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Approvals and permits - mobile installations

Operating permit

Before a mobile installation, e.g. a drilling rig or an accommodation platform, can begin offshore operations , the installation must have a permit to operate from the Danish Working Environment Authority pursuant to section 28 of the Offshore Safety Act. The application for an operating permit must be sent to the Danish Working Environment Authority no later than 5 months before the planned start of operations.

The operator is responsible for submitting an application to the Danish Working Environment Authority, but the operator may well entrust this task to the owner of the facility, which is usually the case.

Health and Safety Case

The primary document to be submitted with the application is an updated Health and Safety Case (HSC), which demonstrates that safety and health risks associated with the operation of the plant have been reduced as much as is reasonably practical.

As a minimum, the HSC should contain:

  • A detailed description of the plant and its operational conditions.
  • A detailed description of the safety and health management system, including information on how the safety-critical elements of the installation are checked and verified.
  • An identification of the potential risks of major accidents and harmful effects of the working environment.
  • An assessment of risks and documentation that these risks have been reduced as much as is reasonably practicable.
  • Documentation that evacuation to a safe place can take place in an efficient and controlled manner in critical situations.

The HSC must be updated regularly, and whenever there are significant changes in the safety and health conditions on the installation.

An operating permit can have a maximum duration of 5 years. 

Significant changes that affect safety and health

In the event of major changes to existing installations that have an impact on the safety of the installation (e.g. risks of major accident), as well as a larger increase in personnel, a permit must be obtained from the Danish Working Environment Authority before the changes can be made.

This could be changes to drilling equipment, pressure equipment or bearing structures, or changes to the safety and environmental critical elements.

A permit must also be obtained if significant changes occur to the plant's manning, drilling conditions (e.g. HP / HT wells or the presence of H2S), or if the operation changes from a stand-alone operation to the establishment of accommodation for an associated production installation. Increased helicopter transportation or other transportation with a risk of major accident is also covered.

The  application must be accompanied by an updated HSC  reflecting conditions after the change. The operator or owner is responsible for obtaining the Danish Working Environment Authority's approval for the changes.

For a more detailed explanation of operating permits and major changes to installations etc., please refer to

WEA Guideline 65.1.17-2 on permits and advance commitments etc., for mobile non-production installations  used in connection with for offshore oil and gas operations