Publication Details

Technical Paper TP01

Experience in the Application of the Goal Setting Regime and Risk-Based Design of Safety Critical Elements in the Oil and Gas Industry

Authors (in alphabetical order): RW Brewerton, Natabelle Technology Ltd, P Geddes, Global Solutions (UK) Ltd, S Medonos, Petrellus Engineering Ltd (presenter at the Conference), Dr R Raman, Arriscar Pty Ltd, CCE Wilkins, Blackmill Consultants Ltd, reviewer: Prof GA Chamberlain, Waverton Consultancy Ltd. Proceedings of the ASME 2013 32nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering OMAE 2013, June 9-14, 2013, Nantes, France.


The research and development activities following the Piper Alpha disaster have resulted in significantly improved technical safety of oil and gas facilities offshore and onshore. This improved technical safety resulted from the development of goal-setting, risk-based approach, the objective of which was to open the routes for design optimization and remove previous constraints that addressed the worst case and was prescriptive. Despite this initiative, a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA), while still being carried out, often remains “disconnected” from the practical design and prescriptive methods still take precedence. Resorting solely to a prescriptive approach can result in adequate protection missing in places where it should be, and applied in areas where there is a low likelihood of the hazard. This Paper addresses the application in the facility design, risk based methods and known behaviour of structures and equipment in accidents. It stresses the importance of practical experience in the application of fire and explosion protection, and adequate design and operational experience. The Paper focuses on fire and explosion hazards and is based on more than 30 years of the authors’ experience in supporting facility design and assessment. Such approach has resulted in solutions with improved technical safety and significant cost-savings. It addresses both new installations and modifications of existing facilities.

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