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Risk measured off Norway

October 7, 1998, 10:00 CEST

The overall level of risk in Norway's offshore sector has been computed for the first time in a new report.

After analysing accidents over the past decade, this study presents a scenario for the next 10 years which forecasts a slight rise in the risk of offshore accidents and emissions.

The report has been drawn up by Norwegian consultant Preventor in cooperation with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Elf, Norsk Hydro, Saga Petroleum and Statoil.

Overall risk is expected to rise in line with a probable expansion in activity off Norway. However, the risk per hour worked or per operation should remain unchanged.

Achieving Statoil's zero mindset on accidents in order to prove these forecasts wrong is the challenge, says Borgar Røkke in the corporate health, environment and safety department.

Major oil spills or blowouts have been avoided off Norway over the past decade. The analysis indicates that the risk of such incidents rises with the level of activity.

"Our environmental goal remains zero discharges or emissions, even with a growing number of subsea wells and greater activity," says Berit Melberg, head of the environment sector in corporate HES.

She maintains that the risk for each well drilled is no higher today than it was before, thanks to good safety routines and emergency response systems.

Resource maps have been prepared for sensitive areas close to land and resources which should be given priority in the event of an oil spill clean-up operation are identified.

Emergency response plans have also been established for the shore zone. Expertise can be made available for possible clean-ups, even when the spill is not attributable to the offshore industry.