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Aging and producing life extension

A great many facilities on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) are passing their original design life. The question is what this means for the risk of major accidents.

Installations on the NCS are getting steadily older. Over the next decade, more than 20 additional platforms, floating facilities and pipelines will be reaching the end of their design life.

What does producing life extension involve?
New technology and operating methods as well as measures to improve oil and gas recovery mean that licensees often want to keep existing facilities working past their retirement date.

In many cases, continuing to use facilities beyond their design life makes socio-economic sense. But permitting such extensions at the expense of safety is not acceptable.

Main priority in 2006-09
Aging and producing life extension represented one of our main priorities  in 2006-09. Many of the targets we set in this area were met during these years.

They include

  • standardisation
  • development of common guidelines
  • improving methodology and building knowledge.

Certain issues remain to be tackled, including the development of regulatory requirements.

Maintaining barriers on aging installations – including producing life extension – is a key area in our main priority on safe late life for 2016.

This means that the former main priority on aging and producing life extension now forms an integrated part of our follow-up of barriers.

We will continue to apply the knowledge we have acquired about aging and producing life extension in our continued supervision of the industry.

Although we have achieved results, challenges remain – and transferring knowledge to the industry, for instance, will be important in the time to come.