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SPECIAL REPORT

Offshore Safety and Risk Management Services

Globalizing Contractor Compliance Different Interests to Reconcile Hazards in the Hardware‌ Keeping the People Safe Rules and Regulations

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


DISA CONTRACTORS CONSORTIUM Global Employee Screening & Compliance Solutions

Contractor Compliance for the Global Workplace

• Drug & Alcohol Testing • Background Screening • Occupational Health Screening • Safety Training • Online Tracking & Reporting • Extensive Global Provider Networks • Multilingual Medical Review Services (MRO) • Country-Specific Policy Development • Local European Presence

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SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

SPECIAL REPORT

Offshore Safety and Risk Management Services

Contents

Globalizing Contractor Compliance Different Interests to Reconcile Hazards in the Hardware… Keeping the People Safe

Foreword 2

Rules and Regulations

John Hancock, Editor

Globalizing Contractor Compliance

3

Patty Kemp, Director of Marketing, DISA Global Solutions, Inc.

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Editor John Hancock Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2014. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

The Dangerous Offshore Operating Environment Why Global Compliance is Crucial The Challenges for Global Programs The First Requirement for Global Compliance Expanding our Global Footprint The Most Powerful Way to Manage Global Compliance Web-Based Technology Makes it Happen The Future of Global Compliance

Different Interests to Reconcile

6

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

Going to the Limits for More Energy Pushing the Boundaries to Maximize Production Age is no Barrier Reaching Further No Compromise on Safety for Workforce

Hazards in the Hardware…

8

Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Knowledge is Safety Many Sources of Risk Hazards of the Ocean Hazards of the Process and Product

Keeping the People Safe

10

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

Where Is Safe and Where Is Unsafe? Work and Living Spaces When Things go Wrong Prevention is Better than Cure

Rules and Regulations

12

John Hancock, Editor

Legislation and Regulation Setting Safety Standards Risk Management People Must Also be Managed

References 14

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SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Foreword T

HE OFFSHORE oil and gas business faces one

protect the interests of employers, it is imperative to

of the most hazardous working environments.

establish an employee health and safety policy as a

Equally, it is also and to an increasing extent, a

first step.

source of the energy that the modern world

In the second piece, Peter Dunwell looks at the

craves. So, it has to be done and, if that is the

different interests driving offshore oil and gas

case, then someone has to do it. Although with

exploration and production and how their various

various degrees of remote control and subsea

needs can be prioritised in a manner that supports

processing it has been possible to eliminate some

production but also ensures that the operation has

needs for workers, whether to maintain even those

integrity and integral safety. Francis Slade then

systems or, more frequently, because there is no

continues to examine more closely the various items

alternative as yet, people have to work on offshore

of hardware and environments, and the risks they

installations with all the attendant safety issues and

can pose. He also considers how safety and risk

risks entailed.

management can be incorporated into this inherently

So question is not so much whether they have to face risks but how to manage and mitigate those risks

challenging business handling hazardous products in difficult environments.

and actively promote the safest possible environment

Peter Dunwell, again, covers the most important part

in the most challenging possible conditions. It might

of any safety and risk management issue; the people,

seem a tall order but it can be done.

where they live and where they work and how their

The opening article in this Special Report examines

safety can be improved. Finally we look at the rules

why it is so important for operators and contractors

and regulations that govern much of the activity in

to track compliance with workplace policies and

offshore oil and gas, who makes the rules, who offers

protocols across different geographic areas with

guidelines and what steps can be taken to improve

different regulations and requirements. This includes

safety and minimize risk.

employee screening, fitness for duty testing, skills assessment and safety training. It is particularly relevant in the oil and gas industry, which operates in dangerous working conditions across all areas of the globe. To make global compliance effective and

John Hancock Editor

John Hancock joined as Editor of Offshore Reports in early 2012. A journalist for 25 years, John has written and edited articles and papers on a range of engineering, support services and technology topics as well as for key events in the sector. Subjects have included aeroengineering, auto-engineering and electronics, high value manufacturing, testing, aviation IT, materials engineering, weapons research, supply chain, logistics and naval engineering.

