Petroleum Safety Authority Flags Transocean Citing “Serious Breaches”

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April 30, 2012

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has issued an order to Transocean Inc. to improve maintenance oversight after the authority carried out an audit of the company and the company’s system for maintenance management revealed “serious breaches” of regulations.

The audit, which focused on activity over a period from January 19 through March 1, 2012, targeted selected parts of Transocean’s maintenance management system, and how it is used and followed up in the organisation onshore and offshore.  According to a press statement from the PSA, the audit activity revealed that Transocean’s maintenance management system still did not satisfy the regulatory requirements. The activity was carried out in the form of spot checks on a random selection of equipment and documentation.

Examples of important factors identified include:

  • It emerged during interviews that the new maintenance management system was not very user-friendly.
  • Maintenance programs for a number of equipment units and components were missing.
  • It was difficult to identify and track randomly selected equipment in RMS.
  • It was unclear which method and criteria were used to assess criticality and to determine which equipment/barriers were safety-critical.
  • The facility structure (the hierarchy) does not encompass all equipment in such a way that it can easily be identified in the facility, on drawings and in the PM program.
  • Deficiencies in the maintenance history system.
  • Performance requirements for important barrier elements were not always verified through testing and inspection activities in the maintenance system.

In addition to this, the activity revealed deficiencies in the company’s own follow-up, internal audits and completion of modification and maintenance activities.

On this basis, the PSA issued a notification of order to Transocean on 22 March 2012 and, in accordance with the notification, the PSA has issued the following order to Transocean:

“Pursuant to Section 69 of the Framework Regulations relating to administrative decisions, cf. Section 6 of the Management Regulations relating to management of health, safety and environment, Section 8 relating to internal requirements and Section 21 relating to follow-up, Transocean Offshore ltd NUF is ordered to initiate the following measures:

  • Review the management system and implement measures so that the company’s follow-up systems safeguard the intended needs in all parts of the organisation. This work shall include an investigation of why important deficiencies in the maintenance system were not identified and followed up in connection with the process of implementing a new system (RMS).
  • Draw up a binding plan and schedule for how this work will be carried out and followed up. This plan must be sent to the PSA by 26 April 2012, together with a response to the audit report,


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