Use the Lexology Navigator tool to compare the answers in this article with those from other jurisdictions.

Transport and storage

Legal framework

What is the general legal framework governing the transportation and storage of oil and gas resources in your jurisdiction?

Storage of petroleum is regulated by the Petroleum Act if part of petroleum activities within the scope of the act. Other storage-related activities are regulated by applicable industry legislation.

Transportation of petroleum in bulk by ship is regulated by general applicable maritime and industry relevant legislation and applicable flag state rules.

Transportation of oil and gas in submarine and onshore pipelines is regulated by the Petroleum Act when part of upstream offshore activities. Downstream pipeline transmission and distribution of natural gas falls outside the scope of the Petroleum Act, but is regulated by the Natural Gas Act and other applicable industry-related legislation.

Pipeline activities are regulated through the award of a licence for the installation and operation of facilities, in combination with or separate from the production licence. The right of third-party access, tariffs and other terms and conditions for use of transportation facilities are regulated by the Petroleum Act and separate regulations applicable to third-party access to facilities (eg, oil pipelines) and the tariff regulations for certain gas transportation facilities.

Almost all natural gas transportation is done through the Norwegian upstream gas pipeline network, predominantly owned by the Gassled joint venture, which consists of Norwegian continental shelf production licence holders and other long-term investors. State-owned Gassco AS is the operator of the upstream gas transportation network and of Gassled and administrates the transport capacity rights. 

Transportation

How is cross-border transportation of oil and gas resources regulated?

Several submarine pipelines transport petroleum from Norway to delivery points in landing terminals in continental Europe and the United Kingdom. The Norwegian petroleum transport infrastructure also includes several receiving terminals located on the territory of foreign countries. These activities and facilities are regulated by the Petroleum Act and pursuant to specific bilateral agreements between Norway and the relevant state where the terminal is located.

Are there specific provisions governing marine and ground transportation of oil and gas resources?

If part of upstream activities, transportation of oil and gas in pipelines is regulated by the Petroleum Act. Downstream pipeline transmission and distribution of petroleum falls outside the scope of the Petroleum Act and is regulated by the Natural Gas Act and other applicable industry legislation.

Transportation of petroleum in bulk by ship is regulated by general applicable maritime and relevant industry legislation and applicable flag state regulations.

Transportation of petroleum in bulk on land by other means than pipeline also falls outside the scope of the Petroleum Act and is regulated by general applicable industry legislation. 

Construction and infrastructure

How are the construction and operation of pipelines, storage facilities and related infrastructure regulated?

The construction and operation of pipelines, storage and other facilities is regulated by the Petroleum Act if part of upstream offshore activities, and such activities are subject to a specific licence for installation and operation of facilities. The facilities licence is awarded for the construction and operation of processing, liquefaction, storage and pipeline facilities for petroleum purposes, based on a submitted development plan for such facility. A similar joint venture as for production licences is established, based on the model Petroleum Agreement.

What rules govern third-party access to pipelines and related infrastructure?

The right of third-party access to transportation facilities, tariffs and other terms and conditions for the use of such facilities are regulated by the Petroleum Act, the Petroleum Regulations, the Third-Party Access to Facilities Regulations and regulations for access to certain gas transportation facilities (the Tariff Regulations).

For oil pipelines, the terms and conditions for use are negotiated between the parties, but within the limits established in the Petroleum Act and the Third-Party Access to Facilities Regulations. For the upstream gas transportation network, the terms and conditions for use are standardised and the tariffs are stipulated in the Tariff Regulations. The regulations stipulate tariffs based on a capex component allowing for a reasonable return on investment and an opex component, where the principle of ‘no gain, no loss’ applies for the owner and operator. Since 2003 all gas pipelines on the Norwegian continental shelf which involve third-party users have been unitised into single joint venture Gassled, operated by the independent system operator, state-owned Gassco AS. The system ensures access to and use of the upstream gas pipeline network and related facilities for natural gas undertakings and eligible customers domiciled in a European Economic Area member state.

Click here to view the full article.