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SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Globalizing Contractor Compliance Leveraging Technology to Enhance Safety in the Global Workplace Patty Kemp, Director of Marketing, DISA Global Solutions, Inc.

OFFSHORE OPERATIONS PRESENT UNIQUE CHALLENGES FOR CONTRACTOR SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE

The Dangerous Offshore Operating Environment Arguably, some of the most perilous work environments on Earth are constructed for offshore drilling. There are few other workplaces more safety-sensitive than those found on rigs. Working in such a volatile setting is complex and often extreme, posing risks in more ways imaginable. Operators and contractors alike are charged with the arduous task of extracting oil in this intense setting, while protecting their employees, the environment, and company assets. It’s little wonder that safety and risk management take center stage offshore. While there are many facets and considerations to offshore safety, the workforce is perhaps the most important and hard to manage. Stringent employee screening, fitness for duty testing, skills assessments and safety training, plus a way to track compliance across different operators and geographies, are essential. Without these, the human factor poses a huge risk.

Understandably, operators have adopted a strong stance when it comes to the health, competency, and productivity of their workforce. They need assurance that their contractor workforce remains compliant with their important workplace policies and protocols. Contractors, on the other hand, need an effective way to satisfy requirements that vary across multiple owners. These are no easy tasks for either party for sure.

Why Global Compliance is Crucial It’s pretty easy to understand the importance of being able to enforce compliance on a global basis. Liability, risk, and dangerous working conditions aren’t left behind when operations expand to other parts of the globe. For the oil and gas industry, they exist just the same, no matter where the work takes place. As exploration and production activities continue to expand into other geographies, it not only takes U.S. workers with it, it also resources thousands of resident workers from WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

In order to make global compliance effective and to protect employers’ interests, establishing an employee health and safety policy is an imperative first step

other countries. Truly effective compliance programs must make adjustments for blending a global workforce.

The Challenges for Global Programs Adopting strong employee safety requirements in the U.S. has become the norm for not just offshore operations, but the entire oil and gas industry. Adapting those requirements to operations in other countries has not, and for good reasons. Facilitating things like drug testing and background screening in most countries is a logistical nightmare, to say the least. Many countries have underdeveloped infrastructures, making necessary services hard to come by or even non-existent in some cases. Collection sites and laboratories are often few and far between, and, even if they do exist, sometimes their capabilities are less than desirable, compared to conventional U.S. standards. Collecting background information on a potential non-U.S. worker poses one of the biggest challenges, since in many countries records simply don’t exist. Even where background searches are possible, turnaround time is long, sometimes taking weeks to be reported out. One of the major barriers to global compliance is the laws and regulatory considerations for each country. They vary just about everywhere, which makes standardized policies extremely difficult to produce. Combine that with the different requirements among operators and you have one giant compliance headache. The First Requirement for Global Compliance In order to make global compliance effective and to protect employers’ interests, establishing an employee health and safety policy is an imperative first step. For international screening, policies must be country-specific. We have an international policy expert that creates policies specific to the laws and requirements of each individual country. This unique service gives our clients the tools they need to drive their safety initiatives in accordance with the varying laws and requirements of countries around the globe.

better options for their drug testing and occupational health requirements. Our Stockholm center focuses on the main North Sea ports; Stavanger, Norway; Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Aberdeen, Scotland. It operates with a staff of trained and experienced collectors and technicians that work across Scandinavia, Scotland, and the Netherlands. Some of the services they provide in these busy ports are drug and alcohol collections, both urine and hair, and vaccinations. In Scandinavia and Rotterdam, they have trained DOT collectors, as well as a team of mobile collectors that deliver on-site services directly to North Sea oilrigs and vessels. This year, we acquired RS Occupational Health (RSOH), based in Aberdeen, Scotland. RSOH has been one of the UK’s leading independent occupational health providers for over 10 years. RSOH offers advanced healthcare services and expertise to the oil and gas industry and is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified. With this acquisition, we expanded our presence in the UK with the main facility in Aberdeen, as well as two regional locations, one in Inverness and the other in Great Yarmouth, UK. RSOH also has a wide UK network of dedicated physicians that provide quality occupational healthcare services. RSOH’s services include general employment, health surveillance, vocational, and statutory services. They also provide unique offshore services, including Topside Cover, which is remote healthcare provided by a specialized team of doctors. Topside Cover is one of the most comprehensive services of its kind available within the UK. In addition to our DISA-owned facilities, we have a network of collection sites and laboratories in over 50 countries, as well as MRO (Medical Review Officer) services, offered in 30 different languages. DISA also has a network of hundreds of occupational health providers for fitness for duty testing. Our networks are constantly expanded to accommodate our clients’ operations.

