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Acquiring information from the industry

We have many feelers out to pick up details about incidents and other activities in the petroleum sector. An overview of some of the most important is provided here.

Photo from offshore environment

Notification of undesirable incidents
Companies are required to notify us about undesirable incidents. The regulations clearly define what must be reported and notified, see chapter 8 of the management regulations.

We accordingly receive some 700-800 notifications of this kind every year, recorded on a dedicated form.

Every notified undesirable incident is allocated to a case officer, who follows it up, categorises its seriousness (which may differ from operator’s assessment) and determines a tailored follow-up of the operator/company.

Very serious events may lead us to launch an investigation or an alternative close follow-up. The response to less serious incidents will be tailored to their nature.

Hot line
We have a hot line staffed around the clock. Notification of an incident is first received and registered by the duty officer, who also makes the initial assessment of its seriousness and the immediate action which may be required.

If necessary, the duty officer will activate our response centre so that a serious on-going incident can be monitored by our emergency response organisation. This can be mobilised at short notice around the clock.

The RNNP (trends in risk level in the petroleum activity) process is an important tool for monitoring the industry, since it measures the development of the level of risk both offshore and on land. This yields an annual report based on the large volume of data supplied by the companies at the end of each year, which we then subject to a quality assurance process.

Published around 20 April, these RNNP documents provide a realistic picture of developments in the risk level from year to year. Industry, unions and government all agree that they give an accurate picture of conditions.

Whistleblowers help to shape and complete the picture of the safety position, with industry employees warning us about poor safety or criticisable conditions in their workplace.

Such inputs are followed up closely in accordance with established and legally required routines. The anonymity of whistleblowers is safeguarded.

Drilling reporting via DDRS
The daily drilling report system (DDRS) is a helpful tool for regulators, with companies required since 1984 to provide information on all drilling off Norway via this database.

We can extract essential facts about each current operation from the DDRS, thereby assuring ourselves if necessary that undesirable well incidents have actually been reported. We can also verify the sequence of events with the aid of print-outs.