Construction and service vessels on NCS

Several interesting reports have been published this summer relating to construction and service vessels on the Norwegian Continental shelf, mainly engaged in underwater construction and maintenance.

A tripartite working group under leadership of Ministry of work and Social affairs published its report in July, demonstrating that the employers and workers’ unions do not at all agree about anything when it comes to working conditions and regulation of construction and service vessels for the Norwegian Continental Shelf, except that the use of such vessels is likely to increase in the coming years. This is in fact consistent with what the Safetec report (with Preventor & Menon as subcontractors) in 2018 concluded.

Three reports by Oslo Economics, Menon and Uio have also been published with the focus on the possibility for the Norwegian state to regulate vessel activities in the petroleum sector from a international regulative point of view. All three reports appear to conclude that the Norwegian state has the option to regulate working conditions and salaries on vessels engaged in petroleum activities on NCS. This appears to be to some extent in contrast to what has been claimed by the Shipowners and Norwegian Oil and Gas.

The Safetec report documented that contract and working conditions are extensively unclear and not at all in conformity with Norwegian practices. The Safetec report suggested that as a modest start, PSA started to gather data about the extent of such services on an annual basis, because at the moment, nobody knows the volume and variation of such work.

It will therefore be up to the Ministry to determine if and how they want to regulate this activity. It will be very interesting to see if the Ministry will take action in this regard.