Expanding our Global Footprint

The Most Powerful Way to Manage Global Compliance

The world is a big place, so we concentrate on expanding into geographies that are important to our clients. Since we have a so many client companies working in the North Sea, that’s where we place a heavy focus. In 2010, we acquired Drugtest Scandinavia, a leading drug testing company based in Stockholm, which gave our UK clients some

We have been providing specialized contractor compliance services to the oil and gas industry for over 25 years through the DISA Contractors Consortium (DCC). The DCC provides compliance services to upstream, midstream, and downstream markets across the U.S. It is used by almost all major owners and operators to track and

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SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

CONTRACTOR SAFETY IS A GLOBAL CONCERN

monitor compliance to their specific employee screening requirements. More contractor companies and their employees participate in the DCC than in any other similar program. To demonstrate the DCC’s size, our online management system contains over 2.5M individual employee records. Of those records, more than 800,000 are currently active. One of the biggest reasons the DCC is so desirable to safety-sensitive employers is that it provides real-time contractor status reporting on both the company and employee level, all through the convenience of the Internet.

Web-Based Technology Makes it Happen DISA’s programs and services are managed through our web-based system, DISAWorks.

This proprietary system allows our unique safety and compliance solutions to be made readily available to the global oil and gas market. It is transferable and portable and can be seamlessly integrated with any HR or applicant tracking system. It can also be customized to meet individual employer requirements.

The Future of Global Compliance Without a doubt, offshore safety is a global concern. Effective risk mitigation requires standardized procedures, regardless of where the work takes place. Because standardization is more difficult on a global basis, especially when it comes to safety and compliance offshore, DISA will continue to leverage technology to bring these solutions to the global marketplace. WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Different Interests to Reconcile Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

But there’s no compromising of health and safety or risk management standards

Growth on this scale is bound to come at a price but that price cannot include any human cost: on the contrary, increased activity on such a scale carries with it the obligation to ensure that the highest standards of health and safety and risk management are always met.

T

HE TERMS ‘Health and Safety’ and ‘Risk Management’ seem almost too sensible to warrant much thought and yet they really are two of the most important concepts in any business and certainly should be at the heart of the operation of every offshore oil and gas installation. However, while health and safety, and risk management inform one set of management priorities, there are other performance and, let’s be honest, profit related factors that weigh in heavily on the other side of the equation.

Going to the Limits for More Energy Over-riding most considerations where offshore oil and gas are concerned is the overwhelming pressure to find and exploit new reserves. The world grows increasingly hungry for energy and that hunger begets a burgeoning incentive to find and exploit further reserves of carbon based fuels. However, with most easily accessible reserves either spent or in a mature production stage, there is a growing interest in more difficult reserves made viable by a higher price for energy. But a lot of as yet unexploited reserves tend to be in inaccessible or inhospitable environments… or both. Nowhere is that more true than in the oceans where significant reserves of oil and gas are to be found at ever increasing distances from land, far beneath sea-beds themselves deep below the ocean’s surface. It’s a significant engineering challenge with significant safety and risk challenges. That said, it’s usually the case that, for the right price, it will be worth undertaking extraordinary engineering and technology feats in pursuit of a product. And so it is with deep sea exploration for and production of oil and gas. That was certainly the view of Infield Systems whose research results1 published in February 2013 suggested that, “the outlook for the Subsea industry is amongst the most promising in the offshore oil and gas world, with Subsea Capital Expenditure (Capex) set to grow at a staggering 14.8% CAGR to 2017.” The report

