An operator must obtain our consent prior to:

  • carrying out surveys where the drilling depth is more than 200 metres below the seabed
  • carrying out exploration drilling
  • carrying out manned underwater operations
  • putting all or part of a facility into service
  • carrying out major modifications or changes in use
  • using a facility beyond its working life and the assumptions which formed the basis for its original approval
  • disposal/removal/moving of a facility
  • removing or changing the use of a vessel with a significant safety-related function.

Source/full text: section 25 of the management regulations

Not an approval

A consent does not mean that we approve a facility, equipment, components, procedures, qualifications or the like.

When giving a consent, we express our confidence that the operator is able to execute the activity within the framework of the regulations, and in accordance with the information in the consent application.

Information on what a consent application should contain can be found in section 26 of the management regulations.

How long does a consent last?

In principle, a consent has no expiry date. It applies for the planned duration of the activity. During this period, the company is responsible for fulfilling the assumptions which form the basis for the consent.

If a company discovers a nonconformity from the assumptions, it must take appropriate measure on its own initiative to correct or remove this.


Should the operator make changes to the activity, it must inform the regulators as soon as possible if the changes breach the assumptions in the consent. We will then carry out verifications to confirm that the activity can be executed in compliance with the regulations and the commitments made in the consent application.

If this is not the case, we can intervene with an order – or require the operator to obtain a new consent.