Since the inception of oil and gas industry, it has recorded series of process related incidents which have led to the development of various process management principles and system aimed at controlling the risks involved in oil and gas operations. However, lessons learnt from the series of incidents are continually shaping the direction and focus of process safety management in oil and gas operations over the years. Despite the various process safety management principles and system in place, process related accidents are still occurring in oil and gas operations.
There is a need to make some connections with the past, identify the weak links of the present and develop better solution for the challenges ahead. This paper critically reviews the past, present and future directions of process safety management (PSM) in oil and gas operations. 2. 0 Concept of Process Safety Management The basic concept of process safety management is effectively managing people, technology and equipment that make up the process ensuring that the hazards involved in the process is contained.
This involves a system that identifies and understands hazards involved in the process; establish necessary controls, designs and training necessary to mitigate or eliminate the hazards involved and ensure that the process is continually improved upon to achieve its purpose in a safe manner. A good process safety management emphasizes effective management system, effective risk control measures and safe operations of critical equipment and plant (FOWLER 2009).
Implications of business process management for operations management Colin Armistead and Simon Machin The Business School at Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK Introduction Operations management is concerned with the management of people, processes, technology and other resources in order to produce goods and services. There is a resonance from operations management into business process ...
3. 0 An effective Process safety Management Framework Process design selecting technology, process nd location Hazard identification, Hazop, risk assessment and inherent safe design Detailed Design Risk Reduction Measures * prevention * Control * Mitigation Layers of protection a. Passive Residual risk b.
Piper alpha would be used as a case study to demonstrate the weakness in process safety management of that period (20th century) that led to implementation of various process safety related regulations and standards and redirection of process safety management in oil and gas operations. CASE 1- Piper Alpha accident, UK Offshore. This accident occurred on 6th July 1988 which resulted to the death of 165 workers and two rescuers. This accident resulted from a gas leak that occurred after the restart of a pump that was closed down for maintenance.
The pump was erroneously started as resulted of poor communication at shift changeover. Fundamentally, the safety of piper alpha was compromised the day it was put into use for a different service it wasn’t design for. Furthermore, a proper hazard analysis wasn’t carried out However; there was also inoperative evacuation plan and control system. Lessons drawn were: * The need for a formalised and effective system of safety management * Formalised safety assessments for identifying and evaluating major hazards * An effective Emergency response and safe evacuation plan. * The need for proper management of change
The piper alpha and other major accidents led to need for a performance oriented process safety management which involves a systematic management of risk through a process of continuous improvement, involvement of workers in process safety, systematic hazard analysis, documentation of process design basis and safe operating limits, maintenance, inspection, testing, training, improved communication on risk (Trombettas 2006).
The series of accidents also drew great attention from the public and government which led to formulation of various rules, legislation, standards and directives.
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Europe enacted the seveso directives in response to seveso accidents (COMAH in the UK), U. S. A OSHA established a formal rule for Process Safety Management and EPA risk Management plan regulations, the offshore case regulation was the response in UK for piper alpha (Harstad and Veritas 2008).
Though both regulation in the U. S. A and Europe had common approach, the U. S. A was a mixture of performance based and prescriptive regulations and emphasized more on process safety management systems whereas Europe was performance based regulations and led greater emphasis of risk assessment.
The recognizance of the seriousness of consequences and mechanisms of causation and emergence of the various regulations led to shift of the focus of operators in oil and gas operations towards a more systematic way of managing their process safely (CREEDY 2004).
PRESENT DIRECTION OF PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT IN OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS. The early part of the 21st century still witnessed process related incident in oil and gas operations despite the rules and regulations in placed.
Series of process related incidents occurred even after the advent of legislations and standard at curbing process safety management related accidents (CREEDY 2004).
The accidents that happened created a need for the realization of the significance of socio cultural thoughts and behaviour of human thought processes and behaviour both at individual level and organisation level. The present direction of process safety management is directed towards recognizing the significance of human and organizational factors in managing a process safely.
We would look at some recent accidents in order to pinpoint the flaws in present time process safety management system in oil and gas operations. Case 1- BP Texas city Refinery (US lesson) This was an accident that took place on March 25th in 2005. A series of explosion was caused by start up of isomerisation unit which led to overfilling of the column due to instrument defectiveness and some operations experience gap which eventually led to release of hydrocarbons resulting in a vapour cloud explosion. 15 fatalities and 180 injuries were recorded in the explosion.
