FPSO Environmental Risk Management
- Bernhard Metzger (Battelle) | Donald A. Salmond (Battelle) | Alan Tilstone (Battelle)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, 12-14 April, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.5.3 Floating Production Systems, 4.6 Natural Gas, 6.6.2 Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.5.10 Remotely Operated Vehicles, 7.2.5 Emergency Preparedness and Training, 6.5.5 Oil and Chemical Spills, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 4.5.7 Controls and Umbilicals, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 6.1.2 HSSE Reporting, 7.2.2 Risk Management Systems, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.2.4 Risers, 7.2.1 Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Assessment, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 6.3.2 Safety in Design and Engineering, 4.5.4 Mooring Systems, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing
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Oil companies planning to locate FPSOs (or FSOs) in shallow water need to consider the performance of such operations relative to environmentally sensitive coastal habitats. This paper is based on a global study Battelle performed on FPSO safety performance and, in particular, with respect to risk management of nearshore operations. The study provides an environmental best practices benchmark. It examines the international safety performance of FPSOs operating in various geographies and environmental conditions. To this end, it reviews risk analyses published over the past ten years on the subject of major FPSO failure hazards, such as collision, offloading, equipment failure, and tanker spills. The study then examines eight cases of FPSOs operating in nearshore locations around the globe identifying proven risk mitigation and management practices and lessons learned that might benefit future FPSO projects.
The study confirms there is a strong safety record available on more than 1,000 years of FPSO operation around the globe. Extensive research conducted by agencies and researchers in the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States and elsewhere on FPSO design, operation and performance offers a rich body of
information on FPSO safety guidance. In addition, detailed review of the eight case studies confirms what the literature suggests: the FPSOs that have been operated to date have had an extraordinary safety record. Very few incidents, such as collisions and spills have occurred. No major incident or loss of cargo has occurred. None of the minor touches and collisions has resulted in the release of cargo. Virtually all recorded and reported releases have been small, and most of them were less than one barrel. As one oil company representative stated, an "all-accidents-are-avoidable?? mindset combined with strong design and
operating practices and systems are capable of avoiding or reducing theoretical failure risks to very low and acceptable levels.
The results of this study suggest there is an arsenal of measures operators can consider in order to ensure high safety performance of any planned FPSO. Failure and spill risks summarized in this study may be extrapolated for planned systems and proven risk reduction and mitigation measures adopted.
As part of the licensing approval process for siting an FPSO, the proponent oil company needs to consider the baseline environmental conditions at the proposed
location, and be prepared to demonstrate to the pertinent regulatory authorities that operations can be safety conducted without adversely impacting local ecological habitats. Of particular interest is the industry's safety record of operating FPSOs in the vicinity of environmentally sensitive coastal areas. Regulators will be interested in the safety design and management systems the developer will be proposing to reduce and mitigate residual risks.
Battelle conducted a study of the historical environmental and safety performance of FPSOs globally, with particular emphasis on environmentally sensitive areas. Releases and other incidents were evaluated and relevant statistics developed. Commonly applied prevention, mitigation and response measures were reviewed and characterized. Best management practices were identified and examined. Available published and grey literature on the subject was compiled and reviewed. The knowledge-base residing in the United States Minerals Management Service (MMS), the United Kingdom Health & Safety Executive (UK HSE), the Norwegian regulatory authorities as well as Norway's Oil Industry Association (OLF), the UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA), the International Organization of Oil & Gas producers (OGP), pertinent conference proceedings and other sources was reviewed.
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