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Norway safety, health and environment

The systematic work on safety, health and environment has continued also in 2015.


In the Upstream business, we have maintained a good safety performance and avoided serious personnel injuries. The number of minor injuries continues to be at a very low level. 

Offshore ship

Our main priority is to avoid serious incidents, and one of the main tools for this is our “Life Saving Actions”. These are related to activities with higher risk exposure, which historically have led to serious incidents. The tool describes necessary actions that must be identified in order to safely execute such activities. The program addresses seven areas, including energy isolation, working at heights, crane and lifting operations, etc. All employees receive training in the requirements of “Life Saving Actions” and must have a fundamental understanding of these. 

In addition, there are initiatives to raise awareness on how important it is to maintain barriers to prevent incidents from happening, improve learning from global ExxonMobil incidents and industry in general. Although the Upstream organization has not experienced any serious incidents in recent years, the potential for this is always present, underling the importance of this preventive effort. 

For several years we have had an objective to improve our overall safety culture. Three key drivers for this were identified: leadership, good safety tools and alignment with contractors. The program has been strengthened every year through improvements of the basic safety tools. Based on the strong results that have been achieved so far, the program will be continued also in the years to come. 

Also Refining, Supply and Distribution have introduced systematic efforts to reduce the probability for high potential incidents. We have developed a well-established system for reporting and analyzing incidents that are typical to cause major incidents. Our Loss Prevention System (LPS) has been effective since 1999. The system is an important tool to further develop our safety culture. An important aspect is to mobilize employees and contractors to actively participate in identifying and reporting hazards  

Key activities/focus areas in 2015:

  • A full day safety awareness session for all daytime employees and  site contractors first week of January 2015
  • A risk tolerance program with the intention to improve risk perception and tolerance among all employees and contractors.  
  • Implement LPS (Loss Prevention System) in accordance with the expectations, across the site. 

The refinery had three lost time injuries in 2015, whereof two from contractors. Although the injury potential was limited on all of these, this is a disappointing result. The company places great emphasis on learning from incidents, and these incidents are subject to thorough scrutiny and associated corrective actions to prevent recurrence.

Marketing experienced no incidents involving any injuries in 2015.


Health and Working Environment is governed by management systems in line with regulations and internal guidelines. This involves a systematic identification and monitoring of the physical working environment and other exposure conditions. Employees with potential occupational illness or exposed to health hazards, are especially monitored. Preventing MSDs for office employees is a high priority. The departments have trained ergonomic contacts who can advise on properly adapted workplace and computer equipment. 

ExxonMobil’s statistics for sick leave in Norway has for many years been low. In 2015 average sickness was 2.3 percent, which is significantly lower than the national average. 

Offshore worker


The environmental program of ExxonMobil in Norway is fully integrated with the planning process and execution of all activities. The environmental management system, which is aligned with the international standard ISO 14001, is designed to ensure systematic and continuous improvement within the environmental area. 

ExxonMobil’s overall environmental objectives include: 

  • zero acute pollution 
  • maintain zero harmful discharges to sea 
  • reduce emissions to air 
  • achieve high segregation of waste 
  • minimize the risk of undesirable environmental incidents 
  • efficient use of energy 

Environment - Exploration and Production 2015 

A series of measures continued to maintain discharges to sea at the ExxonMobil operated fields at a minimum level. Among other things, the Jotun, Balder and Ringhorne fields have been designed with solutions for discharging produced water and drilling waste through injection back into the ground. Substituting chemicals with more environmentally friendly alternatives have also made it possible to further reduce environmental risks of discharges to sea. 

Offshore operations

Regarding emissions to air, ExxonMobil focuses on reducing the emissions of CO2, NOx, CH4 and other volatile organic compounds (nmVOC). ExxonMobil has participated in CO2 quota trading since 2008, and also in 2015 quotas were bought for all CO2 emissions. 

All of ExxonMobil’s operated licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf have participated in the Business Sector’s NOx Fund. The fund was established in 2008 to support the implementation of cost-effective measures in order to reduce NOx emissions across all business sectors. The fund is financed by companies contributing based on the size of their own NOx emissions. All of the four diesel generators at Balder have been modified to low NOx operation, and the costs of this have partially been financed by the NOx Fund. 
The nmVOC recovery facilities regarding storage of oil on the Balder and Jotun production vessels have had an efficiency of 98 and 100 percent. Cooperation with other operators to ensure efficient reduction of emissions to air of nmVOC in relation to offshore oil loading to shuttle tankers has continued in 2015. 

Systematic sorting and handling of waste are performed on all ExxonMobil’s operated offshore installations. All installations met the 2015 objective of minimum 75 % of all waste to be sorted. 

Environment - Refining 2015

The refinery experienced two onshore discharges above 160 liters in 2015. An exceedance of our discharge permit to sea in regards to concentrations of oil and ammonia and oil. The deviations have been reported to the authorities. Other emissions to air and discharges to sea were within the permit limits. Relevant emission figures and environmental focus areas for the refinery are further described in the annual status report “Miljø og samfunnsansvar” (in Norwegian).

International comparisons show that the ExxonMobil refinery at Slagentangen is one of the most energy efficient refineries in the world. Since the early 1990s, the refinery has implemented internal measures to save energy, and the use of energy today is 25 per cent more efficient than it was in 1990. The reason why CO2 emissions nevertheless have increased during this time period is mainly due to new environmental requirements to products e.g. increased desulphurization. Furthermore, the refinery has increased its processing capacity for crude oil. The refinery at Slagentangen has low emissions of CO2 compared to other refineries’ emissions in Europe.