Because of the increased need for oil and gas, new and more-demanding oil
fields must be explored in sensitive and challenging areas. Exploration of
expert knowledge and new technology must be employed in these challenging
situations. This collaboration and use of new technology introduces new ways of
operating oil and gas fields. These new practices are often called "field of
the future" or integrated operations (IO). These new practices are being
implemented on the Norwegian continental shelf, leading to increased
hydrocarbon recovery and changes in operations and maintenance. These practices
may impact health, safety, and environment (HSE), but should not increase the
risks of major accidents or influence HSE in a negative manner.
In this paper, we are suggesting a set of proactive indicators to ensure
that risks are controlled when IO is implemented and operated. A proactive
indicator is used as a measure of risk, to be controlled in risk management.
The indicators have been developed on the basis of analysis of accidents,
exploration of theory, and interviews and discussions in collaboration with the
oil and gas industry.
Our suggested approach is to develop and explore indicators in close
collaboration with key stakeholders to increase understanding and control of
the relevant risks. Resilience and successful recoveries are not sufficiently
explored in the reviewed accident reports, thus accident investigations should
include reflections on reasons of successful recoveries and why the incident or
accident did not have greater consequences.
The three most important causal factors of incidents seem to be poor design
and poor validation of equipment, poor risk analysis of critical operations,
and deviations from established procedures. A causal factor important in remote
operations is miscommunication between actors during critical operations.
Several proactive indicators are suggested, among them the level of exploration
of safety cases during design and risk perception among stakeholders involved
in operations. Important indicators in remote operations are suggested to be
the assessment of shared communication and shared risk perceptions when
critical tasks are distributed.
To validate the indicators, we are correlating the indicators with actual
HSE levels. In addition, the indicators should be correlated to indirect
measures (e.g., safety culture and risk perceptions) where appropriate.
© 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- Original manuscript received:
12 August 2011
- Meeting paper published:
13 April 2010
- Manuscript approved:
17 January 2012
- Published online:
24 April 2012
- Version of record:
24 April 2012