Norway's PSA Seeks Contact with Rig Construction Companies

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) is seeking extensive dialogue with companies which construct rigs that can operate on the Norwegian Shelf.

There is a lot of construction activity going on in the petroleum industry, but rig constructors have varying levels of operational experience. So far, the PSA has had very positive experiences from dialogues with a total of twelve companies that build mobile installations which can operate on the Norwegian Shelf. This contact has uncovered several challenges:

  • A general need for a better understanding of regulations: due to the large volume of activity, some companies also have to use shipyards with less experience in building drilling installations. This poses additional challenges with respect to regulations and how these are interpreted.
  • The need for a clarification of roles: many are uncertain about the division of roles and responsibilities between the PSA, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate, flag states and classification societies.
  • A need for exchange of experiences: the PSA can assist in establishing contacts for companies that have little or no experience from operations on the Norwegian Shelf.
  • A need for focus on operating organizations: competence and personnel/resources must be planned in good time in order to ensure safe operations.

Guidance in the early stages

Feedback from companies also indicates that guidance in the early stages is important for familiarization with operational requirements, technological expectations and regulations relating to the Norwegian Shelf. The PSA finds that the industry has a need for information on and guidance in issues such as requirements to the content of applications for Acknowledgements of Compliance (AoC) for mobile installations.

During meetings with companies, the PSA emphasizes the importance of the industry's contributions towards developing regulations. Companies can do this by providing feedback on aspects of the regulations which can be perceived as challenging or restrictive.

Learning from experience

The PSA is also concerned that the newer construction companies draw on the experience that drilling contractors and operating companies have in designing for operations on the Norwegian Shelf. This knowledge will be an important contribution towards constructing the best possible facilities for the years ahead. We notice, however, that there are varying degrees of dialogue and interaction between contractor companies and operators.

Meeting the operators

The PSA would also like to receive feedback on how the operating companies evaluate the concepts that are being built. We will also take the initiative to meet with some of the operators in an effort to learn how they communicate their expectations; in other words, their requirements for effective and safe operation on the Norwegian Shelf.

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