History of the earth
Why do we have oil in Norway? Natural history through billions of years.
A global force
Petroleum – a raw material, source of energy and factor of power
On the cutting edge of technology
Drilling deeper and deeper – innovative solutions on the Norwegian
Factories at sea
Place of work: the North Sea - a journey to an unknown part of Norway.
Ekofisk - a Christmas present in
Exploration for oil and gas in
the Norwegian North Sea began at 08.20 on 19. july 1966, when Ocean Traveler
spudded the first well in these waters. But wells were needed before the
industry's luck turned. Ekofisk was discovered in the late autumn of 1969,
earning it the nickname "Norway's Christmas present" Regular oil production
began from this field in 1971. Today, Norway ranks second only to Saudi
Arabia among the world's oil exporters.
About 25 000 people work on the
Norwegian continental shelf in relation to oil and gas production, with some
3000-4000 employed on the installations at any one time. About 10 per cent
of this workforce are women.
Norway had 42 fields producing in the North Sea and eight in the Norwegian
Sea at 31 December 2005. Eighty nine fixed installations were in regular
Operation then, while 21 had ceased production.
An offshore tour lasts normally 14 days, followed by four weeks of free time
on land. After a 12-hour shift, most crew relax in the common rooms. They
gather in the lounge for a chat, a read of the papers, a game of cards, a
smoke and a cup of coffee. The latest newspapers from all over Norway, and
particularly the local press are important for welfare on board.
Crew employed on deck or in the
process facilities keep their work garments and personal protective gear in
the changing room. The job calls for protective goggles, gloves and boots,
ear protectors, hard hats and flame-retardant clothes, Personnel also have
to wear safety harnesses and lifejackets when working up high or over water.
During hot work, such as welding, the areas involved must be free of gas or
other easily-combustible substances.
The catering department is responsible for the changing rooms and for
cleaning the living quarters. But keeping things clean and tidy is not the
only element in a good working environment. Strict rules on hygiene aim to
avoid outbreaks of illness – food poisoning, for instance – which could at
worst mean a production shut-down.