§ 2 Scope of application
These regulations apply to the petroleum activities, cf. Section 6 litera g, and to other activities at onshore facilities, cf. Section 6 litera e.
Chapters VI, VII and VIII of these regulations apply only to offshore petroleum activities.
These regulations do not apply to Svalbard.
Section last changed: 01 January 2011
In general regarding scope
These regulations and the supplementary regulations apply to the scope of the following Acts with the clarifications, exceptions and special rules that follow from these regulations with attachments:
- The Petroleum Act,
- The Working Environment Act as regards offshore petroleum activities in accordance with Section 1-3 of the Working Environment Act, and onshore facilities as mentioned in Section 6 litera e,
- The Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) as regards exploration for and production and utilisation of subsea natural resources on the continental shelf in accordance with Section 4 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) and for onshore facilities,
- The Product Control Act (in Norwegian only) as regards offshore petroleum activities, and for onshore facilities limited to requirements for management systems,
- The Health Personnel Act (in Norwegian only) as regards offshore petroleum activities in accordance with Section 5 and for onshore facilities,
- The Patient Rights Act (in Norwegian only) as regards offshore petroleum activities in accordance with Section 5 and for onshore facilities,
- The Contagious Illness Protection Act (in Norwegian only) as regards offshore petroleum activities in accordance with Section 5 and for onshore facilities,
- The Health and Social Preparedness Act (in Norwegian only) as regards offshore petroleum activities in accordance with Section 5 and for onshore facilities,
- The Food Act (in Norwegian only) as regards offshore petroleum activities in accordance with Section 3 of the Food Act and for onshore facilities,
- Chapter 3 of the Public Health Act (in Norwegian only) as regards onshore facilities,
- The Fire and Explosion Protection Act (in Norwegian only) as regards onshore facilities,
- The Electrical Supervision Act (in Norwegian only) as regards onshore facilities.
The scopes of these acts vary somewhat, and are applied differently in different parts of the activities.
The Petroleum Act applies to petroleum activities related to subsea petroleum deposits on the Norwegian continental shelf, cf. Section 1-4 of the Act. This includes the activity that takes place on the shelf as well as planning, management and supervision of the shelf activity, which takes place onshore. Relevant parts of the shelf regulations under the Petroleum Act are directly applied to onshore activities to the extent they handle functions that directly impact safety as regards management and supervision of facilities on the shelf. As regards the scope of the Petroleum Act, reference is made to Section 1-4 of the Act with associated preparatory works, Odelsting Proposition No. 43 (1995-1996) and Recommendation to the Odelsting No. 7 (1996-1997), where the scope of the Act is further detailed. Changes were made to the scope of the Petroleum Act with effect from 1 July 2003. Reference is made to Odelsting Proposition No. 46 (2002-2003).
The Petroleum Act also applies to petroleum activities at onshore facilities, and covers the actual onshore facility for production and/or utilisation of petroleum and systems, installations and activities integrated with the onshore facility or that have a natural connection to it.
The regulations and supplementary regulations are also founded on Section 8, final subsection of the Product Control Act (in Norwegian only) as regards internal control and internal control systems. This means that provisions regarding management systems in these regulations and supplementary regulations also apply to the scope of the Product Control Act (in Norwegian only). Since the Product Control Act with associated regulations is also part of the health, safety and environment legislation in the petroleum activities, etc., it is important for the management system to also include follow-up of these regulations.
Reference is made to the respective acts with preparatory works for a more detailed description of how the scope shall be interpreted.
Regarding the content of the term petroleum activities, reference is made to the enabling acts and Section 6 litera g. The enabling acts means the Acts these regulations are stipulated in pursuance of, and then especially the Petroleum Act, wherein the term is defined in Section 1-6 litera c, and explained in more detail in the comments to the provisions in Odelsting Proposition No. 43 (1995-1996) and Recommendation to the Odelsting No. 7 (1996-1997).
Reference is also made to the Crown Prince Regent's Decree of 19 December 2003 regarding the establishment of the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway with enclosed instructions regarding coordination of the supervision of health, safety and the environment in the activities on the Norwegian continental shelf, and at certain onshore facilities. These documents are available on the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway's website, www.ptil.no and at Lovdata.
The health, safety and environment concept
The health, safety and environment concept shall be understood in light of the health, safety and environment legislation, both as regards the content of the concept and the scope. The health concept shall therefore, in this connection, be understood in both a health legislation and working environment legislation sense.
