Norway reviews offshore platform safety for helicopters

The Spanish energy company Repsol called on to address safety concerns on the North Sea.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   March 20, 2017 at 8:18 AM

March 20 (UPI) -- The Spanish energy company Repsol has been called on to address concerns about safety as they relate to an offshore accident tied to transport, a Norwegian regulator said.

Sikorsky grounded its S92 service helicopters following a December incident that left router damage to the West Franklin platform in the North Sea, operated by French supermajor Total. A helicopter used by Norwegian energy company Statoil crashed in early 2016 on its way to the Gulfaks B with 13 people on board.

The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway carried out an audit of the emergency preparedness requirements for the regional subsidiary of Repsol as it relates to its helicopter deck at the Gyda facility in the North Sea.

The PSA said it found no regulatory issues during the audit, but called on Repsol to address concerns about evacuation routes, maintenance of safety equipment and its system for training and drills.

In its reporting on its North Sea incident, the worst of its kind on the Norwegian continental shelf in nearly 20 years, Statoil said the organization of helicopter safety was complicated because of the number of players involved, each of whom have a varying degree of understanding about their role in the work.

The PSA mobilized its response team shortly after the Statoil crash, but said that, since it was not responsible for aviation safety, its role was limited.

Repsol was asked by the PSA to respond to concerns by April 7.

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