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Managing complexity in petromaritime operations

"The complexity project"

Project financed by the Norwegian Research Council (Project id. 192270/I40).
Research Council project database: link
Project period: 01.01.2009-30.04.2013

Petromaritim FoU


Organisations engaged in complex onshore and offshore activities require advanced technical equipment and highly skilled personnel. Staff from different companies and cultures are continually grouped and regrouped for tasks requiring high reliability. The reputation of such organisations is extremely sensitive to failed operations.


The project aimed at understanding complexity in managing petro-maritime operations and at creating an improved exchange of knowledge between industry and research institutions. The project wanted to improve petromaritime education, leading to a higher safety level in complex operations.

Work packages

The research project consisted of three interconnected studies:

  1. We studied organizational units during a deep sea complex operation (case 1) and an onshore operation at the Kårstø gas processing plant (case 2). In the latter case, we focused on one of the prime barrier systems: the firewater system. A major issue here was upgrading while the plant runs. The two cases supported each other in generaring new knowledge.
  2. We studied operation of ship bridges in very demanding situations due to complex operations, surrounding traffic, instrument errors. Instrument settings as chosen by participants in bridge simulator courses were recorded and analyzed, and compared to after-session interviews.
  3. We investigated the corporate image issues in the Norwegian offshore industry in general and addressed the impact of ability to manage complex operations on corporate image in particular. Moreover, we compared perceived corporate images by firms, major stakeholders and firms, self-perceived images.


12 internationally published papers, 14 in addition are submitted prior to adjournment, 35 presentations given, 21 learning seminars for researchers or business partners.

Researchers (HSH)

  • Jan R. Jonassen (project leader)
  • Chunyan Xie
  • Lene Jørgensen
  • Idar Alfred Johannessen
  • Sturle Tvedt
  • Vidar Frette
  • Gisle Kleppe
  • John Ferkingstad
  • Helle Oltedal


Financing industry as well as research partners. We had agreed to work closely with each of the companies during the different phases of the project. The project supplied a rich set of cases for educational programmes.

  • Knutsen OAS Shipping A/S
  • Østensjø Rederi AS
  • StatoilHydro ASA
  • Solstad Shipping AS
  • Eidesvik Offshore ASA
  • Deep Ocean AS
  • Gassco AS
  • NHH (Norwegian School of Economics)
  • IFE (Institute for Energy Technology)
  • Polytec Foundation
  • The Norwegian Maritime Directorate

Contact information

Sida ble sist oppdatert: 22.11.2016