Petroleum Act (Act of 29 November 1996 No. 72 relating to petroleum activities)

Last updated: 4 February 2022

The Act sets forth the licensing system for offshore petroleum production. It indirectly regulates methane by authorizing the regulator to set limits on venting and burning/flaring of product.


“Burning of petroleum in excess of the quantities needed for normal operational safety shall not be allowed unless approved by the Ministry” (§4-4).


Upon application, the Ministry determines for certain periods the quantity of petroleum that can be produced, injected or cold-ventilated (§4-4).


Operators have strict, and joint-and-several, liability for pollution damage (§§7-3, 8-4).


The law grants the regulator enforcement and inspection authority (§10-3) (penalty provisions, §§10-13, 16, and 17); recordkeeping and reporting authority (§10-4); and the authority to issue rules (§10-18).


The law separately spells out the obligations of the limited liability company owned by Norway for its own exploration and production (§11).  The Ministry is authorised to issue administrative decisions or regulations to implement this act against the company (§11-10).

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