Oil Companies Team on Safety Project

 - October 31, 2008, 11:45 AM

Eight oil companies have joined forces to conduct a $1 million helicopter safety study on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) over the next three years. The project, which focuses on the 2000-2010 period, will be carried out by the Sintef research foundation in Trondheim. In the 1990s, the accident risk corresponded to 2.3 fatalities per million occupant-hours flown. “We’re well on our way to achieving the goal of halving that number,” said ConocoPhillips’ Sverre Austrheim, who chairs the management committee for the study. He cited the introduction of new helicopters such as the Sikorsky S-92 and the Eurocopter EC 225 as part of the reason for the improvement in safety. The study will also analyze trends for the period from 2008-09
to 2018-19. Funds come from ConocoPhillips, StatoilHydro, BP, Gaz de France, Total, Marathon, Shell and Eni Norge. About 35 helicopters operate on the
NCS. Annually, they fly some 45,000 hours and carry 750,000 passengers. The last helicopter accident with fatalities on the NCS was in 1997, when 12 people died in a crash off Brønnøysund in northern Norway.