There had been warnings sign but cost reduction pressure, downsizing in crew, reduction in training, and as direct causes miscommunication, lack of supervision, operator fatigue, aged equipment, failed and insufficient instrumentation lead to an almost predestined disaster. The Baker Panel report by Baker et al. (2007) on BP safety culture revealed: * poor safety leadership * Inadequate process safety considerations * poor safety culture * ineffective system for creating safety awareness , knowledge and competence relating to its refineries in U. S U.
1.How would you define “business process management”based on this video and text reading? How would you compare it to business process re-engineering, continuous improvement, and total quality management approaches? Answer: -Business Process Management is most often associated with the life cycle of a business process. The process life cycle spans identifying and improving processes that deliver ...
S Chemical safety and Hazard Investigation Board (2005) identified the following key issues: safety culture, regulatory oversight, Process Safety metrics and Human factors. The findings gathered from the accident stresses the poor implementation of OSHA’s PSM. Case 2- Explosion of a natural gas condensate tank Warffum, Netherlands. (Europe lesson) The explosion occurred on the 31st of May 2005. The Dutch petroleum company (NAM) contracted renovation works to a contractor named GTI. The direct result of the explosion was caused by welding work on a condensate tank that was not cleaned up properly.
This resulted to deaths of two of the contractor’s workers and injured contractor worker(Knegtering and Pasman 2008).
The independent Dutch Safety Investigation Board findings noted that NAM directed GTI to draft the work permit by themselves which one of the employee did with the assumption that tank was filled with water and qualified it low risk (Knegtering and Pasman 2008).
Upon approval, NAM discloses the actual content but didn’t change the risk level to a high one. The following conclusions were drawn: * Structural short coming s of the process safety management system * Insufficient and unclear procedure Insufficient supervisions and checks * Time and cost pressure existed * Insufficient knowledge about process safety. Case 3- Explosions and fires at the Buncefield oil storage and transfer depot The explosion occurred on 11 December 2005. There was overfilling of oil in an oil tank storage due to the failure of the protection system which resulted to a vapour cloud that ignited the explosion. Major contributing factors amongst others were: * Poor risk assessment of a possibility of The formation of a huge vapor cloud as a result of overfilling of a tank * Poor design and operation of storage (poor design of tank and fire fighting system
Professor Hurst Fluidity in Risk Planning – A Case Study One of the most important steps within a project is risk management because it plans for and responds to risks that impact the overall project deliverables including budget and timeframe. Risk management is used to mitigate risk in ways that align with each individual risk and its potential impact. During the risk management process risks ...
These series of incidents were all characterised by management quality, organizational and human factors. Indeed, it could be observed that poor management, incompetency of staffs, focus on core business production, faulty system and lip service to safety were presence in most of the oil and gas companies into oil and gas operations which contributed to the persist occurrence of process safety related incidents. The oil and gas operators failed to see process safety management as a way of doing business rather a way of complying with regulation.
This indicates lack of commitment and poor learning culture by oil and gas operators, forgetting the lessons learnt from past mistake. Due to the series of present incidents, OSHA’s process safety management standards are being modified to emphasize on human factors, Safety culture, effective safety leadership and effective inspection program on their part as regulator. (William and Tew (2010) identified the human factors that are missing in the OSHA’s process safety management standard which if corrected could lead to businesses focuses on human factors that are responsible for most of the accidents that have occurred.
The EU seveso II directive is also going through some changes which is directed at a effective regulatory oversight and recognising human factors in process safety management in accident. Though EU adopted a risk based approach, There is recognition that the technical measures determined in risk assessment need greater verification for operational performance. Notably the seveso II is seen more of a compliance focused activity rather than an improvement process. seveso submissions are dominated by event consequence rather than event frequency and as a result tends to over look the asset integrity issue (Bennett 2006) .
In the UK, COMAH is presently reviewing its regulations to consider the role of safety leadership from companies’ executives, effective safety culture, human factors and process safety performance indicators in enhancing future process safety management in oil and gas operations. UK sector of North Sea have recorded success since the implementation of offshore safety case regime and related legislation following the Piper Alpha accident. The safety case regime and legislation uses a risk assessment approach to identify safety critical lements, developing performance standards for these and written out scheme of inspection and maintenance that ensure equipments operate at the performance standard through operational lifetime (Harstad and Veritas 2008).
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UK had implemented one of the CCPS metrics for process safety, a count of leaks of process fluids which has help to control leaks of hydrocarbon in operations over the years. Based on these, it seems technical approaches directly addressing risks when combined with process safety management enhances process safety referring to the approach of offshore safety case.