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Lofoten: putting facts in place

The technical basis for managing activities in parts of the northern NCS was revised in 2010, with the PSA providing input on safety and the working environment in the petroleum sector.


This article was published in the publication "Safety - status and signals 2010-2011".

An updated version of the integrated management plan for the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea off Lofoten (BHL) is due to be submitted in a White Paper before the end of March.

Many government agencies and scientific teams have contributed updated mapping, research and monitoring data about the environment, resources, value creation, oil spill risks and the human impact on the ecosystem in these waters.

The PSA has served on the risk group and the technical forum, two of three teams – the third being the monitoring group – set up to strengthen the knowledge base for the plan.

These delivered a collective report last April to the Ministry of the Environment, which is coordinating the work. The PSA has
also posted supporting technical papers to its own website.

Among the agency’s technical contributions were descriptions of possible blowout scenarios, based on available knowledge and experience.

This information related to the petroleum sector, the NCS in general, the BHL area in particular, accidents and the management of such mishaps.

The blowout scenario for the BHL region was selected from a combination of flow rates, durations and oil properties which is unfavourable from an overall perspective.

Following the Deepwater Horizon disaster last April, the risk group was asked to
evaluate the technical conclusions drawn for the BHL plan in the light of this Gulf of Mexico incident.

Extensive assessments made in the PSA’s jurisdiction included risk conditions related to acute discharges, and likely discharge scenarios in terms of rates, duration, volumes and so forth.

Given what is known so far about the Gulf of Mexico incident, the PSA found no technical arguments to justify significant changes to the factual basis for the BHL management plan. 

This article was published in the publication "Safety - status and signals 2010-2011".