OSLO, Norway – Attempts to cut costs offshore Norway in the current downturn will not be helped by the steady rise in late-life fields and facilities on the Norwegian continental shelf, according to the country’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA).
Returns from these fields are often marginal because production is lower and the costs are therefore high. But this and other issues must not deter the industry from making continuous safety improvements, PSA insisted.
The association has defined “safe late life” as a new priority for 2015. Director-general Anne Myhrvold said: “We aim to help ensure that fields and facilities in this phase are operated prudently and in accordance with the regulations.
“Our challenge to the industry is that the requirement for prudent operation must be applied to facilities and activities throughout their life cycle.”
Companies must prepare robust plans, prioritize maintenance and ensure technical safety and integrity, she added.
“Maintenance management is a central aspect here. Let’s learn from the UK, where a number of fields have had to shut down early because of inadequate maintenance and modifications. That’s not the way to maximize value for society.”
PSA has in addition retainedNorway’s far north as a priority for 2015.
“We expect the industry to work on defined issues in theBarents Sea, including those presented by the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association last November,” Myhrvold said, and adds that the PSA is also pursuing projects for safe activity in the far north.
“Cooperation on safety represents an important challenge to the industry. We know the companies can collaborate when they see a benefit.
“No less than 33 of them joined forces to shoot 3D seismic in Barents Sea southeast, for example. But the ability is not enough – they must also desire it. It’s about looking ahead.”
As part of PSA’s commitment to the Barents Sea, the government is to stage an Arctic Safety Summit in Tromsø during late fall.