Extensive collaboration is pursued with agencies which follow up safety in offshore petroleum operations. This work includes exchanging experience and information about regulation and supervision. The goal is to help avoid major accidents involving loss of life and large acute oil spills.
In this context, it is important to distinguish between collaboration over HSE on the one hand and security on the other. The latter deals with preparedness against deliberate attacks on Norwegian infrastructure, and the PSA does not share sensitive information on this subject in international fora.
The PSA collaborates with other agencies through multilateral fora and bilateral agreements. Key arenas for such collaboration on HSE in the petroleum industry include
- the International Regulators’ Forum (IRF)
- the North Sea Offshore Authorities’ Forum (NSOAF)
- the Arctic Offshore Regulators’ Forum (AORF)
IRF annual meeting on 4-6 October
The International Regulators’ Forum (IRF) comprises a number of agencies responsible for regulating HSE in the offshore petroleum industry, and recently held its annual meeting in Oslo. Representatives from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the UK and the USA attended to discuss global trends in the work of pushing forward safety improvements in the offshore sector.
Issues on the agenda included sharing experience related to late-life operation and the removal of facilities, the conversion and use of petroleum facilities for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and other renewable projects, new areas of responsibility in renewable ocean industries, and challenges related to capacity and expertise
The IRF also collaborates on identifying areas which require improvement through “problem statements” in order to get the industry to develop global measures and solutions through the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) and the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC).
Part of the PSA’s international collaboration is pursued through bilateral agreements, which involve collaborating directly with agencies in other countries in order to take a more in-depth approach to issues which are particularly relevant for the two government bodies.
In recent years, bilateral agreements have been renewed with such countries as Canada, Brazil and Russia. The last of these continues a long-standing collaboration with the Russian Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostechnadzor).
Many years of collaboration
The updated agreement with Rostechnadzor made provision for collaboration and experience transfer in regulatory development, licensing activities, supervision and control. It did not cover security against deliberate actions, such as cyberattacks and sabotage.
The PSA has not been in contact with Rostechnadzor since Russia invaded Ukraine. Nor is further dialogue on HSE involving the Russian agency relevant.
Collaboration with Rostechnadzor began in 1994 as part of a government desire for closer contact, and has had clear political support. The work has been part-funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and pursued partly via the Russo-Norwegian ocean environment group and partly through bilateral meetings with the Russian agency.
A key interest has been work on the development of regulations and standards by the two countries, including through the Barents 2020 project, in order to contribute to a high level of HSE in both Norway and Russia.
In connection with opening Norway’s Barents Sea south-east area for petroleum activities, the Norwegian government was again concerned to forge close contacts with the Russian authorities. This reflected in part expectations that activity would be pursued in both Norwegian and Russian sectors of the Barents Sea, with possibilities for transferring facilities between them.