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Management of QHSE Risks in Brownfield Projects and Operations

8 – 9 April 2013

Abu Dhabi, UAE | Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

Technical Agenda

Session 1: Ensuring Operational and Asset Integrity in Brownfield Operations

Brownfield operation often entails a complex mixture of facilities such as wellhead platforms, process platforms, accommodation platforms and pipelines, etc., all at different stage in their design life, tied together to maximise production. Such stage wise developments often include development in design philosophies, material selection, as well as codes and standards.

How do we ensure that we have the right information and knowledge, to control major hazards from jeopardising the overall asset integrity?

  • Does the industry have an adequate grip on leading indicators, allowing us to judge the integrity and take appropriate actions before accidents happen or do we rely too much on lagging indicators?
  • Does the risk analysis assists in getting the overall design philosophies correct, leading to inherent safe design with respect to control of major accident scenarios or do we focus too much on smaller but still serious accidents scenarios thereby diverting the focus to mitigation measures such as active barriers?
  • Do we ensure that all the required information is accessible and available?

Session 2: Meeting Performance Objectives through QHSE Compliance in Brownfield Projects

It is ingrained in our industry that a well-executed project can be categorised by three core factors: cost, schedule and, of course, good performance. In most projects, poor QHSE performance is indicative of a project that is behind schedule and over budget. The reverse is also true. Projects that are under budget and on schedule generally have excellent QHSE performance. As such, safety is not the cost of doing business, but instead a mechanism to achieve excellence in project execution.

One way to achieve such excellence is through compliance with rules and regulations. Compliance is highly susceptible to management influence. It is true that most underlying causes of violations tend to be created by management, accepted by management, or condoned as normal working practice by management; however, it is also a function of the worker’s competence and their willingness to accept site rules which is often influenced by each individual’s background and culture.

In this session, we will discuss how we can address the competency gap and put into place a management system that addresses culture and its impact on compliance to rules and processes.

Session 3: Management of Risk in Brownfield Operations through Utilisation of New Technology and Processes

Brownfields implicitly signifies the passage of time! Significant changes to internal and external brownfield project variables would likely occur over time ranging from alterations to original project objectives to the need to acquire different information data set to augment the decision making process or the advent of new legislation or new technologies, etc.

The concept of digital oilfields has evolved as a leading forward proposition for the effective management of risk in brownfield projects and operations; these include optimising hydrocarbon production, improving operational safety, protecting the environment, enhancing the decision making process and reducing cycle time and cost. In spite of the theoretical and practically demonstrated benefits plus the growing shortage of skilled labour in the oil and gas industry, digital oilfield is yet to attain the status of the mainstream solution.

As is customary to any change process, digital oilfield introduces a new range of variables and is only as effective as the information management approach deployed in connecting people with actionable business intelligence. This workshop session aims to discuss and deliberate best practices of the digital oilfield approach particularly focused on minimising QHSE risk in brownfield operations.

Session 4: Emergency Risk Management

The emergency risk management will mainly focus on two areas; the lessons learnt from the previous risk accidents/incidents that took place in the brownfield projects and the emergency response validations. Issues like risk management policies, preventive tools, investigation procedures and outcomes will be highlighted throughout the panel discussions.

Furthermore, the emergency response procedures and their reliability/credibility will also be discussed.

Session 5: SIMOPS during Brownfield Projects and Operation

Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS) occur when two or more activities or process operations are being coordinated in the same location at the same time. SIMOPS often involve multiple companies (owners, contractors, subcontractors and vendors), large multi-disciplined workforces and a wide range of daily 24 hour, routine and non-routine construction and commissioning activities.

SIMOPS are likely to be found whenever construction or major maintenance work is being done within a "live" process area of an existing facility—frequently found when major expansion construction projects are underway, when new equipment is being "tied-in" to an existing plant, or during major shut-downs. Whenever a situation involving SIMOPS is identified, it is important that all relevant and involved parties come together in order to develop an appropriate hazard and risk management plan as the risks of working in a maturing and ageing field exceeds the risks of working in a green field project.

Getting people familiar with the job and organisation is a first step. Tactics include formal meetings, lectures, videos, printed materials, or computer-based orientations while safety inductions assist with the initial knowledge of the project’s general safety guidelines are. Specifying which work to be done and the precautions to be taken comes in the form of a permit-to-work (PTW), an essential part of safe systems of work for all maintenance activities. They allow work to start only after safe procedures have been defined and they provide a clear record that all foreseeable hazards have been considered.

Another major tool that helps identify the risks in a SIMOPS is a job safety analysis (JSA), which helps mitigate risks by integrating accepted safety and health principles and practices into a particular task or job operation. In a JSA, each basic step of the job is to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to do the job.

This session will discuss key hazard areas of SIMOPS (confined space entry, working at heights, blinding/isolation, de-engineering), what initial steps should be taken in identifying them and how to analyse the effect it will have to the mitigation plan.

Session 6: Environmental Liabilities of Brownfield Projects and Operations

Projects in brownfield locations and brownfield operations can face challenging environmental liability issues. Existing operations facilities designed in an earlier time may not easily comply with current regulatory requirements and community expectations. How do operators and new projects in a brownfield situation address the issues of old technology and contamination liabilities?

This session will identify experiences and ideas for dealing with these issues with discussions on:

  • Effluents Management: Wastewater discharges and air emissions.
  • Waste Management: Brownfield sites that have contamination issues from previous waste management practices and response to these issues.
  • Decommissioning/Abandonment Planning: At what point in a project cycle does detailed decommissioning planning begin and what approaches are available.