Giving appropriate consideration to and balancing these commitments has a central place in our performance management and decision-making processes. Together with effective learning across the organisation, this is essential if we are to deliver continuous improvements in our activities.

Our ambition is to be an industry leader in HSE. This ambition has a central role across the organisation as a driver for the delivery of continuous improvements. However, we acknowledge the need to continue to endeavour to make improvements while taking our business forward in 2011. 

We have identified the following four priority areas as drivers of improvements.  They were carried forward from 2009 and will be further carried forward into 2011. We consider them to be fundamental to our ability to deliver on our policy commitments and our ambition to be industry leader in HSE:

  • Committed leadership and compliance
  • Understanding and managing our risks
  • Simplification and harmonisation of our procedures and work processes
  • Increased focus on technical integrity and barriers.

We are mindful of the fact that our ambition to be industry leader in HSE requires recognition from beyond the Statoil organisation - from our contractors, our clients, our peers, regulators and our neighbours.

Following the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico the industry as a whole is facing a higher level of scrutiny with respect to all activities. This incident was a grim reminder of the scale of the potential impact of major accidents and the need for good HSE performance as a prerequisite for long-term value creation, and raised public concern about the overall integrity and HSE performance of the industry as a whole. 

The accident potential of our own Gullfaks C 06 well incident in May 2010 added to the sense of urgency with which we need to address further improvement in safety performance. Although the incidents were unrelated and quite different in nature and severity, we have already taken action to secure implementation of additional measures, and a summary of these actions is provided in this report. However, we recognise the need to continue concerted efforts in 2011 to rebuild confidence in our HSE performance and future licence to operate.