This paper presents the risk reduction in Norwegian oil & gas industry over the time (1975–2016) through a life cycle perspective analysis with the aim to identify the critical stage(s) both in terms of accident occurrence and cause of the accident. Fifteen accidents, major accidents and disasters for example Ecofisk 2/4 Alpha 1975, Alexander L. Kielland 1980, Songa Endurance 2016 were studied. Cases from outside of the Norwegian offshore field — the Piper Alpha 1988, the Bourbon Dolphin 2007, and the Deep Water Horizon 2010 — were also considered as comparison. For each accident and through the life cycle analysis, the occurrence stage of the accident and its main technical causes were identified and compared. It was found that a high risk is concentrated in the Operation (In-Service) stage and associated Marine Operations. Furthermore, it was observed that a high number of accidents in oil and gas industry are associated with mobile structures. All the investigated accidents have acted as powerful reminders to the oil and gas industry that a continuous improvement of risk management and reduction of uncertainty are of paramount importance in order to ensure safe operations and risk reduction for accidents, major accidents and disasters. However, a reactive learning from major accidents and disasters needs to be supported by a proactive learning and development of a dynamic risk culture in the oil and gas industry.

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