OSLO, Norway -- An updated version of Norway’s integrated management plan for the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea off Lofoten (BHL region) is due to be submitted shortly, in the form of a White Paper.
The technical basis for managing activities in parts of the northern Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) was revised in 2010. Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway provided input on safety and the working environment in the petroleum sector.
Various Norwegian government agencies and scientific teams also contributed, in the form of updated mapping, research, and monitoring data on the environment, resources, oil spill risks, and the human impact on the ecosystem in the BHL waters.
PSA has served on the risk group and technical forum established to widen the knowledge base for the plan. These and a monitoring group delivered a report last April to Norway’s Ministry of the Environment.
PSA has also provided technical input, including descriptions of possible blowout scenarios, based on available knowledge and experience related to the petroleum sector, the NCS, the BHL area, accidents, and incident management.
The blowout scenario for the BHL region was derived from a combination of flow rates, durations, and oil properties considered generally unfavorable.
In light of last April’s Deepwater Horizon incident, the risk group was asked to evaluate the technical conclusions for the BHL plan. Assessments within PSA’s jurisdiction included risk conditions related to acute discharges, and discharge scenarios in terms of rates, duration, and volumes. Based on analysis to date of the Macondo incident, PSA found no technical arguments to justify significant changes to the factual basis for the BHL management plan.