Construction and installation techniques and vessels are adapting to work in deep and ultradeep water in remote and harsh settings. Cost optimization is a consideration in the innovative vessel capabilities and logistics developed for pipelaying and transport.
Although the classification and tallying of incidents provides useful identification of where problems may lie, it does not address how to change the factors that led to them. Learning from incidents has been hindered by a tendency to treat human error as an acceptable final explanation of why an incident occurred. A deeper understanding of why human error occurred and the organizational/culture factors that set up the human for failure is required to make meaningful changes in safety performance.
Howard Duhon, the SPE technical director of Projects, Facilities, and Construction, describes the events that led to the Union Carbide pesticide plant disaster in Bhopal, nearly 30 years ago. He was an employee of Union Carbide Corp. at the time, and in this article, he offers his insights about the “perfect storm,” including bypassed or rendered ineffective safeguards and the failure of operators to follow basic safety procedures.
Peer Review Editor
The feasibility of using a gas-to-liquids floating production, storage, and offloading system to monetize offshore stranded-gas fields is discussed. Design concepts, technologies, and economic analyses are presented.
A case study about the startup of a field in the South China Sea describes the challenges that the project team had to deal with and the solutions that were implemented to start the production ahead of schedule. The project executions included disconnection, life extension, and reconnection to an existing oilfield floating-production system.
A simple and straightforward desk study is provided that provides a quick, but thorough, method to improve production to take full advantage of favorable reservoir performance, and in doing so, optimizes the capital value of the asset. It addresses the debottlenecking of existing offshore production facilities to safely extend their operating capacities.
The mechanisms for the initiation and the prevention of top-of-the-line corrosion in pipelines are reviewed. Practical, multifaceted techniques based on recent research are described and illustrated with documented sources to arrive at the best practices for control.