A Holistic Approach to Safety Barrier Management

This paper describes a structured methodology for evaluation and visualization of technical integrity for oil and gas production and processing plants and explains how it is used to decide on technical conditions and assess risk and mitigating actions. It will also describe how a computer-based system is used to support decision-making at various levels in the company in order to prioritize initiatives and budgeting. The plant engineers use it to support a structured analysis of technical issues related to equipment, systems, and barrier functions. The operational management uses it for verifying control with operational risk related to technical degradations, and plant management uses it to support planning and budgeting.

The result of the effort has increased the understanding of barrier management because it takes into account a number of different issues such as system design, delayed or overdue maintenance, failure frequencies, deviations, and incidents. The computer-based system has improved management of technical conditions related to safety barriers and assessment of any weaknesses. Moreover, the approach has made it easy to benchmark assets and monitor performance over time. It also supports decision-making related to life time extension of the assets. The system has improved focus and competence related to understanding and managing major accidental risk.

This approach combines the use of automatic indicators and other information generated from a variety of systems and judgments made by professionals. The methodology promotes collaboration across disciplines.

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