The word health, according to the health legislation is meant to cover a more closely defined part of these regulations' factual scope, namely the health service, health-related emergency preparedness, transport of ill and injured persons, hygienic conditions, drinking water supply, production and presentation of food as well as other matters of significance for health and hygiene. Health service means both curative and preventive treatment. Hygiene includes job health and other measures carried out with a view towards preventing illness or promoting health, also beyond what is typically associated with the development of a prudent working environment. Thus, hygiene includes all matters covered by individual or environmental health care. As regards preventive health services and hygiene, the responsibility at the authority level will be divided between the Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, cf. the regulations regarding environmental health, including water supply, and working environment, respectively, cf. also the previous paragraph of these guidelines. The regulations also include qualification requirements for and training of personnel for handling the above-mentioned matters.
In the scope of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only), the concept of health, safety and environment relates to protection of the external environment against pollution and the production of waste, cf. Sections 1 and 6 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only).
The health, safety and environment concept also includes the working environment, which according to the Working Environment Act is a collective term for all factors in the work situation that can have an impact on the employees' physical and psychological health and welfare. The content of the concept is evident from Section 1-1 of the Working Environment Act. In addition to health safety, e.g. physical, chemical, biological and ergonomic factors, the concept also includes psychological impacts and welfare factors. The most important working environment factors are mentioned in Chapter 4 of the Working Environment Act, see especially Section 4-1 of the Working Environment Act, which sets a requirement for a fully prudent working environment. For a more detailed discussion of this requirement, reference is made to Odelsting Proposition No. 3 (1975-1976), Recommendation to the Odelsting No. 10 (1976-1977) and Odelsting Proposition No. 49 (2004-2005).
In addition to the safety of the individual, the health, safety and environment concept also includes safety and environment as regards the Petroleum Act, including the safety of the financial assets represented by facilities and vessels, including uptime (measures to maintain production and transport regularity). See comments to Section 10-1 of the Petroleum Act in Odelsting Proposition No. 43 (1995-1996). There, it is evident that the safety concept under the Petroleum Act shall be interpreted broadly, and that ”the term includes measures to prevent harm to personnel, environment and financial assets, including measures to maintain production and transport regularity (uptime). The measures shall be implemented such that near-misses can be prevented, endured or averted. The measures shall prevent both minor harm, major accidents and disasters. In particular as regards uptime, long-term, preventive measures that are not necessarily directed toward specific harm, can be appropriate.”
In cases where a requirement does not apply to the entire scope of the regulations, this will be evident from the section in question with guidelines and/or the regulatory text in the individual case. A requirement can e.g. be limited to apply to the area of health, safety and working environment. As such, the requirement will not apply to the external environment, which is to say the area of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). In others cases, requirements can be limited to only apply to one area.
In particular regarding the health legislation
The health legislation's provisions regarding health matters are to a large extent the same, within and outside the petroleum activities, and regardless of whether the petroleum activities take place offshore or at onshore facilities. For example, the regulations regarding environmental health have a general scope. Furthermore, the Health Personnel Act (in Norwegian only) and the Patient's Rights Act (in Norwegian only) apply regardless of whether the health service, which can be statutory or voluntary, and the patients are affiliated with the petroleum activities or not. But there are certain differences as to e.g. who is responsible for providing curative health services, and who will conduct supervision. As a point of departure, the regulatory provisions regarding health matters only apply to activities covered by the Petroleum Act, regardless of whether several of the provisions are the result of more general regulations.
Health related matters are defined in Section 6 of the Framework Regulations. See also these guidelines regarding the health, safety and environment concept. The most important provisions regarding health matters in the petroleum activities are found in Section 16 of the Framework Regulations, and the chapters regarding health matters in the Activities Regulations, the Facilities Regulations and the Technical and Operational Regulations. In general, health matters are regulated through the health acts, specified in Section 5 of the Framework Regulations, and in other relevant health legislation. Reference is also made to the discussion in the guidelines for Section 7.
When assessing which activities the health provisions apply to, guidance can be found in general sources of law and interpretations of other provisions if the scope is limited according to the legal basis for the Petroleum Act.
Offshore petroleum activities, including activities on board vessels
The scope of the Petroleum Act entails e.g. that these regulations and regulations stipulated in pursuance of them, apply for all petroleum activities on the Norwegian continental shelf, also if the activities are carried out from a vessel.
