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Capacity and expertise: getting the balance right

Concern has been expressed by the PSA over the industry’s ability to tailor its level of activity to the available capacity and expertise. It worries about what would happen if something snaps.

This article was published in the journal Dialogue no 1

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The government is concerned that the volume of work on the NCS could influence safety in the petroleum industry.

“Sufficient expertise and capacity are crucial for maintaining the level of safety,” says Ingvill Hagesæther Foss, a director of supervision at the PSA.

New developments, modifications and measures to extend producing life add a great deal of labour- and resource-intensive work on top of normal production and maintenance jobs.

Director of supervision,  Ingvill Hagesæther Foss


Capacity and expertise shortfalls have been in the PSA’s sights for a number of years, with some players failing to understand what it takes to operate acceptably on the NCS. The regulator has twice had to reject applications for exploration drilling consent over the past decade because the operator failed to make the grade.

“That’s occurred from time to time, but fortunately it’s rare,” says Foss. “This isn’t a role which we as a supervisory agency desire to play. “We don’t want to receive applications from players who haven’t the expertise or the capacity to implement the relevant projects.”

It is up to the companies to assess whether they have enough people, and sufficient knowledge and experience, to do the work safely and in compliance with the regulations. They must decide this for themselves, Foss points out. The PSA will follow up, not least through audits, whether the companies are accepting that responsibility.

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