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Bo Randulf

Major accident risk at record low on the NCS

Incidents with a major accident potential are continuing to decline in number on the Norwegian continental shelf. The overall risk has never been lower.

The overall indicator (major accident indicator), which reflects the industry’s ability to manage conditions which influence risk, is at it lowest-ever level. This emerges from the annual RNNP analysis of trends in risk level in the petroleum activity on the NCS.

Findings by the RNNP are based on reports from the companies operating on the NCS, which are analysed by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA).

Hydrocarbon leaks are very significant for major accident risk in Norway’s petroleum sector. Six such escapes were recorded in 2019, compared with seven the year before. All the 2019 incidents were classified with a low risk potential.

“The clear decline in hydrocarbon leaks has persisted over several years, and we saw a record low last year both in their number and in their risk potential,” says Aud Nistov, manager for HSE and standardisation at the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.

An increase in defined situations of hazards and accidents (DSHAs) was recorded from 2018 to 2019, which related particularly to well control incidents. There were 19 of these last year, of which 18 were classified with a low level of seriousness and one as serious.

At the same time, however, the level of activity was higher. Normalising the number of incidents against hours worked means that the 2019 outcome was identical with the year before.

“The industry works long-term, continuously and purposefully with measures to reduce risk and improve safety on the NCS, and this is yielding results,” observes Nistov. “Although last year’s results are historically good, efforts continue to map, understand and learn from incidents.”

Read the whole RNNP report for 2019 (for the moment in Norwegian only).