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continues to state, “This positive trend looks set to continue… [and] operators are expected to invest more than US$19 billion in Capex for subsea production equipment during 2013, a figure that is likely to grow to US$33.3 billion by 2017.” Perhaps one more sign of long term growth in the sector is that, “Deepwater and ultradeepwater oil and gas production began in the early 1990s, reaching approximately 1.5 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2000, and now exceeds 7.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOED).” According to Plant Engineering, ‘Challenges of Offshore oil and gas production.’2 That kind of growth requires ever more complex engineering installations and construction programs to be deployed across an infrastructure that itself is growing. Energy industry analysts at Douglas-Westwood3 are projecting more than 7,000 fixed and more than 200 floating platforms, in addition to 190,000 km of pipeline currently installed plus a number of major modification programs to push growth in offshore operations and maintenance in the next couple of years. It isn’t only the growth of new fields but also the life extension of established fields that is stretching oil and gas production life cycles to extents that were not previously planned. Growth on this scale is bound to come at a price but that price cannot include any human cost: on the contrary, increased activity on such a scale carries with it the obligation to ensure that the highest standards of health and safety and risk management are always met.

Pushing the Boundaries to Maximize Production As well as finding new reserves to exploit, there is a growing trend to extract the most possible return from current reserves and installations. This can be described under a general heading of ‘… extension’. Extension of an offshore oil or gas field can work in three ways. The number of wells tied back to a platform can be increased to add to the facility’s capacity and/or the whole facility can continue working


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

20 years. Most assets are approaching or operating beyond their original design intent.” To support continuing efficient and safe operation, equipment in life-extended fields will need stringent and detailed levels of inspection and maintenance to ensure continuing operating efficiency and structural integrity.

Reaching Further past its original design life or the installation can be modified to handle different or different quality product. These are not mutually exclusive inasmuch as where a platform is tied to resources that technology has made viable on the further reaches of a field or where previously unexploited resources can be used, it might also justify extension of the platform’s operating life beyond original plan.

Age is no Barrier Life extension means operating a field and its associated installations beyond their planned working life. This is not such a difficult process as might be imagined because most equipment and installations used in offshore oil and gas are built to such incredibly high engineering standards that, even at the end of their planned life, they are still structurally sound. However, given that people’s lives will truly depend upon that remaining the case, there is a strong requirement for operators to properly manage life extended installations and equipment. It is important when extending field life to instigate a monitoring program to ensure that operators not only have the most up-to-theminute reports of production conditions but that a range of conditions in the system can be monitored and the results be displayed in a user friendly manner for fast interpretation, while clear dashboards make adjustments to the system and the well very easy to manage. The Journal of Petroleum Technology summed up the challenge4, “More than half of the offshore oil and gas installations in the UK Sector of the North Sea have been operating for at least

The process of extending the reach of a production platform to further extremities of the field involves the application of new engineering to an established infrastructure. As Plant Engineering5 explains, these involve, “multiphase pipelines on the sea bed… used to extend the life of existing production platforms. Rather than place a new platform over a new asset area, a subsea tieback is used to connect the new field to an existing but underutilized production platform. These solutions require extending control networks for several hundred miles and controlling complex multiphase pumping systems.”

No Compromise on Safety for Workforce The discovery and production of subsea energy engages a wide range of engineering disciplines driving an array of specialist technology, equipment and operating methods for operations and processes conducted under water and offshore. Furthermore, “Subsea [activities] are usually split into shallow water and deep water categories to distinguish between the different facilities and approaches that are needed.”6 But, by any definition, subsea and offshore oil and gas facilities are among the most demanding and costly commercial activities undertaken anywhere. As such, there is a considerable obligation on management to ensure the safest and healthiest possible conditions for workers in the industry and to ensure that risks are understood and steps are taken to minimize or mitigate them. Good management will find a way to be both productive and safe. WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Hazards in the Hardware… Francis Slade, Staff Writer … and in the environments where it is located and operated

Ahead of even severe weather conditions, the main source of hazard is the ocean itself, first in the considerable pressure of constant movement by millions of tonnes of water: usually gentle but still considerable; and sometimes violent, capable of inflicting enormous damage

Almost any undertaking in the offshore oil and gas sector will face risks and hazards: they could be said to be integral to the process: “The nature of their operation – extraction of volatile substances sometimes under extreme pressure in a hostile environment — means risk; accidents and tragedies occur regularly.”7 Because of this, oil and gas, like aviation, has safety processes integral to every operation.

