Safety concerns halt FPSO production

ON FRIDAY, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority issued a prohibition notice preventing use of the process plant on the Four Vanguard floating processing storage and offtake vessel until safety issues are resolved.
Safety concerns halt FPSO production 
Safety concerns halt FPSO production 
Safety concerns halt FPSO production 
Safety concerns halt FPSO production 
Safety concerns halt FPSO production

The issuing of the prohibition notice follows a recent inspection of the Four Vanguard by NOPSA occupational health and safety inspectors.

Run by Australian FPSO Management (AFM), the Four Vanguard is currently at the Woollybutt oil field about 42km west of Barrow Island, Western Australia.

According to Woollybutt operator Eni Australia, on April 9 free hydrocarbon gas was detected onboard the vessel.

"As a precautionary measure the operator of the facility, Australian FPSO Management decided to evacuate all non-essential personnel," Eni said last month.

The evacuation was successfully completed and at last report no injuries or damage to the facility were registered. But production was shut in.

The Four Vanguard's process plant is a pressurised system for separating oil, water and gas from production wells.

NOPSA said it was concerned that several critical safety systems related to shutdown and emergency depressurisation within the process plant do not meet the necessary standards.

"NOPSA inspectors believe this is an immediate threat to the safety of the offshore workforce," acting NOPSA chief exectuive Ted Kirkbride said.

"Workforce safety is our highest priority and where threats to the safety of offshore personnel are identified NOPSA will continue to take enforcement action. Operators of offshore facilities must be able to demonstrate that their critical safety systems are going to work reliably to agreed and binding standards."

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