Risk Management

Offshore Safety Management

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Overview

This ebook provides an overview of the offshore oil and gas industry. Covered are the types of operation, the history of safety in the industry and the organization of an offshore facility.

Three Industries

The book Offshore Safety Management refers to the ‘Offshore Oil and Gas Industry’. But, in fact, there are really three quite distinct industries that differ from one another in fundamental ways. They are: Drilling, Production and Pipelines.

Offshore Safety

The development of formal safety management systems for offshore oil and gas facilities can be said to have started with the Piper Alpha catastrophe that occurred in 1988. Offshore platforms had had safety programs before that time, of course, usually built around Safety Cases. But Piper Alpha ushered in a new and much more thorough approach to system safety.

Following the accident, an investigation was conducted by a committee headed by the Scottish High Court judge, Lord Cullen. The committee’s report was highly critical of the safety programs that had been in place in North Sea facilities prior to the accident.

In response to the Cullen report the offshore industry took two different tracks, as shown in the sketch. Companies operating in the North Sea (and, later on, other areas of the world such as Australia) continued with the safety case approach, as shown in the bottom track of the sketch, but radically improved the thoroughness and quality of the technical analyses and put in place more stringent measures to ensure that the recommended measures were implemented.

Offshore safety development tracks

Table of Contents

Introduction 
Organization of this Book 
Three Industries
   Drilling 
   Production 
   Pipelines 
History of the Offshore Oil & Gas Industry 
   Pier Wells 
   On-Water Drilling
   Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs)
   Fixed Platforms 
   The ship and barge shaped units
   Technological development of the MODU 
   The North Sea
   Offshore Safety 
Types of Platform / Rig 
   Tender Assisted Drilling Units 
   Jackup Rigs 
   Semisubmersibles 
      Semisubmersible Classification/Designation 
      Newer generation semi units 
   Tension Leg Platforms (TLPs) 
   FPSOs 
   Flotels 
Kicks and Blowouts 
Organization 
   OIM 
   Tool Pusher