Knowledge is Safety One important principle is that understanding the risks and hazards can enable operators to take sensible precautions and build systems and procedures to enhance safety in normal circumstances. However, what happens when work has to be completed outside of normal circumstances? Or if completing a job necessitates welding or a similar ‘spark creating’ process? This might seem at odds with safety on the platform or with the product it is recovering but it still has to be done. That’s why operators need a full understanding of risks and hazards including explosion, fire, suffocation from gas and failure in the structures8. An offshore platform is a hazardous place at the best of times and a thorough maintenance program is critical to ensuring that the ravages of time, fatigue and corrosion don’t ever compromise the health and safety of workers. Also, when maintenance and repairs are conducted outside of designated work areas, hazards and risks can be greater unless accompanied by robust procedures backed up with thorough training and clear management. In the offshore sector, most risks and hazards are fairly well understood today but, if anyone was in any doubt, news footage of incidents such as the Piper Alpha platform burning following the world’s worst offshore disaster in 1988 (167 people were killed) would bring home the levels of risk faced in the sector.

Many Sources of Risk In fact, the list of hazards in an offshore work environment is pretty lengthy with some affecting workers, some the environment and some affecting both. Noise is a particular hazard in 8 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

both its impact on workers and in its capacity to disrupt vital communications. Spills can occur from a variety of causes and even the planned decommissioning of an installation can introduce new hazards into the mix. While the more challenging locations throw up risks all of their own. Of course, there are plenty of ways in which those risks can be managed but it is very important that they are and as early as the design stage. During the working life of a field “Offshore engineers and scientists face fascinating economical and technical challenges in designing offshore platforms for shallow water oil and gas fields in moderate ice conditions. Petroleum production systems in these ice-infested areas such as the Bohai Bay of China, Cook Inlet, Barent Sea, and Caspian Sea must be designed to accommodate the harsh environmental conditions, among which the first-year sea ice is one of the major design considerations. Extreme ice loads and ice-induced vibrations still remain an area of uncertainty in offshore platforms.” This is how Science Direct 9 describes one major challenge for offshore platform design. Notwithstanding more exotic locations, most offshore environments are harsh and pose significant challenges to platform operators. Offshore oil and gas fields can be found in all climates and in remote and harsh environments.

Hazards of the Ocean Other conditions can equally affect risk. For instance, as Oil & Gas UK explained, “When development of the North Sea fields began in the mid-60s, the industry had never before faced such a hostile environment. Whilst simple platform designs derived from those used in the Gulf of Mexico sufficed for the shallow southern North Sea, the severe storms and great water depths of the northern North Sea called for major engineering and technological innovation. Production facilities had to be designed to withstand wind gusts of 180 km/hour and waves 30 meters high.”10


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

But ahead of even severe weather conditions, the main source of hazard is the ocean itself, first in the considerable pressure of constant movement by millions of tonnes of water: usually gentle but still considerable; and sometimes violent, capable of inflicting enormous damage. The ocean also comprises a corrosive blend of water and salt into which one would not normally put a metallic structure like an oil and gas platform.

