We are responsible for determining parameters for the oil and gas industry and for following up that activities in this sector are pursued in a prudent manner.

Authority has been delegated to us to establish detailed regulations for safety and the working environment in the industry, and to take administrative decisions in the form of consents, orders, coercive fines, shutting down operations, prohibitions, exemptions and so forth.

We are also a directorate. In Norway’s system of government administration, such bodies develop, manage and communicate knowledge about their area of responsibility/technical expertise.

The directorate role involves providing advice to our parent ministry and serving as a source of expertise for our sector, other government agencies and the general public. 

We report to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (ASD).

Supervisory responsibility

Our supervisory responsibility embraces oil and gas activities on the whole Norwegian continental shelf in addition to eight petroleum facilities on land and associated pipeline systems.

It covers operators, licensees, contractors and vessel owners, and all phases of the industry ­– from exploration drilling, through development and operation, to cessation and removal.

Technical expertise

We possess a substantial body of knowledge, acquired both through the expertise of our specialists and through findings from our supervisory activities.

Communicating this knowledge to the parties in the petroleum industry ­­– employers and employees – makes an important contribution to maintaining and further developing a high level of safety and very good working environment conditions.

Work on the Trends in risk level in the petroleum activity (RNNP) is an important tool in such communication. This annual process establishes an objective and integrated picture of the industry’s risks. A shared risk understanding across the sector, the government and the unions creates a good basis for purposeful and constructive work to achieve improvements.

Other contributions to knowledge transfer include the technical meetings we organise, as well as the experience-sharing achieved by publishing investigation reports, audit reports and so forth on our website.

Guidedog and watchdog

In colloquial terms, we are both guidedog and watchdog for the industry.

As a watchdog, we supervises that the companies operate prudently at all times, and exercise our enforcement powers if they fail to do so.

Our role as a guidedog relates to the continuous dialogue we pursue with the companies. The purpose of this interaction is to share knowledge and experience, and thereby contribute to risk management and reduction in the industry. The demand for continuous improvement is a cornerstone here.