OREANDA-NEWS. Statoil’s investigation following the Turøy helicopter accident on 29 April has been finalised, offering conclusions and recommendations for how the company can further improve its helicopter safety work.

The Turøy helicopter accident is the most serious helicopter accident on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) since 1997. 13 people died in the accident. The helicopter was en route from Gullfaks B to Flesland, near Bergen, when the accident happened.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) is responsible for identifying the chain of events and causes of the accident. In May Statoil decided to conduct an in-house investigation in order to identify measures to improve Statoil’s helicopter safety work on the NCS, and to learn from the emergency response to the accident.

The investigation concludes that Statoil’s helicopter safety work on the NCS is good. At the same time the report stresses that the industry’s efficiency improvement efforts and increased focus on costs must not compromise safety, emphasising that a possible introduction in Norway of common European safety requirements will change the risk picture associated with helicopter operations.

“We will follow up on the recommendations given by the investigation to enhance Statoil’s helicopter safety and emergency response. Our clear ambition is to maintain our leading role in further developing and enhancing the existing helicopter safety standard. The report provides a good basis for ensuring an optimal organisation and holistic approach to this," says Statoil’s chief operating officer, Anders Opedal.

“The Turøy accident was a tragedy for all those affected, and for the seven companies that lost close colleagues. It is essential that everyone working offshore can be confident in helicopter transportation. We will now, together with the oil and gas industry, government authorities, helicopter operators and union representatives use findings in the report to further improve safety," says Statoil’s executive vice president for Development and Production Norway, Arne Sigve Nylund.

The investigation team’s mandate has been to review aspects of importance to safety associated with Statoil’s helicopter operations on the NCS:

Statoil’s emergence response to the accident, including interaction with government authorities and collaboration partners.
Statoil’s organisation and activities associated with helicopter services, including roles and responsibilities between Statoil, helicopter operators and other players that are actively involved in the operations and maintenance of helicopter activities for Statoil on the NCS.
How helicopter incidents are followed up by Statoil and the company’s suppliers.