The geopolitical situation in Europe dramatically changed with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and caused instant concern for the security of European energy infrastructures. Following the sabotage against the Nord Stream pipelines and the observation of unidentified drones around Norwegian offshore oil and gas installations, ensuring the security of petroleum infrastructures has become a prime objective. A range of international, state and corporate actors now need to collaborate to coordinate efforts to safeguard critical petroleum infrastructures.
Coordination and collaboration between widely different actors around shared problems often prove challenging. INTERSECT explores how the institutional environment around petroleum infrastructure can collaborate on security governance. Underlying the project is the assumption that adequate security governance must be multi-level and multi-actor. INTERSECT analyses challenges and opportunities for security governance at several levels of analysis, covering the international, the national, the sectoral and the industrial levels. The project will also study the interaction and collaboration between actors at different levels, including NATO, Norwegian governmental institutions, supervisory authorities, and petroleum companies, focusing on identifying and overcoming collaborative barriers.
States are responsible for national security, but companies own the petroleum infrastructure. When analysing the industrial level, company-internal dynamics and adaptability is central. Petroleum companies are oriented towards safety, not security, and the new circumstances force companies to direct more attention to security. INTERSECT explores company-internal solutions in collaboration with key companies in the Norwegian sector, and also critically analyses companies' roles in security policy.
INTERSECT is an interdisciplinary social science project, drawing upon political science, organisational sociology and societal security.
The geopolitical situation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put a premium on the security of petroleum infrastructures. The changed geopolitical context represents a sudden and significant shift in the framework conditions for the petroleum sector's risk governance model. The shift involves 1) a more influential international dimension in the petroleum sector’s risk governance, and 2) changes in the intersections between safety and security, at different societal levels. These shifts, and how to deal with them, are the points of departure for INTERSECT.
The stronger international dimension involves a new regulatory and supervisory landscape where state security regulations (the Security Act) enter a field where risk governance has traditionally been based on strong sectoral-industrial risk regulation. The new geopolitical situation, and the corresponding changes in the regulatory framework conditions, challenge the sector’s institutional logic and the division of labour between safety and security regulators and supervisory agencies. Changes in power structures, roles and responsibilities emerge, and trigger a need for coordination and collaboration to be able to align matters of safety and security into comprehensive risk governance. The changes also challenge companies’ structures, cultures and practices for risk management.
INTERSECT responds to an industrial and societal need to detect and understand the conditions for constructing adequate security risk governance around petroleum infrastructure. Assuming that adequate security governance must be multi-level and multi-actor, INTERSECT studies coordination and collaboration between actors at different governance levels, from the international, through the state to the company level. INTERSECT explores challenges and opportunities for security governance, seeking to identify and overcome collaborative barriers, including the alignment and collaboration between safety and security professionals.