Produced Water pp 481-491 | Cite as

Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring in Norway – Regulations, Results and Developments

  • Torgeir Bakke
  • Ann Mari Vik Green
  • Per Erik Iversen


The first oil on the Norwegian continental shelf was found at the Ekofisk field in the southern North Sea in 1969. Several new discoveries were made in the years after, and from 1973, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT from 2010 Climate And Pollution Agency (Klif)) required that all the licensed companies should submit annual reports on the environmental conditions in their impact areas. This requirement was one of the conditions for discharge permits, and guidance was given on the minimum scope and content of the environmental surveys to be performed. The annual reports quickly demonstrated that there was a need for better harmonisation of the monitoring methods to be used. In 1987 SFT and the offshore operators jointly hosted a 2-day workshop to agree on a common strategy and methodology for offshore baseline and monitoring surveys. On the basis of the workshop outcome, an expert group appointed by SFT developed a guideline document for sediment monitoring that was subsequently discussed in an open forum with the offshore operators. The guidelines were put into force in 1988 and in the same year they were adopted by the Paris Commission for use in the convention waters (PARCOM 1989). In 1991 the guidelines (SFT 1990) were made mandatory for monitoring around Norwegian fields. In 1997 the guidelines were revised. A concept of regional monitoring was introduced, and guidelines for monitoring of the water column were included (SFT 1997). The latter was a response to the change in impact focus from discharge of drilling waste to produced water (PW). In 1993 strong restrictions ended regular discharges of oily drill cuttings. At the same time, national prognoses estimated an increase in PW discharges from around 25 million m3/yr in 1993 to more than 250 million m3/yr in 2009. Subsequent minor guideline revisions were made in 1999, (SFT 1999) and 2010 (Klif 2009).


Produce Water Environmental Condition Monitoring Drilling Waste Petroleum Activity Norwegian Continental Shelf 
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This chapter is based on a large number of survey reports produced by numerous consulting companies on contract from the offshore operators. The ones referred directly to are cited, and the others are hereby thanked collectively for their contribution. This chapter has been prepared under contract 4008001 from the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) to the Norwegian Institute for Water Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torgeir Bakke
    • 1
  • Ann Mari Vik Green
    • 2
  • Per Erik Iversen
    • 2
  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)OsloNorway
  2. 2.Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif)OsloNorway

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