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Report no. 7 (2001-2002) On HSE in the petroleum activities - Areas of commitment


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Society in general and the business sector are facing changes and challenges that will require new and greater efforts in the field of research and competence building. Experiences from the 90s revealed how important it is that knowledge in the area of HSE keeps pace with knowledge development in general.

To contribute to this, the Ministry has proposed granting funds to a research program, over several years, under the auspices of the Research Council of Norway, in which the following areas would be given priority:

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The Petroleum Directorate is the authority responsible for safety and the working environment and has, by special Government decision, a coordinating responsibility for the overall supervision of health, safety and environment on the shelf.

The Directorate for Fire and Explosion Prevention, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, the Products and Electrical Safety Inspection Authority, the Norwegian Industrial Safety and Security Organisation, the State Pollutiolution Control Authority and the Norwegian Board of Health are independent bodies with supervisory authority for petroleum installations on land. To ensure a coordinated supervision of such installations, several coordination schemes have been established.

Technological developments have led to a closer integration of petroleum installations on land and on the shelf. Land installations are acquiring greater importance in a general production perspective. More and more operations on the shelf are monitored or remote-controlled from land, and jobs are being moved from the shelf orlf or split up between land and shelf. Companies use the same management systems for activities on land and on the shelf and view this activity as one composite site whole.

In light of this development, of the objective of placing the user in the centre and of the view that the present organisation entails in several areas developing double competence in the field of safety and the working environment, we should consider whether it would still be expedient to uphold the present geographic division of supervisory authority for safety and the working environment in petroleum activities.

The Ministry proposed in Report no. 41 (2000-2001) to the Storting, Fire and Explosion Protection, to study the need for and the possibility of a better general exploitation of public resources rces in the monitoring of large land-based oil and gas-related industrial development and pipeline projects, and in the monitoring of the operation of such installations. In this connection, the Ministry pointed out that it would be natural to consider the expediency of making practical use of resources, competence and experiences which the Petroleum Directorate has acquired as supervisory authority in the field of safety and the working environment through ough its supervision of petroleum activities on the shelf.

In light of developments described above, the Ministry believes that a practical next step would be to give the Petroleum Directorate responsibility for coordinating the monitoring of safety and the working environment also for the land-based part of the petroleum activities. This would mean that the Directorate may be assigned the task of coordinating the supervision of safety and the working environment on the installations at Kårstø, Kollsnes, Sture, Tjeldberg-odden, Mongstad and Melkøya.

The Ministry has already implemented this scheme in connection with the authorities' follow-up of the development of the Snøhvit field.


7.2 Coordinating the authorities' supervision of oil production plants on the Snøhvit field and Melkøya

The planned development of the Snøhvinøhvit field is an example of a development solution with a strong integration of land-based and shelf installations, in which a material part of the production activity takes place on or from land.

Due to this close integration of the installations, and the wish to consider these in a greater development context, the Ministry discussed, in June 2001, a new initiative with the affected supervisory authorities to ensure a coordinated supervision within safety and the working environment. The Petroleum Directorate was given the role of coordinating authority.

Through this coordination project, the Ministry wishes to try out coordination models, and considers this decision as a first step on the way towards extending the Directorate's area of responsibility to include petroleum activities on land.