face in the Barents Sea,” Hauge said.


Equinor admitted this year that they should have uncovered the mistakes related to Johan Castberg earlier.

“Equinor should have revealed the extent of welding faults earlier, but the hull is still in the dock, and thus we can repair faults before it is launched,” Geir Tungesvik, director of project development at Equinor, said in a press release in April.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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