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Pipeline Regulations in the Norwegian Petroleum Industry: Experiences, Follow-Up and Statistical Summaries of Incidents

[+] Author Affiliations
Trond Sundby, Kjell Arild Anfinsen

Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, Stavanger, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2017-61234, pp. V05AT04A009; 9 pages
  • ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 5A: Pipelines, Risers, and Subsea Systems
  • Trondheim, Norway, June 25–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5769-4
  • Copyright © 2017 by Government of Norway


The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) is an independent government regulator responsible for safety, emergency preparedness and the working environment in the Norwegian petroleum industry.

Norway’s regulations for petroleum operations offshore and on land are risk-based, and give great emphasis to principles for reducing health, safety and environmental (HSE) risk. They have been developed over more than 40 years, changing from detailed prescriptive regulations in the early days to the present requirements, which are largely formulated in performance-based (functional) terms. They specify requirements for the various aspects, characteristics or qualities which a product, process or service must possess.

In our regulations there are requirements for reporting incidents and specifically to report on damages to load-bearing structures and pipeline systems. About 2900 incidents with risers and pipelines were reported on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) from 1975 to January 2017. Of these, 2/3 related to pipelines and 1/3 to risers, and they were of varying degrees of severity. The incidents with highest risk for personnel concerned risers and more than 80 reported major incidents involving flexible risers occurred in the period from 2000–2016.

This paper will briefly summarise the development of the regulations and give examples from the pipeline regulations and the way the PSA follows up the industry today. We will also present statistical data of incidents related to risers. Since the start of the trends in risk level project (RNNP) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in 1999–2000 there has been 84 reported riser incidents (classified as major in the PSA RNNP-project) where most of those incidents are related to flexibles. There has been no major accident related to risers on the NCS in the same period and very few leaks. 8 of 11 reported leaks for pipelines and risers within the safety zone has been from flexible risers, with relatively low leak rates.

Copyright © 2017 by Government of Norway



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