Use of standards to promote safety in petroleum activities in the Arctic

Source: press release, 7 September 2020

illustration: PSA
illustration: PSA

On commission from the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), the Simonsen Vogt Wiig law firm has prepared a report on the use of standards as normative instruments for promoting safety in offshore petroleum activities in the Arctic.

This report summarises the work of mapping and comparing approaches to the use of standards in the regulation of HSE in petroleum activities in Norway’s High North.

Project goals included:

  • Increase the knowledge base concerning HMS regulations and especially the use of standards associated with petroleum activities in the Arctic.
  • Increased awareness of HSE regulations in the Arctic.
  • Establish and strengthen cooperation between the HSE authorities in the Arctic.
  • Contribute to strengthening presence in Norwegian focus areas such as international cooperation, knowledge and environmental protection, safety and preparedness within the PSA’s area of authority.

The report addresses comprehensive information on selected authorities’ regulatory approaches or strategies in respect of HSE issues associated with petroleum activities in the Arctic. The report also describes how any legal or industry standards are used directly or indirectly as part of the authorities’ regulations or regulatory enforcement. The report contains a description of the distribution or overlapping of administrative responsibilities between different levels of administration, bilateral sectoral authorities or others acting on behalf of the authorities in respect of specific topics or specific risks in petroleum activities in the Arctic. Comprehensive information is also included concerning the organisation of authorities and enforcement of HSE regulations.

The following topics are used to elucidate the use of standards in regulation:

  • Drilling and well design in the Arctic.
  • Technical regulation of fire safety, especially in the extreme cold.
  • Evacuation and emergency preparedness, especially taking into account low temperatures, distance and darkness.

Download the The Arctic 2019-project report here.