Most of us have some faint recollection of the battle between David and Goliath from the Old testament in the Bible. The giant Goliath was defeated by the young David from Bethlehem by a cunny trick.
Recent events may bring some thoughts back to this story, when PSA is demanding that ENI may not start up Goliat operations until all faults on electrical equipment which may be ignition sources are corrected, and a subsequent verification has been carried out by PSA itself. Also Statoil will be called to confirm that necessary repairs have been completed.
This is the final proof that whatever trust PSA earlier may have had in ENI is now replaced by mistrust. The extent of repair work needed is not publically known, it is therefore difficult to have an opinion about the required repair work needed, but it is assumed that it is not in ‘Yme category’, i.e. that the extent of repair work is so extensive that it is unrealistic to complete it offshore. Goliat also has the possibility to release anchors and flowlines and be towed to shore for more easy access for repair work, if this is a less costly alternative.
We believe the Goliat problems are to some extent a reflection of too high trust by PSA in the industrial parties and their willingness to abide by the full set of regulations. PSA’s approach has been trust based and dialogue based since their initiation in 2004. Now it appears that the previous trust has been replaced by distrust when it comes to ENI as a company.
It may be a relevant question if this realisation came too late or not? Another interesting question is if these experiences will cause PSA to modify their approach in general. Maybe their approach has been too much based on trust and dialogue and should be somewhat adjusted? There have been some other few cases where the trust could be questioned also in the past. These questions are much more interesting than the recent attention drawn in Stavanger Aftenblad towards possible lack of cooperation between PSA and NPD.