§ 52 Establishment of safety zones
There shall be a safety zone around and above facilities, except subsea facilities, pipelines and cables, unless otherwise determined by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
If the operator considers it unnecessary to establish a safety zone based on an assessment of safety factors, an application for refraining from establishing such a zone shall be submitted to the Ministry no later than together with the Plan for Development and Operation of the deposit, cf. Section 27.
Section last changed: 17 June 2016
The zone is established when the facility or parts thereof are placed on the field. This entails e.g. for facilities resting on the seabed, that the safety zone has been established when the facility or parts thereof are placed on the seabed. For mobile facilities, the safety zone is established upon deployment of anchors. For mobile facilities, the safety zone will be terminated upon removal of the final anchor. For jack-up facilities, the safety zone is established when the facility is in position and starts jack-down of the first leg. The safety zone is correspondingly terminated when the last leg has been jacked up. For DP-operated facilities, the safety zone is established when the facility is in position and enters "auto DP". Correspondingly, the safety zone is terminated when the facility exits "auto DP" to leave the position. As regards termination of safety zones, reference is made to the preparatory works for the Petroleum Act, cf. Odelsting Proposition No. 43 (1995-1996).
The terms exploration drilling, production, utilisation and transport above are from the Petroleum Act's terminology and are defined in Section 1-6 of the Petroleum Act. The term facility includes permanently placed and mobile facilities. Mobile facilities shall have a safety zone limited to the period of time they are in position on the field.
It is not a condition for decisions according to this section that an application has been submitted. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs can itself exercise authority according to these regulations.
In particular, the consideration for other activities indicates that safety zones shall not be created unless they are necessary as regards safety. Implementation of other measures, such as physical protection can be equally suitable for protecting the facility, provided such a solution does not entail a corresponding intervention against other activities.
Reference is made to the definition of safety zone in Section 6, litera i. The extent of a safety zone shall be calculated from lines drawn through the endpoints of the facility. The extent is delimited by imaginary vertical lines running from the seabed up to 500 metres, calculated from the facility's highest point. As regards facilities in horizontal or vertical movement, the safety zone shall be calculated from the facility's current position at all times. This extent is normal today. The zone's extent can be less, but no more than 500 metres.