The seminar was held against a backdrop of major technological developments in the subsea domain. Subsea wells have been used in the oil industry since the early 1960s, but this development solution was a rare one until the late 1980s. Norway has been at the forefront of technological advances, with a wide range of subsea developments in the 1990s and 2000s.
These activities have engendered the accumulation of extensive expertise among operating companies, suppliers, consultancies and research institutes. Norway has been a key player in the development of standards in this area.
Trends towards higher pressures and temperatures, deeper water and more remote fields have led to major changes in the equipment associated with subsea facilities. Many subsea facilities from earlier large developments on the Norwegian shelf are approaching the end of their design lives.
At the same time, there are numerous ongoing projects in the planning and implementation phases, so there is an anticipation of high activity levels both in the assessment of elderly plant for continued operation and in new installations. We are also seeing the arrival on the Norwegian shelf of new actors with operating responsibility for subsea facilities.