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Call to arms against leaks and well incidents

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has asked the industry to propose specific measures for reducing the number of hydrocarbon leaks and well control incidents on the Norwegian continental shelf.


A very positive trend in the number of hydrocarbon leaks larger than 0.1 kilograms per second was experienced off Norway from 2002 to 2007.

The industry’s goal of reducing the number of leaks of this type to a maximum of 10 per year by 2008 was achieved as early as 2007.

Over the past three years, however, this positive development has unfortunately ceased. The figure rose to 14 in 2008 and 15 in 2009, before returning to 14 last year.

The same trend applies to well control incidents, where a steady improvement over many years has again ceased. Such events on the NCS totalled 11 in 2008 and had reached 28 by 2010.

This development emerges from the collation of figures for last year in PSA’s latest process on trends in risk level in the petroleum activity (RNNP).

The overview was presented and discussed in a meeting at the PSA on 30 March with representatives of the operational management at the oil companies and the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF).

“This position is challenging,” says Magne Ognedal, director-general of the PSA. “It’s therefore very important that the industry succeeds in reversing the negative trend.”

He is satisfied that the industry representatives signalled at the meeting that they will now draw up proposals for specific measures to bring developments back on a positive track.

These are to be submitted to the PSA on 27 April, the day when the overall results from the RNNP process for 2010 are due to be presented.