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. These requirements express the performance or result which the product, process or service is to yield — in other words, what the government wishes to achieve through them. The Norwegian petroleum industry embraces 15 500 km of pipelines, about half of which are large trunk lines for gas transport.
This paper will 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 for incidents involving pipelines and risers over the past decade, and highlight areas where we think the industry has a potential for improvement.