Offshore Risk Assessment - Simple or Complex?
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Risk assessment for offshore facilities began shortly after the Piper Alpha incident in 1988. At this time, the UK Health and Safety Executive issued rules for Safety Cases for offshore installations. Safety Cases are now required in many other parts of the world. Operations in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are becoming larger, more complex and in deeper water. The potential exists for future regulations that require some type of Safety Case or risk assessment in the GOM. Risk assessments in the North Sea have historically been very complex and costly, with suspect benefit other than meeting a regulatory requirement. Companies are now recognizing that performing a risk assessment on new and existing offshore facilities is a good business practice. A risk assessment performed during the design phase can reduce both capital and expense costs, and result in a safer facility. This paper will discuss past experience in risk assessments in the North Sea and apply the lessons learned to a streamlined approach to risk assessments for GOM and other areas. More importantly, the paper will discuss how companies are currently using risk assessments that are tailored to the hazard or desired outcome to make sound business decisions. Examples of techniques used to simplify the risk assessment process will be given.
Alderman, John; Johnson, Mike (2001). Offshore Risk Assessment - Simple or Complex?. Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center; Texas &M University. Libraries. Available electronically from