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Risk reduction processes (ALARP) in the petroleum industry - review of the companies' documentation and practices

Section 9 of the Framework Regulations relating to principles for risk reduction provides guidelines for the companies to establish processes to reduce health, environment and safety risk beyond an estimated minimum level insofar as this is practicable. These processes are often called ALARP processes.

In 2005, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) started a project aimed at establishing an overview of how the industry interprets these guidelines, and how they are put into practice.

The project was implemented in the form of reviews of selected companies' governing documents and meetings with the companies. Preventor was hired to assist the PSA with technical discussions, review and evaluation of documents, presiding over meetings and preparing a report to document the experience gained from the project.

This review shows considerable variation with regard to how the companies define the ALARP concept and how they implement the processes.

Most companies find documentation of ALARP evaluations challenging, even those that have broad-based decision processes.

Other challenges identified through the project are linked to factors including:

  • how to describe ALARP evaluations in projects
  • how to document results from ALARP evaluations, including level of detail
  • how to implement good ALARP processes in various phases of projects and operations
  • suitability of the methods and techniques currently used by the industry to identify measures and alternative solutions

The PSA will take the necessary initiatives to continue to work on these challenges in a dialogue with the industry.

Contact in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Elin Witsø, Supervision Coordinator
E-mail: Elin.Witso@ptil.no