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An operator must obtain consent from the regulator at important milestones. This system ensures that the operator has established good checkpoints for its activities, and that its key decisions are subject to government control.

Photo of the Troll installation

By issuing a consent, the regulator indicates its confidence that the operator can execute the activity within regulatory parameters and in line with the details provided in the consent application.

Consents are a prerequisite for all activity on the Norwegian continental shelf.

An operator must obtain consent before

  • starting investigations which involve drilling deeper than 200 metres beneath the seabed
  • starting exploration drilling
  • starting manned underwater operations
  • bringing a facility or parts of it into service
  • implementing major modifications or changes in use
  • using a facility beyond its established operating life and conditions of use
  • disposing of/removing/moving a facility
  • removing or changing the use of a vessel with a significant safety-related function.

Source/complete text: section 25 of the management regulations

Consent application - a binding document
An application for consent binds the operator to comply with the relevant regulatory requirements. These are set by us as well as by the Norwegian Environment Directorate (formerly the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency – Klif) and the Norwegian Board of Health.

This means that the content of the application is legally binding, and forms the basis for regulatory supervision once the consent has been given.

Details about the information to be provided in a consent application can be found in section 26 of the management regulations.

Any change to an activity which departs from the preconditions in the consent must be notified to us as soon as possible by the operator.

We will then conduct verifications to assure ourselves that the activity can be conducted in compliance with the regulations and with the commitments made in the consent application.

Should this not be the case, we can intervene with an order or require the operator to apply for a new consent.