Safety Case in the Gulf of Mexico: Method and Benefits for Old and New Facilities

Fig. 1—General safety-case approach.

The purpose of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) is to enhance safety of operations in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). One of the principal SEMS objectives is to encourage the use of performance-based operating practices. However, the current US regulatory framework for GOM operations does not provide adequate tools to focus on specific risks associated with a facility. The adoption of the safety-case regime would steer operations toward this goal.


This paper discusses the application of the safety-case concept and how the operator can demonstrate that the major safety and environmental hazards have been identified, and associated risks estimated, and show how these risks are managed by achieving a target level of safety. Throughout the safety-case road map, the identification of safety critical elements (SCEs) and associated performance standards represents one of the cornerstones of asset-integrity-management (AIM) strategy.

The paper discusses how application of the safety-case regime for existing facilities would highlight particular risks that may have been misjudged, taking into account the current state of installations and the actual operational procedures in place. For new facilities, the introduction of the safety case at the early stages of design would ease the integration of the overall risk-management (RM) plan at each level of organization.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper OTC 25957, “Safety Case in Gulf of Mexico: Method and Benefits for Old and New Facilities,” by Julia Carval, SPE, and Bibek Das, SPE, Bureau Veritas North America, prepared for the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 4–7 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2015 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
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Safety Case in the Gulf of Mexico: Method and Benefits for Old and New Facilities

01 August 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 8


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