NORSOK is a Norwegian initiative to reduce the cost of offshore projects. It consists of a set of industrial standards, which are to replace current use of individual company specifications. The starting point for the views in this paper is NORSOK report no. 61, covering Health, Environment and Safety, and the presented potentials for improvement therein; e.g. standardisation of risk models, fewer and more comprehensive databases and common understanding of taxonomies. A prompt question raised is; Does standardisation and other changes enhance rigidity in development and choice of solutions? The paper presents and discusses expected consequences for risk analysis performance based upon ideas and recommendations from NORSOK.

The major challenge within the NORSOK principles is to establish standardised models applicable to the specific problems under consideration. Today, such standardisation is nonexistent and a major criticism of risk analyses is concerned with uncertainties and arbitrariness in risk results causing lack of credibility. Is it then really possible to meet the NORSOK intentions, for instance, defining standard minimum acceptance criteria and does the standardised risk assessment models serve its purposes? In this paper we present an alternative approach dealing consistently with these questions with respect to risk acceptance criteria and uncertainties. The approach enables structured use of expert opinions and engineering judgements within risk assessments. We conclude that use of standardised models and hard data are rational only with an adaptive frame using Bayesian probability theory.

Safety; trends, limitations and improvements! A retrospective survey focusing on savings.

Aven reviews the safety development in the Norwegian offshore oil and gas industry focusing on influences and contributions of participants involved. The trend seen in the legislation regime, gradually changed from being technically oriented to becoming a functional or goal oriented regime is applauded.

What conclusions can be drawn regarding trends and developments with respect to safety so far? It is very difficult to present credible results in terms of e.g. number of life saved, accidents prevented, oil spillage reduced, injuries reduced and economical or assets savings. However everyone seems to agree that the risk is reduced. Ojerstad and Lode present some measures, but little is connected to actual investments made in light of the benefits earned. We think it is important to add historical premises and incitements of improving safety when evaluating the efforts made.

1966-1975; Early beginning of the adventure.

  • Exploration and pre commercial activities; uncertain and risky investments

  • Primitive technical installations highly dependant on manpower for operation

  • Imperfect and incompatible (safety) legislation

  • Inexperienced authority and industry

  • Society unaffected

The activity was very limited and considered rather unimportant. The explorer (Phillips Petroleum Company) was given little restrictions upon its performance and the activity was considered as an offshore activity, in line with shipping and fishing, which were accepted as high risk activities.

1975-1981; Detailed and comprehensive legislation

  • Commercial oil production activity

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