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Norway to investigate oil industry safety after accidents rise

Staff Writer |
Norway will appoint a public commission to look into the safety of the country's offshore oil and gas industry following a recent string of accidents, the government said.

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As falling oil prices force companies to cut spending, unions and Norway's safety watchdog have warned cost cutting could affect safety.

"There have been several serious incidents in the last year. The Petroleum Safety Authority has also raised the question of whether security is at a crossroads," the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Anniken Hauglie said in a statement.

Cost cuts and other efficiency measures must not be allowed to have a negative impact on safety, she added, echoing statements made by Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA).

"This trend (of rising number of incidents) has to be shifted now. We really need improvements in order to avoid new accidents, new injuries...," Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) chief Anne Myhrvold told an industry conference.

"Safety issues need to be up in the agenda ... We need action now".

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