Technology, equipment, and logistics are important elements of a drill. But teamwork trumps all.


So says the management of NOFO and Vår Energi ahead of the Bivrost oil spill preparedness exercise.

Communication and teamwork are the guiding stars in Vår Energi and NOFO’s planning of this autumn’s Bivrost exercise.

 Ove M. Helle, VP Safety & Sustainability at Vår Energi, with Leif J. Kvamme, CEO of NOFO.

Vår Energi has been safely producing oil and gas from the Goliat Field in the Barents Sea since the start-up in 2016 and plans to continue doing so for many years to come. Oil spill response drills such as this are a core part of the work to strengthen preparedness in the area on an ongoing basis.


Arena for continuous learning

According to Leif Kvamme, CEO of NOFO, there are two overriding reasons why this year’s exercise is important.

First and foremost, he highlights the management of oil spill response operations on this scale.

“We couldn’t carry out a drill of this nature last year because of infection control considerations. In other words, we’ve gone a whole year without a large exercise of this scale.

This makes it crucial to consolidate the learnings from the previous major exercise (Frohavet 2019) and continue to advance.”

“As an organization, NOFO must demonstrate continuous improvement, particularly within preparedness management. In this sense, the Bivrost exercise will be a milestone not only for NOFO but also for the operating community and our key partners”, says Kvamme.

World-class oil spill preparedness

Vår Energi has been active as an operating company on the Norwegian continental shelf since the 1960s and has extensive experience of operations in vulnerable areas. In September, the Goliat Field in the Barents Sea will be the location for a major exercise.

“We’re very familiar with the area, and passionate about taking care of and protecting the nature around us. The oil spill response drill provides a test, important training and valuable learning that will further strengthen our preparedness in the Barents Sea”, says Ove M. Helle, VP Safety & Sustainability at Vår Energi, who is also looking forward to this year’s exercise on a personal level.

“I’m looking forward to the exercise itself, and to teste our entire preparedness set-up from the sharp end with practical exercises for our tactical and strategic abilities. I’m looking forward to learning, getting better, and feeling a sense of achievement alongside NOFO and the other parties we collaborate with,” Helle says.

Although there have never been any major adverse events that have resulted in oil spills reaching land from offshore oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf, Norway and NOFO are world leaders when it comes to oil spill response. Both our technology and expertise are recognized and in demand globally, and for a number of years, NOFO has played a leading role in the international Global Response Network, a global network of the world’s major oil spill response organizations.

When the Bivrost exercise gets underway in September, both NOFO and Vår Energi will be ready


Important to get to know one another

Both NOFO and Vår Energi are now in the home strait of preparations for September’s drill. Asked why preparedness drills are important, NOFO’s CEO is forthright.

“Teamwork. We know there is enormous strength in getting to know one another before we go into action. That’s why joint exercises of this kind are so important for both parties. Working together, we’ll prepare for the worst in a safe way –something that will pay dividends if we have to put the training into practice one day.”