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PSA Award: Sea safety service honoured

The marine operations department at Statoil in Sandsli outside Bergen has been presented with the PSA Award for 2012 by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.

Established in 1997, Statoil marine monitors all vessel traffic in the areas of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) where the company has operations.

It has made an important contribution over the years to reducing the risk of collisions between vessels and installations off Norway.

“The Statoil marine system has been continuously improved and developed to meet operational requirements,” noted PSA director general Magne Ognedal when presenting the award during the ONS safety lunch in Stavanger on 30 August.

“The result is that PSA statistics show a significant reduction in the risk of collisions between vessels and installations over the past decade. We refer today to Statoil marine as best practice for sea surveillance.”

Unni Gjelsvik and Frode Helgesen accepted the prize on behalf of the marine operations department.

Statoil marine currently operates an integrated network of 80 radars, 32 VHF stations and 22 automatic identification system (AIS) base stations.

Presented every other year, the PSA Award goes to a person, institution or enterprise which has made a strong and visible contribution to safety work in the Norwegian petroleum industry.

This is the fourth time it has been awarded. Earlier winners are:

2006: Professor Torgeir Moan, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

2008: The OLF gas leak reduction project

2010: Vidar Bernt Sørensen, Statoil Kårstø

Facts: Ships on a collision course
Vessels threatening to collide with offshore installations represent a type of incident with major accident potential, and are an important contributor to the level of risk on the NCS.

The industry has established monitoring systems in order to maintain a continuous overview of maritime traffic which could threaten oil and gas facilities.

In addition to Statoil marine outside Bergen, Ekofisk operator ConocoPhillips has a similar surveillance centre which covers the southern end of the NCS.

Certain fixed installations and mobile units are also directly responsible for monitoring passing traffic.

The number of incidents involving ships on a collision course has clearly declined on the NCS since 2000.