ICRARD Meeting 2007 UK Offshore Research. Steve Walker HSE Offshore Division. Introduction. Background to HSE’s offshore research programme Summary of current offshore health & safety research Details of two key projects:- Offshore Influencing Networks Ageing structures offshore.
HSE Offshore Division
By collecting and codifying knowledge relating to offshore detection systems, so as to ensure compliance with the regulations and satisfy appropriate performance standards.
as a means of increasing the number of gas leaks detected offshore while preventing spurious shutdowns. The research will analyse actual flammable detection system behaviour obtained from offshore logged data, to enable a better understanding of offshore detection systems and, as a consequence, opportunities to improve detection rates at the same time as reducing spurious alarms.
To investigate further the behaviour of running pool fires, to develop a more accurate model of their behaviour and to provide advice and guidance to HSE inspectors and to the oil companies taking part in the research. This project will investigate the severity and timescale for deck failures from fire initiation of running pool fires, as the project running at present has shown an unexpected result with the welds on the test panels of oil rig decking failing
This project seeks to examine flammable mist/aerosol formation for the offshore environment. It seeks to review the available models for the different release situations, examine their state of validation and suggest sets of experiments to address the deficiencies in the latter. This work aims to catalyse action to encourage industry themselves to develop the understanding of mist explosion hazards. A further, experimental stage is planned 2007-2009.
PFP is applied to structures and vessels in areas where water deluge systems may also operate. There is very little information on the behaviour of epoxy intumescent systems when subjected to water deluge, and it has been suggested that water deluge may prevent the epoxy from intumescing and/or wash away the protective char. The research will explore how typical PFP systems behave under water deluge in a number of experimental jet fire tests.
In recent years reservoirs with higher temperatures and pressures have been exploited by operators. There have also been a number of installations where PFP has extensively degraded and fallen off. This includes areas such as separators that are subject to high temperatures and thermal cycling. The research will examine patterns of degraded PFP and identify possible effect of high temperatures and thermal cycling – Phase 1 is a scoping study to look at the influence of HTHP on PFP, with Phase 2 will gather experimental evidence.
The Outcome of this research (2009) will be guidelines and procedures to avoid fatigue failure of topside and sub-sea pipe work due to this phenomena. The guidelines can be used both on existing and future offshore installations to improve integrity.
to understand how, in joint probability calculations, differing assumptions with respect to storm duration affect the value and return period of the criteria so developed, and develop and agree a common, acceptable methodology. The work will enable the development of the OSD technical policy in extreme weather and an overall acceptable policy that will drive the benchmarking and methods used in this area.
to identify which computer generated wave, tide and surge data sets are acceptable to HSE when used in combination for the purpose of establishing deck elevations. This will enable completion of the Extreme Weather Technical Policy, which aids inspection, safety case assessment, and guides operational enforcement policy, as well as providing information for the industry.
to evaluate the validity of applying the revised calculation methods and data sources given in the new Standard, to enable HSE to decide on an enforcement strategy regarding whether it should be adopted for enforcement purposes. We have evidence that to show that a significant number of fixed installations in the North Sea could be compromised by extreme water levels in storms by applying the ISO Standard. This further work will provide OSD with an objective and independent evaluation of the ISO calculation methods and their adequacy for determining the design basis for extreme surface elevation of new structures, and for the re-assessment of existing structures.
to develop a comprehensive framework for structural integrity management of fixed offshore installations including development of OSD technical Policy and to use as a benchmark against which duty holders’ management systems can be assessed, audited and inspected.
To provide technical input to the inspection programme for structural integrity management by providing a sound basis for discussion with the industry for improvement in integrity management. The study provides the basis for development of good practice to complement the ISO Standard 19902 Fixed Offshore Structures and would also enable OSD to influence directly the offshore industry in its structural integrity management activities through enforcement work.
Establishment of the key influence paths to aid prioritisation of interventions by HSE as the Safety Regulator – completed 2007
To provide technical guidance on fire and explosion hazards associated with ageing offshore oil and gas platforms. The guidance should also assist operators and design engineers, to demonstrate that an aging offshore installation operates such that the overall risks from major accidents are as low as is reasonably practicable. It will form a frame of reference that can be used by all interested parties to ensure the best available knowledge is used in that demonstration – completed, but to be expanded to other “ageing” issues.
The Phase 1 research looked at ageing, and identified key aspects in two broad areas for leak & fire detection, active and passive fire protection issues, and HVAC: