In connection with a plugging campaign on the Jotun B production facility, an incident occurred on 19 May 2018 when a high-pressure riser fell about eight metres onto the wellhead. Given the riser’s length of 15 metres and weight of 15.7 tonnes, this corresponded to about 1.23 megajoules in kinetic energy just before impact.

Jotun B lies on the Jotun field in the Norwegian North Sea, where Point Resources AS is the operator.

The PSA decided to investigate the incident on 22 May 2018.

According to the investigation, the direct cause of the incident was the failure of the locking mechanism on the lifting appliance. This appliance lacked a secondary locking mechanism for suspended loads in case the primary device failed.

The underlying causes of the incident are multiple and complex. They are described in more detail in the investigation report.

Actual consequences of the incident were damage to equipment and a postponement of the plugging programme which lasted for several days.

Under slightly different circumstances, the incident had the potential for fatal or serious injuries affecting two or more people, since these stood relatively close to the dropped high-pressure riser.

The PSA investigation has identified a number of breaches of the regulations. These include:

  • the “see to it” duty
  • risk analyses
  • training
  • user manuals for lifting equipment
  • use of uncertified lifting equipment
  • dealing with nonconformities
  • barriers
  • classification of equipment in the drilling module
  • the maintenance programme
  • planning and prioritisation
  • follow-up
  • division of responsibility for lifting appliances and drilling equipment.

An improvement point related to temporary equipment has also been identified.

Point Resources has been asked to explain to the PSA by 15 October how the nonconformities will be dealt with and to provide its assessment of the identified improvement point.

The PSA has previously (9 July 2018) issued an order to Point Resources and contractor Halliburton AS, after its investigation had identified serious deficiencies in systems and processes.