Safety regulation in the petroleum activity [PhD]
Legal questions related to safety is one of the Institute’s academic priorities. The Safety Regulation in the Petroleum Activity project focuses on the regulation methodology used in the petroleum activity as well as the public authorities’ management of this field.
Photo: Anne Lise Norheim/OLF
The petroleum activity is a branch highly exposed to risks, as oil and gas are drawn out at open sea under harsh weather conditions. Safety is a complex field to regulate.
The authorities have left the prescriptive regulatory approach and issued a set of rules mainly consisting of functional requirements described as goals, without explaining how to achieve these goals. The companies are obliged to demonstrate that they have an adequate safety and risk management system in order to get permission to perform their activity.
The government has complemented the regulations with instruction manuals, interpretive statements etc. which are not legally binding, which only functions as suggestions on how the companies should fulfill the requirements of the regulations. A three-party-cooperation is established between the public authorities, the companies and the employees, as well as numerous forums discussing safety questions.
The main focus of the project is to study the regulations and the authorities’ approach to safety in the petroleum activity, and compare the findings with some central legal principles like equal treatment, predictability, the prohibition against self-incrimination, etc. From a legal perspective one can ask the following question:; May the weak points of the regulations be compensated or overlooked, thinking that the advantages compensate for the disadvantages?
The project's main page is in Norwegian