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NPD's experience with organizational changes in the industry

NPD Deputy Director Anne Vatten gave a speech at the "Sola Conference 2002".

On Tuesday, 24 September at the "Sola Conference 2002", Ms. Anne Vatten (photo), Deputy Director of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), gave a speech on NPD's experience with regard to organizational change processes in the petroleum industry. This annual conference is an important arena for illuminating the development of safety and quality levels within all industrial activities. Anne Vatten

The NPD has conducted a number of audits focusing on change processes on the part of several players on the Norwegian shelf. The audits have been aimed at examining whether the new organizations are able to handle challenges of such processes with regard to impacting health, environment and safety.
In her presentation, Ms. Vatten pointed at "typical" flaws identified by the audits , such as; lack of planning, deficient evaluation of the consequences of organizational changes and deficient involvement of the employees. The question has been posed whether the past years increased risk level on the Norwegian shelf trends can be linked with the oil price development and the industry's focus on organizational development.
Ms. Vatten started by illustrating relevant factors that often lead to reorganizations: the oil price and required rates of revenues, mergers, technological changes, reduction of manning during field cessation, or organizational changes triggered by contemporary demands, such as transition from a hierarchical organization to a team-based organization. NPD's expectations for such processes of change are that the original health, environment and safety level should be maintained and improved both during and after the process.

Ms. Vatten highlighted the comprehensive regulatory requirements that apply to such changes, and emphasized the following: employee participation, the basis for the decision, planning of change, consequence analyses, follow-up, as well as making an overall assessment of manning and competence needs. NPD feels that most operating companies now realize and acknowledge the importance of these factors.

Ms. Vatten also mentioned the following special challenges:

· Tail production and marginal fields
· New players and concepts for field developments
· International harmonization of regulations
· Trends in the development of the risk level on the Norwegian shelf

Ms. Vatten concluded her speech by presenting some key areas, in which NPD will pursue its work related to undesirable effects of organisational changes.

Link to presentation material in Norwegian

Contact person: Mike Theiss