Tryg Forsikring


Building Safety in Petroleum Exploration and Production in the Northern Regions

The project addresses safety opportunities and challenges in petroleum exploration and production in the northern regions. The project shall produce knowledge to build resilient operational organisations for petroleum production in the northern regions. The principal objective is to reduce risk to personnel and environment.

The project is funded by the program "Helse, miljø og sikkerhet i petroleumssektoren" (HMSFORSK) by The Research Council of Norway and Eni Norge AS.

The work is carried out in close cooperation between SINTEF, IFE (Institute for Energy Technology), NTNU and Eni Norge AS, using the development of the Goliat field as case studies.

In 2011 – 2012, issues addressed in Building Safety were continued within ReSMaM (Resilience-based Safety Management and Monitoring).

In ReSMaM, the concept of organizational resilience was a core concept, addressing remaining challenges from Building Safety. This involved (1) accentuating organizational and managerial contributions in order to enable resilience, and (2) emphasizing the need for a coordinated and mutually harmonized sensitivity and interaction across different decision contexts and situations (e.g. operator and contractor).

The overarching aim was to address how prevailing safety management principles and practices, based on compliance – can be supplied by resilience-based principles and practices, and so form the basis for an integrated and more efficient safety management in complex and dynamic situations.

Main Research Tasks

Building Safety:

  • Develop new knowledge, theories, and methods related to the interrelations between a complex technological system, its human operators, and the organization. This will be achieved by concerted actions between engineering scientists, psychologists, and social scientists. The objective is to give well founded advice on how to design and operate – and how to train personnel and organize complex systems to build a resilient organisation, and to meet specified safety objectives.
  • Develop new approaches to risk monitoring, and especially focus on the use of risk indicators. The objective is to monitor the risk level, and be able to intervene into a system before accidents occur, and thereby avoid major accidents. Project results should facilitate the use of feedback data for decision support, by establishing threshold values, acceptance criteria, trending etc to give early warning when moving out of the "predefined HSE envelope". This approach will require new methods for risk monitoring, knowledge about risk indicators, and their correlation with the risk level.


  • Develop new theoretical knowledge and methods regarding design and development of organizations in terms of organizational resilience, both specifically towards the Goliat development and for generic application.
  • Develop practical guidelines for development of resilient team work.
  • Provide relevant input for operation preparation of the Goliat-field.
  • Develop practical guidance for development of proactive, resilience-based indicators.
  • Publish articles in international scientific journals and participate in international peer-reviewed conferences.
  • Prepare and develop a knowledge base that forms a foundation for future research initiatives beyond 2011.



Results 2007 - 2010

  • Building Safety addresses challenges in petroleum exploration and production in the northern regions, characterized by a harsh climate, vulnerable nature and extremely strict environmental requirements.
  • The project has developed knowledge, theories and methods related to "build" resilient organisations, using the development of the Goliat field in the Barents Sea as a case. Resilience refers to the capability of recognizing, adapting to, and coping with the unexpected.
  • Development of robust organisations complements the traditional approach to safety, by implementing safety measures based on risk analyses of unwanted events that can be identified in advance.
  • The project has developed a method called REWI - Resilience-based Early Warning Indicators for early warning (leading indicators) of potential major accidents.
  • The project has published 10 articles in scientific journals with referee and 20 conference papers.
  • The project has been carried out in close cooperation between SINTEF, IFE (Institute for Energy Technology), NTNU and Eni Norge AS.
  • The project has been funded by the Research Council of Norway and Eni Norge AS. In addition, Tryg Insurance has funded a doctoral fellowship within the project. The total budget is 13.2 million NOK.

Last update: June 18, 2012

Project Manager Building Safety:

Ranveig Kviseth Tinmannsvik 

Project Manager ReSMaM:

Tor Olav Grøtan 


Building Safety in Petroleum Exploration and Production in the Northern Regions