The operator is the company responsible for day-to-day management of activities in a production licence on behalf of the licensees. It has an overall responsibility for ensuring that operations are conducted in an acceptable manner and in accordance with applicable Norwegian regulations.
Section 12 of the framework regulations on organisation and competence stipulates that:
The regulations give operators great freedom to organise their operations as they wish – by using external resources to pursue activities, for example.
However, a company is not qualified to fulfil its duties pursuant to the health, safety and environmental (HSE) regulations unless it has its own personnel with expertise in this area.
This means that the operator must have in-house expertise in Norway which allows it to undertake such activities as:
Boundaries between operators and external contractors
An operator can delegate certain assignments to external contractors. A basic requirement is nevertheless that the operator must be organised in a way which does not reduce its ability to fulfil its responsibilities pursuant to the regulations.
It should also be noted that:
“See to it” duty (påseplikt)
The operator has a particular duty to ensure that its overall operations are conducted in an acceptable manner and in compliance with the applicable regulations at any given time.
This means that the operator must see to it that everyone carrying out work on its behalf complies with the requirements specified in the HSE regulations.
This duty to verify compliance is additional to each player’s duty to comply with the regulations, and is a general and overriding supervisory obligation.
The operator’s management system must make it clear how the “see to it” duty is discharged.