Statoil is building a world-class international oil and gas company. This requires that we are among the absolute front runners on safety, both on technical aspects and safe operations.

We continually strive to create a safe workplace for our employees and contract personnel, thus avoiding accidents and occupational illnesses.

Besides continuous focus on safety awareness, we ensure high technical standards and inherent safety in the design and operation of all our plants and installations.

Risk management is a continuous process, and the cornerstone of HSE management in Statoil. HSE risk comprises the possibilities for harmful effects of both unintentional incidents and planned operations. As part of the decision-making process, relevant HSE risk factors are identified and assessed and relevant risk reducing measures implemented.

Systematic surveys of technical safety systems allow us to verify the condition of plants in relation to defined performance standards.

Risk management

Risk management is used in both project development and operations in order to meet established requirements and achieve as low a risk level as practical possible.

Risk management is based on an interaction between personnel, organisation and technology. It involves a process which aims to identify hazards, evaluate risk and identify risk-reducing measures in relation to functional requirements.

Therefore, all land-based plants and offshore installations shall be designed to prevent accidents and hazardous incidents based on risk management principles. Their technical standard and the way they are operated shall also ensure the same.

The risk of accidents is always present, reflecting experience which indicates that an undesirable incident could happen now or at some time in the future.

Its consequences could range from destruction of a platform (such as Piper Alpha in the UK) to a small gas leak which failed to ignite.

To prevent such incidents, barriers are established and maintained at our facilities, onshore and offshore.

These can include:

  • leak prevention
  • preventing ignition of flammable leaks
  • preventing escalation of fires/explosions
  • limiting the consequences of ignited leaks
  • safeguarding personnel

Pioneer in monitoring technical safety

Systematic verifications of the condition of the safety systems and barriers are carried out for all Statoils installations, both onshore and offshore. The verifications are based on inspection, testing, interviews and documentation review. Corrective action is taken when conditions are deemed unsatisfactory or when improvements are required. The condition is regularly monitored to ensure a high level on safety technology, typically with a 5 year interval.

The methodology was developed by Statoil in cooperation with Det Norske Veritas and has been described as pioneering by the Norwegian authorities.

Safe behaviour

As part of continuous improvement with respect to safety awareness and attitudes, all employees have participated in workshops where the dialogue is open and the impressions strong. In the workshops both management and personnel commits themselves to safe behaviour in their work.  A system of performing open safety dialogues have been adopted to reduce risky behaviour in work operations.

Crane and lifting operations

Lifting operations are one of the major causes of fatalities and serious incidents in global exploration and production activities.

Every type of lift has a set of risks that needs to be managed if the lift is to be undertaken in a safe and efficient manner.

Statoil has worked systematically to improve the safety of crane and lifting operations during the last 15 years and has achieved good results.

The basis for the improvement work has been HSE and technical key figure reports.

The key elements have been:

  • To understand and meet relevant requirements
  • Skills improvement both for operational and technical personnel
  • Technical improvements
  • Management system

HSE key figure reports indicate a 70% improvement concerningred/yellow incidents reported in the period.

Improved maritime safety

Statoil has collaborated with the relevant shipping companies to improve the safety of offshore supply, emergency response and anchor handling operations.

Emphasis has been given to planning, expertise and communications, and the number of undesirable incidents in maritime operations has declined substantially in recent years.

The company’s total risk picture indicates that the activities related to the carriage of hydrocarbons by tanker vessels are by far the main contributor to the environmental risk picture. We are updating the “Risk picture” study on a biannual basis based on updated input criteria like activity level, changes in the tanker fleet composition, new requirements and quality of the tanker fleet.

Based on the recommendations from this study is our Shipping Policy updated to meet expectations to avoid any marine accidents causing any environmental or other damages.

Fire and explosion risk

The danger of fire, explosion and other accidents is always present in a fully-integrated oil and gas company.

Statoil and Hydro have cooperated on research to reduce the risk to a minimum, a research that now will be even better focused by the strong Statoil company. One example is testing of different types of flanges as to how long the may survive a fire without a major leak occurring.