Friday last week, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) invited the most important players within design, construction and modification of process facilities to a joint meeting. The topic for discussion was the contractors' responsibility and role in relation to risk of hydrocarbon leaks on the Norwegian shelf.
"The purpose of the meeting was to identify areas of responsibility associated with technical and organisational barriers, where also the contractors can contribute to reduce the risk of major accidents," says Semsudin Leto, supervision coordinator in the PSA.
Causes and measures
Hydrocarbon leaks are a key contributor to major accident risk in the Norwegian petroleum industry. The PSA has therefore commissioned a study of causal relations and measures related to hydrocarbon leaks on the Norwegian shelf as part of the annual report Risk level in the Norwegian petroleum industry.
The purpose of the meeting was to review findings from the study, and to discuss challenges which are particularly relevant for maintenance and modification contractors (M&M contractors).
The carbon leak study points out four challenges involving the contractor role:
- design-related issues as key cause
- lessons learned from previous incidents
- preparation of specific measures following incidents
- risk assessments and analyses.
Issues specifically raised during the meeting were related to design, redesign and construction of process facilities. Conditions concerning the relationship between the contractor and operator were also discussed.
From the industry, Aibel and Aker Solutions presented their experiences from their roles in preventing hydrocarbon leaks.
Transfer of experience
Feedback from the contractors shows the need for further transfer of experience. The PSA and the contractors will therefore consider what would be suitable forums for such exchange of experience. This applies both to transfer of experience between the individual contracting companies, as well as between the operating companies as users of the process facilities, and the onshore engineering environments.