Publication Details

Technical Paper TP02

Application of Goal Setting and Risk-Based Approach for Design of Safety Critical Elements in Oil and Gas Facilities

Authors: Dr R Raman, Arriscar Pty Ltd, S Medonos, Petrellus Engineering Ltd. Proceedings of Risk Management for Sustainable Development of H-C Industry; Trends and Practices Conference, ONGC, November 2013, Australia.


Goal setting, risk based approach for the design of offshore oil and gas facilities has evolved over the last 20 years since the Piper Alpha disaster. This approach, while eliminating the previous constraints of a prescriptive approach, has resulted in significantly improved technical safety of oil and gas facilities offshore and onshore. Despite this initiative, prescriptive methods still take precedence in the design, and a big “disconnect” still exists between the Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA), and associated safety engineering studies, and the practical design. This disconnect can result in a lopsided design, where adequate protection are missing in places where it should be, and applied in areas where there is a low likelihood of the hazard.

This Paper addresses how the disconnect between the conventional application of codes and standards, and the use of performance setting risk based methods and known behaviour of structures and equipment in accidents, can be bridged. It stresses the importance of advanced technology and practical experience in the application of fire and explosion protection. 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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