Most field projects on the NCS are pursued in accordance with a plan for development and operation (PDO), but some have faced challenges leading to substantial overruns in both cost and time. That can also affect health, safety and the environment (HSE).

The detailed study carried out for the PSA has sought to identify lessons relevant for HSE from the three development projects covered. It represents one of several follow-ups to the 2018 White Paper on HSE in petroleum operations (Report no 12 (2017-2018) to the Storting).

Carried out by the Acona consultancy, its goal has been to identify challenges, their underlying causes, and recommendations for improvements to the methods used by the companies in executing projects as well as to government supervision.

Relevant for the future

The study has identified a number of improvement and protection points which could be relevant for future field developments.

“We expect operators, licensees and the supplies industry to familiarise themselves with the findings which have now been presented and to assess the recommendations made,” says Myhrvold.

“Many companies have good guidelines and management systems, but the findings show that compliance with these often offers the biggest potential for improvement.”

The emphasis in the study on the importance of involving employees fully in the planning and execution of development projects is also an important point, she says.

“We fully support that assessment. It highlights the significance of the Norwegian model, with its collaboration between both companies and unions and companies, unions and government.

“The study presents relevant proposals on how we in the PSA exercise our regulatory responsibility, including the assessment of players and supervision in the early stage of development projects.

“We have already initiated a number of activities related to project follow-up. We will also assess necessary adjustments to our supervisory strategy and organisation in order to contribute to better project execution and improved safety.”

The study comprises three reports:

  1. Summary report – Study of field development projects on the Norwegian continental shelf
  2. Main report - Study of field development projects on the Norwegian continental shelf
  3. Utredning av feltutbyggingsprosjekter på norsk sokkel – valg av to tilleggsprosjekt (selection of two additional projects, in Norwegian only)