Norway's Offshore Regulator Redefines Risk

By MarEx 2016-03-03 21:26:21

Incidents occur every year in Norway’s petroleum industry which could have developed into a major accident under only slightly different circumstances, and Norway’s offshore regulator PSA has introduced a new definition of the risk concept it hopes will help to reduce these events.

The PSA says comprehending and managing risk are essential for avoiding hazardous events in the oil and gas sector, which uses risk analyses to get to grips with the hazard picture.

Such assessments build on a number of assumptions, experience and accumulated knowledge. But the question is how to determine whether the assumptions and expertise are sufficiently sound.

By clarifying that risk means the consequences of the activities, with associated uncertainty, the PSA wants to avoid important decisions being taken on too flimsy a basis.

“We must broaden our horizons, and accept that we can get a number of surprises if our understanding of the position is too narrow,” says Bjørnar Heide, who led the PSA’s work on clarifying the risk concept.

The risk concept can be found in the guidelines to section 11 of the framework regulations on risk reduction principles.

The restatement imposes no new requirements. It accords with international standards, such as ISO 31000: 2009, and is accordingly not specific to Norway.