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Ships on collision course

There has been a clear reduction in the number of collisions between facilities and supply vessels since 2000.

The background for this is to a large degree considered to be implemented improvement measures. The measures are mostly described in the Norwegian Oil Industry Association's (OLF) and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association's (NR) joint guidelines for safety in interaction between facility, base and offshore service vessel.

A work group composed of representatives from the various parties under Working together for Safety (SfS) has in addition prepared a draft for a common checklist for offshore service vessels entering the 500 metre safety zone. The Ministry is satisfied with this development and assumes that these guidelines will be used by the industry, and thus lead to further improvements in the coming years.

In order to maintain continuous overview of ship traffic which could threaten facilities on the Norwegian shelf, the industry has established systems for monitoring the sea areas. For the southern part of the North Sea, an ocean monitoring centre has been established with ConocoPhillips at EKOFISK which collates radar/data and information from the facilities in the area so as to achieve a general overview of the ship traffic in and around the facilities.

Correspondingly, Statoil has established a centre for ocean monitoring at Sandsli which collects and collates the same types of data for the central and northern North Sea, as well as Haltenbanken. In addition, these systems provide an overview of available ship resources, so that any capacity these have can be rapidly utilised in an emergency situation.