Trial Period for Emergency Plan at Oseberg - Troll Extended

Frigg-Oseberg-Troll Complex, North Sea
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Norsk Hydro and Statoil have applied for consent to a permanent change in the consent for use of the Oseberg-Troll area. The change relates to the implementation of area emergency contingency. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has turned down the application, while simultaneously extending the current trial period by one year.

The area emergency contingency includes Statoil's Troll A, Huldra and Veslefrikk installations, and Norsk Hydro's Oseberg Field Centre, the Oseberg C, Oseberg Øst, Oseberg Sør, Brage, Troll B and Troll C installations, as well as the subsea installations for the Tune and Fram Vest fields.

On October 1, 2002, Statoil and Norsk Hydro received permission to implement area emergency contingency for the area in question for a trial period of two years. The companies applied for consent to make the arrangement permanent in July 2004.

The intention behind introducing area emergency contingency is to carry out efficient emergency preparedness within geographical areas, and between different operating companies, by using common emergency contingency resources, including joint standby vessels and SAR helicopters. The area cooperation also includes preparedness for acute pollution.

During the trial period, the PSA and the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) have conducted audits to confirm that emergency preparedness in the area was safeguarded in accordance with the regulatory requirements.

Although the use of the area resources has led to generally good and efficient emergency preparedness, the audit activities have shown that contingency for dispersion is not sufficient. In addition, the PSA has recommended that Norsk Hydro improve its man-over-board contingency through the use of two independent MOB boat systems.

For this reason, the PSA has decided to extend the trial period by one year, until 1 October 2005. Prior to the end of the trial period, Norsk Hydro and Statoil must submit to us the necessary documentation to demonstrate that the requirement for preparedness for acute pollution has been safeguarded. We have also requested a statement from Norsk Hydro confirming the changes that the company may have implemented regarding its MOB boat contingency.
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