We intend to share and apply that expertise as we grow internationally.

Statoil's main base will remain in Norway and domestic output will continue to dominate our portfolio for many years to come. Meanwhile, our production outside Norway is growing. We are becoming a more global company. Our expansion into new areas on both the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) and overseas exposes us to new and greater risk. The demand that we minimise health, safety and environment (HSE) incidents has never been more pressing.

Aspirations

Our ambition is to be an industry leader in HSE. Effective leadership includes achieving results and setting good examples. Our aspirations are as follows:

  • To produce the best HSE results in the business segments in which we participate
  • To continuously improve our HSE performance and be a driving force for raising HSE standards in the industry
  • To implement technology and solutions that balance tailor-made solutions with driving overall technological change.
  • To proactively develop and apply appropriate technology and processes to attain operational excellence and sustainable conduct
  • To maintain industry and stakeholder recognition for sound HSE performance
  • To be a positive example to others and to attract employees and partners

We recognise the importance of complying with industry requirements, understanding risks and running quality operations. We also know that further improvements are necessary to achieve and sustain our ambition to be an industry leader in HSE.

Four key areas

In 2008, we identified four key areas for improving safety measures. They are still valid:

  • 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

The guidelines are clear. They call for individual discipline and active compliance with rules and standards. Expertise and management development and all processes relating to people are crucial if we are to become genuine HSE leaders.

Actions support strategy

Our goal is zero incidents that harm people. We believe that all accidents can be prevented, and continuous improvement and safety continue to be our top priorities.

To accomplish our goal of improving safety results, we hold numerous training sessions in compliance, leadership and risk management. We are confident in these focus areas, but will strive hard to improve them in the years ahead.

Our industry is determined to learn from incidents and accidents to prevent similar occurrences in the future. The use of risk management and compliance measures is important, and compensatory measures are continuously implemented in order to reduce the risk of accidents.

Committed leadership and compliance

Statoil has introduced the compliance and leadership (C&L) model as a practical tool to manage risk and ensure learning. It serves as a general model that employees can apply to their own jobs. We believe that, through training, we exercise our own value-based leadership and gradually become better leaders. We build our culture through leadership. We challenge ourselves to raise the quality of our deliveries at every level.

C&L outlines how teams or individuals plan, execute and evaluate their activities - with the goal of becoming better at identifying and managing risk. The compliance programme focuses on integrating our values in all of our activities and complying with internal and external requirements. Where requirements cannot be met, the risk will be identified and controlled as part of our systematic handling of non-conformities. That in turn means that everyone on a work team acts safely and efficiently at all times, and thereby ensures the quality of the job.

Understanding and managing our risks

Learning from accidents is critical to improving safety. Analyses of major accidents and incidents have shown that many of the root causes are related to management decisions. To support and build on our four strategic HSE focus areas, high-level managers attend a workshop on process safety and major accidents. The focus is on process safety and technical integrity.

The learning objectives for the workshop are as follows:

  • To create an understanding of process safety and how management decisions can affect these types of risks
  • To become aware of the risk of major accidents
  • To create awareness of management responsibility for controlling and handling process safety
  • To increase awareness of the factors that influence process safety

The reporting of near-misses highlights normal causes of occupational accidents, but provides little insight into process safety risks. Managers are required to prioritise these issues and make sure that they have the necessary overview. It is management's responsibility to ensure that the whole workforce and organisation have the necessary know-how and understand the risks involved.

Future safety challenges

Maintaining our operations on the NCS is a huge challenge as offshore installations and wells age. Technical standards and integrity will be a challenge in connection with further development on the NCS.

Experience transfer from the NCS to future offshore field developments in deep waters and harsh environments is vitally important. In connection with shale gas and shale oil, it is not only important to have a good technical overview, but also a sound grasp of the corporate social responsibility and environmental issues. We will pursue a facility concept based on design and operational simplicity.

We will continue to review, map and describe the technical condition of safety barriers and safety systems on our installations and at our plants. The focus will be on the risk of major accidents. We will further develop our system for monitoring the risk level and safety condition of the barriers. Technical safety condition reviews are a very important supplement to basic maintenance and testing of the barriers.

In control

We have developed and use excellent tools and methods for handling and controlling process safety. This minimises the risk of accidents and incidents with a high potential for escalating into major events.

Loss of containment of hydrocarbons is the most common scenario in major accidents. The design and construction of an offshore facility are crucial to reducing damage and injury in the event of an accident. Barrier elements are built in several stages to reduce the force of explosions. Their overall functionality, reliability and vulnerability are critical to mitigating an accident's destructive potential.