One may be tempted to assume that field development in the new era with oil price about half of what is was until 2014 is purely a matter of cost cutting and removal of expensive requirements and “nice-to-have” systems.
Authorities on the other hand have repeated continuously the last few months that lowering of safety standards is not acceptable in this new era.
In our view, the primary focus should be on more ALARP evaluations, especially in early (pre FEED) development phases. ALARP evaluations (compulsory both in UK and Norwegian legislation) have traditionally not been focused on in early phases, some projects have done excellent work, but this has been quite dependent on personal priorities and ambitions. The Engen committee report in 2013 also focused on this aspect.
ALARP evaluations in early phases let us search for new ways to improve health and safety, and often, also reduce cost in a life cycle perspective, through improved robustness or flexibility. More emphasis on ALARP evaluations in early project phases may therefore be a win-win, which should be particularly popular in the new era!