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Role and area of responsibility

The PSA’s role as a regulator is to supervise safety, emergency preparedness and the working environment in Norwegian petroleum activities offshore and on land.

Put briefly, the PSA establishes parameters for the petroleum industry and supervises that activities in this sector are pursued in a prudent manner.

That involves developing regulations, checking that the companies comply with these, and taking enforcement action (such as issuing orders) if the rules are broken.

Supervisory responsibility
The PSA’s supervisory responsibility embraces oil and gas activities on the whole NCS, at eight facilities on land, and with associated pipeline systems.

It covers operators, licensees, contractors and vessel owners, and the whole petroleum-industry life cycle from exploration drilling, development and operation to cessation and removal.

Guidedog and watchdog
In colloquial terms, the PSA is both guidedog and watchdog for the industry – with the first of these roles related to the continuous dialogue it maintains with the industry.

This interaction allows it to share knowledge and experience, and thereby contribute to management and risk reduction. The requirement for continuous improvement is a cornerstone here.

As a watchdog, the PSA supervises that the companies operate prudently at all times and applies its enforcement notices if they fail to do so.

The PSA is also a directorate
Reporting to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (ASD), the PSA has been delegated the authority to issue detailed regulations covering safety and the working environment in the industry.

In addition, it is authorised to take administrative decisions in the form of consents, orders, coercive fines, shutting down operations, prohibitions, exemptions and so forth.

The PSA is also a directorate. In Norway’s system of government administration, these bodies develop, manage and communicate knowledge about their area of responsibility.

This role involves providing advice to its superior ministry and serving as a source of expertise for its sector, other government agencies and the general public. 

Short history
Created on 1 January 2004, we are based in Stavanger and have just over 170 staff.

Before we were established as an independent agency, our duties were part of the responsibilities of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

The government resolved in the late 2002 that the NPD would be divided by allocating responsibility for supervising safety to a separate regulator entitled the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA).