The pace of offshore development on the Norwegian continental shelf has continued at such a rate that manpower and vital materiel is being found in increasingly short supply. New discoveries, the expansion of older fields, and efforts to exend field life have placed a heavy workload on the Norwegian oil industry. The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has raised concerns that this situation is likely to lead to accidents as operations begin to run the risk of being understaffed and undereqquiped.
Ingvill Hagesaether Foss, PSA director of supervision, was quoted as saying, “Sufficient expertise and capacity are crucial for maintaining the level of safety.” In addition to these worrying shortages, Foss stated that the safety of operations was put at risk by companies that failed to understand how to conduct responsible operations in the Norwegian Continental Shelf: “We don’t want to receive applications from players who haven’t the expertise or the capacity to implement the relevant projects.”
According to the PSA, although expertise regarding operations in the region has improved in recent years, there are still further steps to be taken. Finn Carlsen, another spokesman for the PSA said, “More attention must be paid to preventing pollution. A disquieting number of people think oil spill clean-up is the most important way of combating environmental damage. But they’re wrong.”
Edited from various sources by David Bizley