Eldar Sætre

"Safety is our most important duty"

Is safety at risk? Statoil's CEO Eldar Sætre answers.

Safety is our most important duty. We’ve delivered ever better results in this area over many years, and everyone working in the industry is responsible for ensuring that such progress can continue.

   The conditions identified in the PSA’s [RNNP 2015] report must be treated with the utmost seriousness. We can never sit back and be satisfied, but work the constantly to maintain and strengthen safety.

We can’t accept that the progress we’ve seen over many years goes into reverse. The 2015 results mean we must all reflect on whether we’re doing the right things and on how we can strengthen safety.

Norway’s petroleum sector is characterised by a robust HSE culture, and we have a high level of safety on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). On that basis, we must succeed in creating even better results in the future.

What’s needed to maintain and improve the level of safety in Norway’s petroleum sector?

Leadership, good risk understanding and a continuous focus on safety are essential. The systematic work of improving HSE never ends.

Good collaboration between government, operators and suppliers has yielded a high level of safety on the NCS, and remains the key to creating good results in the time to come.

The RNNP results for 2015 sounded a warning, with several important indicators showing a negative trend. What do you think are the reasons for this development?

We’re now conducting a very thorough review of the RNNP report, and see that the PSA’s conclusions accord with our own evaluations.

The seriousness of these findings and their complex causes mean that detailed assessments are needed before making judgements. So it’s too early to identify individual factors.

How will Statoil contribute to continuous safety improvement?

As the biggest operator on the NCS, we work purposefully and systematically to strengthen safety in our activities. In that context, continuing to concentrate attention on major accident risk is important.

We’re not satisfied as long as we have serious hydrocarbon leaks. It’s very important that we learn the full lessons of serious incidents, work actively to enhance HSE and use the PSA’s observations to drive further improvement.