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Requirements for crisis communication

The regulations require companies on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) to have the internal expertise required to coordinate an emergency response – including media management.

While companies in the petroleum sector include crisis communication in the expertise of their own organisation, several of the small and medium-sized players and companies with a limited Norwegian organisation have opted for new organisational models.

At the same time, a number of the international operators are choosing to centralise their operations around their head offices.

What the regulations say
The regulations permit players to use external resources for discharging key responsibilities in a number of areas. At the same time, they require:

  • all operators with activities in Norway must have their own expertise in such areas as managing and coordinating emergency response to hazards or accidents
  • an operator must have an organisation in Norway able to ensure – on an independent basis – that petroleum operations are conducted in compliance with the regulations
  • these obligations apply to all operators and licensees, regardless of size.

In a crisis/emergency

  • —It is the operator in Norway who must give expression to the company’s overall responsibility, assessments and duty to the public.
  • —Generally speaking, this role cannot be outsourced to consultants and cannot be transferred to the company’s office in another country.
  • —The Norwegian operator company also has a duty to keep the regulators continuously updated on developments in an emergency, and on the action it plans to take to manage this accident.

Our crisis communication
Many aspects of crisis communication are relevant for us in our capacity as an emergency response organisation. We have a duty phone staffed around the clock.

The duty officer receives all notifications of undesirable incidents and is responsible for establishing our emergency response organisation when necessary. Relevant personnel are then mobilised to our response centre in Stavanger so that the authorities can maintain continuous supervision of the operator’s actions.

Our assessments of the position are also conveyed to the world at large, and information and media management specialists form part of the emergency response team.