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Member Country Profile - Norway

Country: Norway
Organisation: The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA)
Regime Scope: The PSA is the relevant agency responsible for safety, emergency preparedness and the working environment in the petroleum industry. The regulatory regime applies to offshore installations and exploration, production and exploitation operations, as well as to their associated onshore processing facilities and refineries.
Administering Agency /Arrangements: The PSA is an independent, government agency, which is accountable and provides advice to the Ministry of Labour.
Legislation Type: Acts, Royal Decrees and Regulations. These formulate requirements in a performance-oriented fashion. The requirements are extensively substantiated by referencing recognised national and international standards.
Extent Of Government Approval: The PSA does not approve any plans or applications as such, but requires duty holders to apply for consent to commence and carry out various petroleum industrial activities/operations (specified by requirements of the regulations).
Nature Of Duties Imposed: All companies have a general duty to ensure compliance with requirements of acts, statutory rules and regulations as well as their own, set requirements for their operations. The supervisory activities of the PSA do not exempt the duty holders of this duty.
Physical Objects In The Regime: Offshore installations and onshore facilities. These include exploration and production installations, including FPSO's, MODU's, flotels, subsea arrangements, wells, pipelines and off- and onshore processing plants. Also, the main functions of pipe laying barges, lifting barges, diving or other support vessels are regulated by the regime.
Assurance Mechanisms: The PSA assures that the industry is adhering to statutory regulations by conducting audits and verifications, and by - if necessary - employing its delegated regulatory powers.
Financial Basis: Government general budget allocation. Expenses related to regulatory supervision, such as staff's working hours and travel expenses, must be refunded by the duty holders in accordance with rates set by the government. The refunded costs are paid into the Treasury. Typically, these amount to about 45% of the PSA's total operational budget.
Environmental Regulation Responsibilities: The PSA's role with regard to protecting the natural environment is directed primarily at the preventive side by helping to ensure that environmentally harmful incidents do not occur. In addition, the PSA has a role in connection with the operator's emergency preparedness for stopping a leak or blow-out.
Oil Spill Response: Issues related to oil spill response is the responsibility of the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif). The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) is responsible for the operational side of such clean-ups. Both the NCA and the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (Nofo) will answer questions about the equipment used to clean up spills.

The PSA's webpage is probably the most informative source of information about our regulatory system and activities. Almost everything we do and think of as a regulator is duly accounted for here.

Most of the postings are also published in English. (This costs us a bit, but we do it for the benefit of media and for our good colleagues in other countries!)

The website accounts for our organization and it also introduces you to some of the people that are happily working with the PSA, our day-to-day supervisory activities, and it features a number of articles related to regulatory professional issues. Statistics are posted here as well as our annual reports, such as the annual Risk Assessment Report and our annual report in magazine format – the Safety, Status and Signals, which has been well received by the industry as well as of our regulatory colleagues.

Should a major accident occur in Norwegian waters or onshore, the PSA will quickly mobilize its Emergency Response Team, not least in part to be able to inform the central government and the public about the position. The PSA website will also change to bring the latest news about an accident.

You might also want to know that the PSA has a dedicated special webpage about what we as a regulator does in regard to the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo catastrophe.

Profile Author: Odd Bjerre Finnestad, Special Advisor, PSA
Profile Date: 3 August 2010



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