Royal Dutch Shell is again at the receiving end of criticism by the official Norwegian petroleum agency, for failures related to the safety of load-bearing structures on its Norwegian Sea platform.

The Draugen platform is a concrete-based facility in the Norwegian Sea. According to the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority, it has investigated the structural integrity of the load-bearing structures on the platform, and has found a number of nonconformities.

According to the Petroleum Safety Authority’s report, it identified several non- conformities after conducting an audit of measures by Shell to ensure the technical integrity of these load bearing structures. The inspection was aimed at determining how the company plans to prevent any structural failure of these load-bearing structures. However, Royal Dutch Shell was not able to give any explanation to the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority. It was unable to present any strategy that linked its risk barrier and barrier maintenance. Further, the Petroleum Safety Authority also found that Shell could not document any performance requirements for specific load-bearing structures of the platform.

The Petroleum Safety Authority had other reasons for concern. It was unable to establish the presence of stringent emergency procedures to be followed in the event of a structural incident on the platform. The agency also determined that Shell had undertaken an incorrect analysis that indicated that the structure could resist all kinds of impact on explosion.The company has been given a deadline of 30 April before which it must respond to all the findings of the Petroleum Safety Authority.

Offshore regulatory agencies in this country also have been increasing pressure on oil and gas drilling companies to increase their safety precautions and emergency preparedness plans since the 2010 BP oil rig explosion.

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