§ 66 Use and discharge of chemicals
The operator shall hold a permit in accordance with Chapter 3 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) to use and discharge chemicals.
Use of chemicals is legal when in accordance with the requirements set in Sections 62 to 65 in these regulations, the Facilities Regulations Section 15 and requirements set in and pursuant to the Act relating to control of products and consumer services (in Norwegian only).
Unused chemicals shall not be discharged to sea, cf. the Pollution Control Regulations, Chapter 22 (in Norwegian only) regarding dredging and dumping in the sea and river systems.
Chemicals shall be stored in a prudent manner.
Use and discharge of chemicals shall be reduced to the extent possible.
The following is allowed if the use of chemicals is in accordance with the requirements set in Sections 62 to 65 in these regulations, the Facilities Regulations Section 15 and requirements set in and pursuant to the Act relating to control of products and consumer services (in Norwegian only):
- necessary discharge of chemicals used in fire water systems,
- discharge of water-based trace substances,
- discharge of chemicals to avoid well control events or recover well control, cf. Section 67,
- discharge of emulsion breaker used to separate water from collected oil emulsion in tank during an action against acute pollution.
Discharge of chemicals used to prevent lost circulation and that consist of plastics or contain plastics, is not allowed.
Field testing of chemicals as alternatives to chemicals in the permit pursuant to the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only), or testing of chemicals within new areas of use, is permitted if
- the number of days of consumption does not exceed 14 days,
- field testing does not include trace elements,
- field testing does not include chemicals in black category or assumed black category, yellow subcategory 3 or assumed yellow subcategory 3, cf. Section 63,
- total consumption of substance in red category or assumed red category, yellow subcategory 2 or assumed yellow subcategory 2, cf. Section 63, does not exceed 50 kg.
Section last changed: 01 January 2024
The operator must obtain a permit from the Norwegian Environmental Agency for petroleum activities under Chapter 3 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). Application for permit under the Pollution Control Act is subject to Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only), and a fee is fixed for the Environmental Agency’s processing relating to applications for permits pursuant to Chapter 39 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only).
The regulations’ general requirements for the petroleum activities on the continental shelf apply to all operators. The permits under the Pollution Control Act will normally contain conditions that are specific and adapted to each activity. Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only) gives further provisions on the processing of permits under the Pollution Control Act. The Norwegian Environment Agency has described further expectations for the content of applications and expected processing time in the Guidelines for applications regarding offshore petroleum activities: https://www.miljodirektoratet.no/ansvarsomrader/forurensning/petroleum/for-naringsliv/soknadsveileder-petroleum/. Chapter 39 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only) gives provisions for fees for work with permits.
Re first subsection
The basis for permits as mentioned in the first subsection, is the results from testing, categorization, assessment and choice of chemicals as mentioned in Sections 62, 63, 64 and 65.
Ordinary pollution from homes, offices and the like, including sanitary wastewater and chemicals added to the drinking water distribution system, is permitted under Section 8 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). Use and discharge of chemicals from this site of the business does not therefore require authorization pursuant to Section 66. Requirements for water treatment chemicals in drinking water are given in the Drinking Water Regulations.
It is clarified that chemicals used in plants and equipment for the production of fresh water, including drinking water, such as seawater evaporators and reverse osmosis systems, are covered by the obligation to obtain a permit for use and discharge under Section 66.
The Product Control Act (in Norwegian only) with regulations, including REACH, CLP, product and biocidal products, applies to all chemicals used. This means, among other things, that there are requirements for substitution.
Hypochlorite produced on the facility, is subject to the requirement for permit to use and discharge under this section.
In activities that entail use and/or discharge of chemicals in amounts which the operator considers to be very small and not covered by applicable permits, the Norwegian Environment Agency may be contacted to clarify the need for a permit.
Although the operator has been granted permission to use and discharge chemicals, it shall be considered whether there are less environmentally harmful alternatives in accordance with the substitution obligation in Section 3a of the Product Control Act and Section 65 of these regulations.
Use and discharge of chemicals shall be reported in accordance with Section 34 litera c of the Management Regulations.
For use of dispersants and beach cleaners that are to be used to combat acute oil pollution, see Chapter 19 of the Pollution Regulations (in Norwegian only).
For planning and use of dispersants and beach cleaners, refer to Chapter 19 of the Pollution Regulations (in Norwegian only). See also Sections 73 and 79 of the Activities Regulations.
Re second subsection
The ban on discharges of unused chemicals also applies to chemicals on the OSPAR PLONOR list.
Re fourth subsection
The duty to reduce the use and discharge to the extent possible, also applies to chemicals for which there are no specific use and discharge limits, cf. Section 11 of the Framework Regulations.
Re fifth subsection
“Lubricants” are grease, sealing oils, gear oils and engine oils.
Closed systems shall not have discharges to the sea. Motors and pumps which are operated in seawater and have discharges of lubricants, including seawater lift pumps and thrusters, are not considered closed systems.
By well control events is meant failure of one or more well barriers where the failure results in unintentional flow of formation fluid into the well, cross flow into the well or outflow to the external environment, see the guidelines to Section 86. Use of chemicals to avoid well control events or recover well control will include, among other things, the use of dispersants in measures to stop blowout, but not the use of dispersants to combat acute oil pollution. The use of chemicals for drilling technical sidetracks or chemicals in lost circulation will not be included.
Re sixth subsection
“Plastics” means solid, synthetic polymers that are insoluble in water.
Re seventh subsection
This provision legalises some cases of field testing that will not be permitted within the permit under the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). Chemicals that are field tested according to this provision, are also exempted from the requirement for ecotoxicological documentation, cf. Section 62, sixth subsection, letter e. Testing of chemicals can also take place within the scope of the permit as long as the chemicals are environmentally as good or better alternatives than chemicals that are in use, and the consumption and emission amounts in the permit are not exceeded. Other field testing requires a special permit pursuant to the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only).The duration limitation in the eighth subsection letter a implies that the total duration of the field test may be longer than 14 days for discontinuous use. As a basis for finding an assumed colour category for field testing of chemicals, the operator must assess the toxicity, biodegradability and potential of bioaccumulation. The assessment should be documented and based on test or literature data.