Industry Focuses on Operational Integrity, Safety Issues at OTC
- _ JPT staff (_)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 66 - 70
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 49 since 2007
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Improving offshore safety and operational integrity through both technology and processes weaved its way through many of the panel and technical sessions at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference, held in May in Houston.
The annual conference continues to grow; this year’s attendance reached a 30-year high of 89,000, and the exhibition was the largest in the event’s history. “OTC 2012 was the most successful event we have had since the early 1980s,” said Steve Balint, chairman of OTC. “In terms of strength of the technical sessions and technology on display, OTC reached a record-breaking number of people and offered the most ways to connect, educate, and conduct business. The industry is on the rise and challenges are ahead, making it more important than ever to collaborate and share best practices with colleagues all over the world.”
Two years after the Macondo accident in the US Gulf of Mexico, the impact of that disaster is still being felt as the industry grapples with new regulations and works to create new technology that will make operations safer and efficient. These issues dominated many sessions and discussions during the 4-day conference.
Examining Operational Integrity
In one panel session, representatives from an industry safety body, a risk consultancy group, and the regulatory sphere spoke about improving operational integrity in the offshore energy sector. Francesca Rinaldi, production optimization manager at Eni, said that the safety of people and protection of the environment are the foundations of well-integrity objectives and that organization, processes, and technology are the pillars of well-integrity management. Her company has created a software package that it calls a well-integrity tool, which takes critical well data from operations, enables analysis by company personnel, and indicates whether a well is in compliance with requirements established for the operation. “Safety and performance go hand in hand,” Rinaldi said.
Robert Patterson, Shell’s vice president of upstream projects in the Americas, discussed operational integrity from a project perspective. He cited the execution of Shell’s Perdido spar project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, in which project personnel worked from start to finish without a single person losing a workday because of a safety incident. Two key factors in achieving that record, Patterson said, were “extreme, visible, passionate commitment from leaders in the project” and “partnerships across companies, with regulators, with stakeholders, with suppliers, with operators.” Shell’s upstream sector views asset integrity and process safety as a function of design integrity, technical integrity throughout an asset life cycle, and operating integrity, he said. Patterson also stressed the need for the industry to move from a task-driven approach to a purpose-driven approach to work throughout the supply chain.
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