Hazards of the Process and Product Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the nature of the business, one of the more significant risks with offshore operations is explosive atmospheres. With the large numbers of offshore installations within its territorial or nearby waters, it will come as no surprise that the European Union has taken a view on this hazard with its two ATEX (ATmosphères EXplosives) Directives, and organizations in the EU have to follow the directives to protect employees from risk in areas with an explosive atmosphere. But explosions, while alarming, are not the main long-term

threat from the products themselves. As increasingly difficult or economically challenging reserves are exploited, that almost inevitably means lower quality crude products and the International Energy Agency has estimated that more than 70% of remaining oil and gas reserves will be of the highly corrosive type. This poses particular challenges for the equipment and installations and especially when the life of a field or installation is extended, incurring the dual hazards of more corrosive product and long life increasing length of exposure to corrosion. The challenge can be summed up in the words of a Journal of Petroleum Technology article – not now available, “More than half of the offshore oil and gas installations in the UK Sector of the North Sea have been operating for at least 20 years. Most assets are approaching or operating beyond their original design intent.” Equipment in these life-extended fields will require increasingly stringent and detailed levels of inspection and maintenance to ensure continuing operating efficiency, structural integrity and operational safety. WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Keeping the People Safe Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

Preventing trouble but equally being prepared with a plan if trouble happens anyway

First and foremost, a maintenance and repair schedule should ensure safe operation and the welfare of workers in tune with high levels of corporate integrity that can be communicated to the relevant authorities. But maintenance and repair schedules also support continuity of production

Where Is Safe and Where Is Unsafe? Offshore oil and gas installations are complex pieces of equipment running complex and potentially hazardous processes; for this reason, a lot of thought has been given to safely managing the spaces in which operatives work and live. In particular, it has been useful to grade levels of risk according to different areas with varying levels and sources of risk. Some areas are more dangerous than others, so an internationally recognized zoning standard BS EN 60079/10 has been devised for installations where combustible gases, vapors or mists are likely to be present. The standard explains the basic principles of area classification for gases and vapors and is especially applicable to oil and gas installations.10 •Z  one 0 A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapor or mist is present continuously or for long periods or frequently. •Z  one 1 A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapor or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally. • Zone 2 A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapor or mist is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only. In the same document, equipment categories are also identified according to hazardous area zones in which they can be used. • Zone 0 - category 1 equipment • Zone 1 - category 2 equipment • Zone 2 - category 3 equipment NB. Category 1 equipment can also be used in zone 1 and category 1 and 2 equipment can be used in zone 2. As well as the spaces, the equipment used in them needs to be operated as safely as possible. Day to day operations in the offshore oil and gas industry are usually conducted with the utmost care and operational diligence but

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rare failures of operating standards, safety procedures and equipment always make the headlines – a blazing oil rig makes a spectacular photograph. In fact, there are standards that apply specifically to rigs in an operating environment known as Rigsafe. These require that equipment includes:11 • Exhaust spark arrestor; • Engine air intake shut off valve; • Double skinned and braided fuel pipes; • Offshore lift capability to D.N. V. 2.7.1; • Fire and gas detection systems; • Fire extinguishing systems; • Increased IP protection levels; • Extended service intervals; •T  hird party [Lloyds, DNV, etc.] approval for offshore use; •P  latform remote emergency shutdown system.

Work and Living Spaces Accommodation spaces, in particular, need to support health and safety both passively and actively. Passive support comes from the quality of accommodation and amenities to ensure that workers are able properly to relax during their off duty time and that they are well-nourished with a choice of catering to suit any tastes. It is also important that during long offshore shifts (usually weeks, sometimes months) people can keep in touch with friends and family onshore so that their job does not become more of a barrier to family life than necessary. As an example of what can be incorporated into offshore accommodation, Oil Rig Job International12 describes modern accommodation as, “… the eating and sleeping quarters for employees; it also includes offices and a meeting room. Each accommodation module contains a TSR or Temporary Safe Refuge that are (sic) used in emergency situations.”

When Things go Wrong Notwithstanding all the above and in preceding articles, incidents do occur and so it is also important that procedures extend to what should be done in the event of a failure or emergency.


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

A plan will ensure that any evacuation takes place in an organized and safe manner. The worst case scenario would be to have to evacuate the platform in difficult weather conditions. Usually, there is an Emergency Response and Rescue Vessel (ERRV) standing by alongside or in the vicinity of an installation and there are clear rules about evacuating personnel as well as how to proceed should an emergency occur during poor weather conditions – more likely than not. Oil & Gas UK (trade association for the UK offshore oil and gas industry) issued guidelines for such an eventuality and for the whole area of response and rescue13.

