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Eduardo G. Pereira and Henrik Bjørnebye

Section 1-2 of the Norwegian Petroleum Act sets out that petroleum resource management: shall be carried out in a long-term perspective for the benefit of the Norwegian society as a whole. In this regard the resource management shall provide revenues to the country and shall contribute to ensuring welfare, employment and an improved environment, as well as to the strengthening of Norwegian trade and industry and industrial development, and at the same time take due regard to regional and local policy considerations and other activities. Other states use different words to describe their aims, but in substance most would agree that the description above captures the overall purpose of petroleum resource management. The greater challenge is how to achieve those aims. Different models are applied from country to country depending on the societal, political, economic and legal context.

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Henrik Bjørnebye and Catherine Banet

The Norwegian petroleum resource management model is based on a licensing regime set out in the Norwegian Petroleum Act, with further details provided in the Petroleum Regulations. The Act governs the lifecycle of petroleum operations from cradle to grave through a step-by-step licensing approach. The main considerations and principles behind the Petroleum Act are discussed in earlier chapters of this book. In this chapter, we will provide an overview of the content and structure of the licensing system, following a stepwise approach from the opening of the petroleum areas to the decommissioning of installations. Upstream oil and gas activities have different impacts on their surrounding environment at different stages of their exploration, production and transformation into sellable assets. In this chapter, we will therefore also examine the manner in which offshore petroleum activities are regulated with respect to their interaction with the surrounding environment.

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Eduardo G. Pereira and Henrik Bjørnebye

The discovery of huge deposits of petroleum in the North Sea in the late 1960s and early 1970s came at a fortunate time for both Norway and the UK. Both countries were by then well-organized parliamentary democracies based on the rule of law, with well-educated work forces and advanced economies. In other words, both countries were in a good position to start petroleum development around 1970. Consequently, as emphasized by Erik Jarlsby in chapter 2, one factor that should not be underestimated as a contributor to success in North Sea petroleum development is that of sheer luck. As he points out, not only were huge petroleum deposits discovered on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, they were also discovered at the right moment.

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Regulating Offshore Petroleum Resources

The British and Norwegian Models

Edited by Eduardo G. Pereira and Henrik Bjørnebye

Regulating Offshore Petroleum Resources examines the main regulatory characteristics of the Norwegian and the British models for petroleum exploration, production and supply. The authors explore to what extent these models are relevant for the design of regulatory models in countries with significant existing petroleum resources. The applicability of these regulatory models to countries with potential petroleum resources is also assessed.