The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) is closely monitoring industry action over the current pandemic. So far, it has found that, while the pandemic is attracting great attention, there are no signs of safety being weakened.
Regular contacts over the coronavirus outbreak are being maintained with companies and other parties in the industry, said Ingvill Hagesæther Foss, one of the PSA’s directors of supervision.
“Despite the demanding circumstances, safety requirements remain unchanged,” she said. “Responsibility for conducting operations offshore and at the land plants prudently and in line with the regulatory requirements rests with the companies. The coronavirus doesn’t alter that. The players must always have emergency preparedness in place and plans so that they are able to deal with various incidents or conditions which could affect safety.”
Information received by the PSA from companies shows that no fixed facility on the Norwegian continental shelf or any land-based plant had restricted or shut down production as of 1200 hours on 13 March 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
Where drilling was concerned and on mobile facilities, the main activities—such as drilling, well workovers, and completion—were being maintained.
The reporting companies were restricting nonessential activities to ensure prudent operation and production. Maintenance of safety-critical equipment was being followed up as normal.
This feedback shows that the companies are keeping a close eye on the position and making continuous assessments in order to maintain a high level of health, safety, and the environment; cut manning; handle the risk of infection; protect employee health; and reduce the possibility of production shutdowns.
The PSA said that companies are incorporating preventive measures that are generally more stringent than national instructions and recommendations.
Based on reporting by companies, the PSA’s assessment is that great attention is being paid to the coronavirus position yet there are no indications that the level of safety has been weakened.
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