Barents 2020 sees Russia – Norway cooperation


 Henrik O. Madsen.

Henrik O. Madsen.

DNV has hosted an expert meeting 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. The focus of the project is on the safety aspects of petroleum activities in the High North.

Rough climate and vulnerable environment

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.

Safety first in the Barents Sea

In 2007 Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre initiated a Russia-Norway cooperation project with an aim of harmonising industry standards for health, safety and the environment (HSE) for the Barents Sea. 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.

The project is now in its third, and final, phase. Seven groups consisting of Russian and Norwegian experts have met regularly to discuss and deliberate on various issues related to HSE in the Barents Sea. In the period 29 June – 1 July the groups met at DNV headquarters at Høvik. A status report of the various expert groups were presented in a meeting on 1 July. The final results and suggestions from the expert groups will be presented in a conference in Moscow in December 2009.

A win-win situation

Cross-border expert collaboration has flourished as the harmonisation project has brough 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.


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