§ 25 Consent requirements for certain activities
The operator shall, well before the scheduled start of activities, submit an application for consent to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway. The application for consent can cover several activities that are naturally related.
If the assumptions for the consents given in pursuance of this section change significantly, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway can require the operator to obtain a new consent before proceeding with activities.
The operator shall obtain consent
- before offshore and onshore facilities or parts of these are put into service,
- prior to carrying out major modifications or changes in the use if these are not covered in the approved Plan for Development and Operation (PDO),
- before significant changes in activities as a result of new requirements or permits from other authorities, and
- before use of offshore and onshore facilities beyond the lifetime and assumptions that form the basis for approval of the PDO, PIO or main application. When it is decided to initiate a process for possible lifetime extension of a facility, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway shall be informed. Such application for consent shall be submitted one year before the planned lifetime expires.
For offshore petroleum activities, the operator shall also obtain consent
- prior to carrying out surveys where the drilling depth is more than 200 metres below the seabed,
- prior to carrying out exploration drilling,
- prior to carrying out manned underwater operations,
- prior to putting into service simpler facilities that include the use of vessels with an offshore gangway for accommodation of employees who will work on simpler facilities, when this is not covered by consent pursuant to the third subsection litera a,
- prior to disposal of a facility, even if a disposal decision has been made pursuant to Section 5-3 of the Petroleum Act,
- prior to removing or moving a facility that has a significant safety-related function, and that is not subject to a disposal decision pursuant to Section 5-3 of the Petroleum Act,
- prior to removing or changing the use of a vessel that has a significant safety-related function in the petroleum activities.
Section last changed: 01 January 2015
Sufficient time as mentioned in the first subsection, means the necessary time for the authorities to process applications and, if applicable, appeals, before the planned start-up date for the petroleum activity. Normal processing time is nine weeks. Other deadlines should be clarified with the supervisory authorities in each individual case. If the deadlines are not observed, one cannot expect that the application will be processed by the desired date.
Major modifications as mentioned in the third subsection, litera b, can include installation of a new module, major interventions in hydrocarbon-bearing systems or other major changes to physical barriers.
The requirement for a new consent in connection with significant changes in requirements or permits as mentioned in the third subsection, litera c, means that, if the operator is required to implement technical or operational changes that have an impact on safety and working environment in the activities, the operator shall obtain consent before such changes can be implemented.
For clarification of which activities can be processed in the same application as mentioned in the first subsection, and what is meant by a significant change as mentioned in the third subsection (c), the operator should contact the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway in good time. For clarification of which activities can be processed in the same application, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway will use an assessment of the activities' risk and the parties involved.
In order to fulfil the requirement in Section 25 third subsection litera d last sentence, relevant parts of the Offshore Norge's guideline 122, can be used. Reference is also made to the Framework Regulations Section 11 and the Activities Regulations Section 25.
Offshore petroleum activities
Consent to use a facility or parts thereof as mentioned in the third subsection, litera a, also comprises change in operators and use of well intervention facilities and other units considered to be facilities, cf. the guidelines to Section 2 of the Framework Regulations.
Applications for lifetime extensions as mentioned in the third subsection, litera d, should be related to the facilities dealt with in the individual PDO/PIO. In the case where smaller facilities are linked to the facility or facilities referred to in the third subsection, litera d, and which have a different lifetime than this/these, the provision is not normally taken to entail a requirement for separate consent for these smaller, associated facilities. These smaller, associated facilities should be discussed and assessed in the application for consent for the facilities referred to in the third subsection, litera d. Examples of such smaller, associated facilities are individual seabed facilities, field pipelines, control cables and so forth.
The third subsection, litera d, does not apply to mobile facilities as these are covered under the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) of petroleum deposits. Mobile facilities will normally be evaluated in connection with processing the application for consent pursuant to the fourth subsection, litera b, cf. Section 26, first subsection, litera g. Consents granted for the use of mobile facilities, are limited in time, i.e. continuous consideration is given to whether mobile facilities fulfil the regulatory requirements.
The requirement for consent to carry out exploration drilling as referred to in the fourth subsection, litera b, also encompasses drilling of exploration or appraisal wells from an existing facility that has consent for use as mentioned in the third subsection, litera a.
Requirements for consent to put into service simpler facilities involving the use of vessels with an offshore gangway for the accommodation of workers who will work on simpler facilities, as mentioned in the fourth subsection litera d, occur when this activity is not already described in the consent for putting the simpler facility into service, cf. third subsection litera a of this section.
Removal or moving as mentioned in the fourth subsection, litera f, can be particularly relevant for flotels that are placed on a location indefinitely.