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Safety First in the Barents Sea

dnv-logo_webOn 1 July,  DNV yesterday hosted an expert meeting at DNV headquarters at Høvik between representatives from the management group in Gazprom, Norwegian companies and representatives from the Russian and Norwegian government. The purpose of the meeting was to present a status report on a Barents 2020 project headed by DNV, which is now in its third, and final, phase. The final results and suggestions from the expert groups will be presented in a conference in Moscow in December 2009. In 2007 Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre initiated a Russia-Norway cooperation project on the safety aspects of petroleum activities in the Barents Sea with an aim of harmonizing industry standards for health, safety and the environment (HSE) in the High North. The standards will contribute to a level of safety in the Barents Sea similar to, or even higher than, the safety level in the North Sea. The project is a part of Barents 2020, a central element in the Norwegian Government’s strategy on the High North.

Rough & Vulnerable

Petroleum activities in the Barents Sea are expected to increase in the years to come. This entails a continued strong focus on, and concern for, adequate standards for health, safety and the environment. The Barents Sea is an area with particularly demanding conditions with regard to weather and the vulnerable environment. These challenges play an important role when it comes to choosing solutions and technologies for constructing and operating oil- and gas installations, as well as for the transportation of oil and gas by tankers and pipelines.

 Win-win situation

Cross-border expert collaboration has flourished as the harmonization project has brought together two sets of unique experiences; Russian in-depth knowledge and expertise with regard to operations in cold climate and Norwegian expertise from offshore operations. “The cross-border cooperation between Russian and Norwegian experts on safeguarding petroleum activities in the Barents Sea has been very positive. Both parties bring unique experiences and know-how to the table. Both have something to learn from the other. And both parties will benefit from the outcome. These are important factors in any success, and we have high expectations to the final results,” says President and CEO of DNV Henrik O. Madsen.