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Dialogue no 2 - 2013

In this journal we provide an arena for debating some of the most relevant issues and challenges currently facing the industry in the field of safety.

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E-mail: margrethe.hervik@ptil.no

The unthinkable
Emergency preparedness is a key term for everyone involved with both security and safety in the petroleum sector. Players must have effective systems in place to prevent and respond to hazards and accidents which could result from their everyday activities. But they must also be prepared to deal with possible conscious attacks – terrorism and deliberate assaults.

No pat definitions exists for either security or safety. Incidents occasionally occur which nobody imagined possible and which no scenario had taken into account. Such events can overturn established truths and pose deep challenges for society.

The PSA has been given responsibility in 2013 for “security section” 9-3 of the Petroleum Act, covering emergency preparedness against deliberate attacks. That requires the industry to adopt and maintain measures to secure its facilities.

This issue accordingly takes a look at three watershed events of recent years – the Nokas robbery in Stavanger during 2004, the terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya on 22 July 2011, and the hostage drama at Algeria’s In Amenas facility in 2013.

We introduce some of those who have sought to establish what failed, and present their analyses of what went wrong. They make it clear that work on risk and preparedness cannot be confined to particular industries. Everyone has something to learn.

Dialogue is intended to contribute to openness and discussion on important issues and safety challenges in Norway’s petroleum industry.

Some of the challenges which urgently need to be overcome are to found far to the north on the NCS, in the Barents Sea. This issue asks whether operations can be sufficiently safe when they are extended ever further from land and into areas with big geographical and climate challenges.