Prevention is Better than Cure While there have to be a range of procedures to ensure the safest possible management of any failure or emergency, it is always better to avoid such an event in the first place. No system is perfect and no item of equipment can be completely failsafe: working as offshore oil and gas producers do at the leading edge of

technology capability and in the most inaccessible and inhospitable places, there can never be any room for complacency. Maintenance plays a key role in any prevention policy ensuring that equipment is routinely inspected and that regular tasks are always completed within the specified time period or before any detected deterioration becomes a problem. Also, when any equipment does fail, it is important that it is repaired as soon as possible. First and foremost, a maintenance and repair schedule should ensure safe operation and the welfare of workers in tune with high levels of corporate integrity that can be communicated to the relevant authorities. But maintenance and repair schedules also support continuity of production and those extensions of field life and installation reach that can ensure that a field remains profitable, which will please shareholders and other stakeholders. As has already been said, health and safety, and risk management are not concepts to add on to an operation but should be integral to a well-managed operation. WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Rules and Regulations John Hancock, Editor Health and safety, and risk management policies are founded on a framework of experience and sense

Should any incident

cost (monetary and

Health and safety, and risk management cannot be left to chance or even common sense alone – it is too important. As a country with significant offshore assets, “The nature of the UK regulatory system and how it has been implemented have been recognized by the EC among the best available.” is how Oil & Gas UK puts it14. Earlier on, the same position paper makes clear why that is so. “The UK offshore oil and gas industry has a proactive, flexible and responsive approach to managing risks… as well as the evolving nature of the offshore oil and gas business itself.

reputational) could

Legislation and Regulation

be found to result, even partly, from substance abuse, the

be catastrophic and so employers need clear policies on substance abuse; but those policies need also to be managed with specific actions

In fact, safety is a major consideration and concern for legislative bodies such as the European Union whose Directive 2013/30/EU15 on safety of offshore oil and gas operations, “… will make sure that the highest safety standards will be followed at every oil and gas platform across Europe. It will also ensure that [EU authorities] react effectively and promptly should an accident nevertheless occur. This would help minimize the possible damage to the environment and the livelihoods of coastal communities. The new directive sets clear rules that cover the whole lifecycle of all exploration and production activities from design to the final removal of an oil or gas installation.” In this directive, the definition of health and safety is interpreted in the widest possible sense which makes the challenge considerably more than simply ensuring the safety of personnel on platforms, important as that is. It may also suggest that the introduction of expertise from outside of the operating company will be a useful addition to achieving compliance with all aspects of the regime.

Setting Safety Standards As well as the UK HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and the US BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) and because of the need to maintain safety which can be much more easily managed within a set of globally recognized standards, the offshore sector has been subject to a number of standard setting and 12 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

regulatory agencies, including DNV (Stiftelsen Det Norske Veritas) together with Lloyd’s Register and American Bureau of Shipping, the three major companies in the classification society business. Operators need to be mindful not only of regulations in their home jurisdiction but also of ‘local’ regulation to which global operations will be subject. Another contributor to the body of knowledge on health and safety and risk management was the American Petroleum Institute (API) which, in the 1990s, created a recommended practice (API RP75) called SEMP (safety and environmental management program) of which Wanda June Parker and Steve Hanus writing in Offshore Magazine16 said, “Many day-today operating procedures offshore follow guidelines incorporated into SEMP documents. SEMP’s value, though, is to integrate available information and to provide a suitable framework for documentation and implementation of safety and environmental procedures tailored specifically to an operator’s needs.”