It follows from Section 1-4 of the Petroleum Act that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs can stipulate detailed safety requirements for petroleum activities that take place on board vessels. This access is limited to cover equipment and operations directly related to conducting petroleum activities, and not maritime matters.
The comments regarding Section 1-6 of the Petroleum Act discuss what in particular are considered to be vessels and facilities within the meaning of the Act. It is emphasised that activities such as simple pumping activities without well control, installation or dismantling on secured and abandoned wells, as well as maintenance work on subsea templates or wellheads without penetration of the well barriers, are regarded as activities performed from vessels. This is in accordance with the current practice.
Activities at onshore facilities
The term ”onshore facility” is used as a collective term for petroleum facilities covered by these regulations, see also Section 6 litera e. The term thus includes both onshore facilities covered by the Petroleum Act, and onshore facilities outside the scope of the Petroleum Act. Onshore facilities covered by the Petroleum Act, are included in the term facilities. The regulations also cover the actual onshore facility for production and/or utilisation of petroleum and systems, installations and activities integrated with the onshore facility or that have a natural connection to it. The regulations cover planning, design, construction, start-up, operations, cessation, etc. of onshore facilities. The regulations also cover other systems, facilities and activities used for industrial purposes inside the ”fence” of the relevant onshore facilities, e.g. gas power plants.
The scope of the Petroleum Act is not completely concurrent with the scope of these regulations. In addition to the chapters that only apply to offshore petroleum activities, the following provisions therefore do not apply to onshore facilities and parts thereof that are outside the scope of the Petroleum Act: Section 12, first and third subsection, Sections 26, 27, 30 and Section 14 of the Management Regulations for manning requirements.
Requirements are also stipulated in other regulations for onshore facilities covered by these regulations. This is in addition to other requirements for the external environment in the Norwegian Environment Agency's and the health authorities' regulation in connection with health related matters, e.g. the Civil Defence Act's requirement for self-protection and the National Coastal Administration's legislation, as well as regulations stipulated and enforced by regional and municipal authorities. Such regulation applies in addition to the requirements in these regulations.
The Planning and Building Act (in Norwegian only) and the Energy Act (in Norwegian only) have provisions that are of significance for safety and working environment at petroleum facilities and associated pipeline systems that are subject to these regulations. However, the Planning and Building Act and the Energy Act are not enabling acts for these regulations.
The petroleum regulations apply to pipelines connected to offshore petroleum activities, in the territorial waters up to the shore slope on the mainland, regardless of whether the pipeline crosses land and reenters the sea one or more times before reaching the mainland. For offshore pipeline systems, working environment matters are regulated in the same manner as for offshore petroleum activities, cf. Section 4.
These regulations also apply for pipeline systems in areas on land covered by the Petroleum Act, cf. Section 6, litera e of the Framework Regulations. This means that they apply between the point a pipeline system first crosses the shore slope, whether it is approaching an island or the mainland, and to an onshore facility. This is relevant for pipeline systems for landing petroleum as well as pipeline systems that transport other fluids in connection with operation of offshore facilities and for export of gas from onshore facilities to the Continent. Pipeline systems for transport of petroleum between onshore facilities can also be covered by the Petroleum Act (e.g. the Vestprosess pipeline, cf. Odelsting Proposition No. 46 (2002-2003)). Domestic pipeline systems for distribution of gas for consumption are normally not covered by the scope of these regulations.
The offshore petroleum regulations apply to the parts of pipeline systems that are physically located offshore (e.g. in Karmsundet after first crossing Karmøy) or pipeline systems for transport of petroleum between onshore facilities when these are physically located offshore. This is a continuation of the earlier arrangement, as the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB) has, in practice, used the technical requirements following from the offshore petroleum regulations as a basis for pipeline systems that are physically located offshore. Regarding route classification, the intention of these rules is to consider areas with population density onshore. As regards pipeline systems that are physically located in the sea, the offshore petroleum regulations with the recommended standards will be sufficient to safeguard the relevant considerations that are necessary for these areas. As regards the consideration for other activities, especially shipping, the risk-reducing requirements in the offshore petroleum regulations will apply in full. For the parts of pipeline systems that are physically located onshore under the scope of these regulations, whether this is an island or the mainland, the onshore legislation applies through these regulations.