New interpretation: New anchoring regulations - application in the petroleum activities

The Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD) has issued new anchoring regulations: “Regulations 10 July 2009 no. 998 relating to positioning and anchoring systems on mobile facilities.” Technical requirements in the old anchoring regulations were adopted by the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) and incorporated into the facilities regulations.


19/11/2009   NEW ANCHORING REGULATIONS - APPLICATION IN THE PETROLEUM ACTIVITIES

The text below is from our circular letter of 2 November 2009.

New anchoring regulations from the Norwegian Maritime Directorate – information on their application in the petroleum activities

The Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD) has issued new anchoring regulations: “Regulations 10 July 2009 no. 998 relating to positioning and anchoring systems on mobile facilities.” Technical requirements in the old anchoring regulations were adopted by the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) and incorporated into the facilities regulations section 64 on anchoring, mooring and positioning.

In addition, they were indirectly incorporated into the framework regulations section 3 on use of maritime legislation in the petroleum activities by giving reference to the rules and regulations of the Norwegian Maritime Directorate in the form applicable in 2003.

As far as NMD’s letter of consultation of 2 July 2008 is concerned, it says that the PSA has been involved in the preparation of the new anchoring regulations, and that the PSA will give reference to the technical requirements in the new anchoring regulations in its own rules and regulations.

Hence, the technical requirements in the new anchoring regulations will be incorporated into our rules and regulations as soon as is practicable. As far as the facilities regulations are concerned, the amendments are scheduled to come into force 1 January 2010. As far as the framework regulations section 3 is concerned, it is scheduled to take place when the new HSE regulations relating to the petroleum activities come into force.

It is our opinion that the new anchoring regulations regulate this field in a safer and more comprehensive manner than before. Hence, in case the industry wishes to apply the new anchoring regulations before they have been incorporated into our rules and regulations, this can be done without any extensive handling of non-conformities.

Still, when applying the new anchoring regulations, this must be clearly stated in the applications for consent, if any, and tied to the acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) of the facilities in question. In our handling of the applications we will make a formal assessment of the use of the new anchoring regulations, including granting of necessary exemptions, if relevant.

If a holder of an AoC wishes to apply the technical requirements in the new anchoring regulations, the party concerned must be able to document compliance with these technical requirements.