Risk Management Summing up the importance of risk management, ‘Offshore Oil and Gas in the UK’, Geoffrey Maitland’s review of the regulatory regime commissioned by the UK Government concluded17, “The exploitation of offshore hydrocarbon resources in often hostile environments is, by its very nature, a hazardous activity with the potential to cost lives and cause environmental damage. In a society which values the economic and social benefits of the


SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

product of that activity, it will fall to the industry and the regulatory authorities to ensure an acceptable balance between the risks and rewards it presents.” One thing of which all regulations take account is site specific characteristics. This approach avoids compliance becoming a ‘box ticking’ exercise and puts the onus on the operator and/ or contractor to identify and address concerns that are specific to the installation in question and the processes that it hosts. These will usually then be submitted to their competent authority with a requirement, in the case of the UK HSE OSD, that the submission should include a demonstration that all hazards with the potential to cause a major accident have been identified and a demonstration that risks have been evaluated and measures have been, or will be, taken to reduce the risks to persons affected by those hazards to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable.

People Must Also be Managed The equipment and the environment are not the only hazards faced in an offshore environment. The workforce in the sector is, to some extent, a microcosm of the population at large but cannot reflect that population in at least two respects, use of illegal drugs and alcohol. Should any incident be found to result, even partly, from substance

abuse, the cost (monetary and reputational) could be catastrophic and so employers need clear policies on substance abuse; but those policies need also to be managed with specific actions… • Screening of applicants before employment; • Random drug and alcohol testing; •D  rug and alcohol screening if abuse is suspected; • Drug and alcohol testing after any incident; •M  onitoring of adherence to operator’s abstinence policy. Integral to the implementation of an operator’s substance abuse policy must also be high quality training so that workers know the regulations that apply to their work, know and understand the reasons for the company policy on substance abuse, are clear on the importance of safety and know what steps and procedures will support their own safety and that of their fellow workers. There should also be scheduled refresher programs and updates as well as a procedure to reinforce any lessons learned following an incident. And, of course, there needs always to be consistent management and supervision to ensure that all policies and standards are maintained. Even where a task falls outside of any safety envelope, there has to be an understanding of the risk and some consideration of how it would be dealt with should the risk be realized.

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SPECIAL REPORT: OFFSHORE SAFTEY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

References: Infield Systems http://www.infield.com/news/subsea-oil-gas-sector-growth-2017/62

1

2

Plant Engineering

http://www.plantengineering.com/single-article/challenges-of-offshore-oil-and-gas-production/15fa92acc29c4fe160821e99f427f026.html 3

Jason Waldie at the ‘Subsea Asia Conference’, Kuala Lumpur

http://www.subseauk.com/documents/subsea%20asia%20-%20jason%20waldie.pdf 4

The Journal of Petroleum Technology

http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Offshore+Oil+and+Gas+Installation%E2%80%94Aging+and+Life+Extension/951953/0/article.html 5

Plant Engineering

http://www.plantengineering.com/single-article/challenges-of-offshore-oil-and-gas-production/15fa92acc29c4fe160821e99f427f026.html 6

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsea_%28technology%29

7

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_platform

8

Safe Workers, Offshore Oil and Gas Industry - KP3 Review http://www.safeworkers.co.uk/dangers-working-offshore-oil-gas-industry.html

9

Science Direct http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002980181100093X

10

Hazardous area zones http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/zoning.pdf

11

Gen Ex Design Ltd. http://www.genexdesign.com/generators.php

12

Oil Rig Job International http://www.oil-rig-job.com/equipment.html

13

Oil & Gas UK, ‘Emergency response & Rescue Vessel Management Guidelines’

http://www.marinesafetyforum.org/upload-files/guidelines/ves04-errv-management-guidelines-issue-4.pdf 14

Oil & Gas UK, ‘European Commission Proposed Regulation on Offshore Safety and Related Issues’

http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/templates/asset-relay.cfm?frmAssetFileID=1914 15

European Union Directive 2013/30/EU http://ec.europa.eu/energy/oil/offshore/standards_en.htm

16

Offshore Magazine

17

http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/print/volume-57/issue-2/news/general-interest/safety-environmental-management-safety-procedures-plan-provides-platform-to-platform-uniformity.html

Offshore Oil and Gas in the UK

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/48252/3875-offshore-oil-gas-uk-ind-rev.pdf

14 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM


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