Managing risks through ALARP in offshore oil and gas operations

Costello, Megan (2021) Managing risks through ALARP in offshore oil and gas operations. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis explores risk management techniques and the various methods that are available to aid in the determination of risk. It highlights both quantitative and qualitative risk management tools and focuses on Newfoundland and Labrador's local oil and gas industry. The concept of maintaining risk levels to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) throughout the lifecycle of a facility is a focal point of this thesis. Some of the more significant Major Accident Events (MAE) of the past are highlighted with a focus on the effects those MAEs have had on the local oil and gas industry. In particular, the actions leading up to and during the Piper Alpha disaster are reviewed. Exploration of the aftermath of the Piper Alpha and the effects both it and the Ocean Ranger disaster have on the Canadian and Newfoundland regulatory regime are discussed. The permanent Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas assets/facilities are highlighted; The unique requirements some of these facilities are currently facing, as the assets age and transition into a period of extension of the original design life, are explored. With age, there are new hazards and differing risks to the overall facility. Aging mechanisms, as they pertain to safety systems, and the determination of service life, are explored. Since the late 1980s, the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) regulates local offshore installations through a suite of regulations and guidelines. The current regulatory regime is somewhat prescriptive in that, for the large part, it dictates how an Operator is to achieve regulatory compliance. It is the intention that the regulatory framework is to transition from a prescriptive based regulatory regimen to a hybrid approach where goal-based regulations are preferred through the Frontier and Offshore Regulatory Renewal Initiative (FORRI). FORRI is a federal/provincial government partnership initiative focusing on regulations in all offshore administrative areas in Canada. FORRI intends to modernize the regulatory framework to performance-based requirements, reduce redundancy across multiple regulations, bring standards up to date, and enable a more efficient and effective regulatory regime. FORRI intends to eliminate five existing regulations and integrate them into one new framework regulation. The proposed policy intention for the Framework Regulations is reviewed against the current suite of C-NLOPB regulations. The more substantial differences concerning Technical Safety design are presented as a gap assessment. The assessment is not intended to be an exhaustive listing; however, the aim is to highlight some of the more prudent changes potentially affecting the discipline of Safety and Risk and associated design.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15000
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 84-87).
Keywords: ALARP, Oil and Gas, Major Accident Event, FORRI, Risk Management, Major Accident Hazard
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Offshore oil industry--Risk management--Newfoundland and Labrador; Offshore oil industry--Accidents--Prevention; Offshore oil industry--Accidents--Newfoundland and Labrador--History.

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