CATEGORIZED | 2008, March/April

IADC, regulators address asset integrity in continuing effort to improve HSE

Posted on 30 October 2009

HSE is central to IADC’s mission on behalf of the global drilling industry. In pursuit of HSE improvement, IADC collaborates with all stakeholders – operators, service firms, government and, of course, drilling contractors. We have been honored to be recognized for our efforts in this regard, most recently by the International Regulators Forum (IRF) at its Offshore Safety Forum, held in Miami last December. At that event, we were recognized with the Carolita U Kallaur Award for Outstanding International Safety Leadership for our development of the IADC Health, Safety and Environmental Case Guideline.

Discussion at the IRF event focused to a large extent on asset integrity of offshore installations. Distilled to its essence, this broad topic spans the overall ability of a facility, its crew and management to conduct operations safely and efficiently. Specific topics include operational integrity, maintenance, fitness for purpose, crew competency, among others.

Contractors and operators have made great strides in adopting safety management systems and sharply improving the safety of our operations. This progress is evident in the industry’s continually falling LTI rate and improvements in other benchmarks, for instance.

Asset integrity attempts to take a “30,000-ft” systems view. Central to this concept is the recognition that safety management systems rely on multiple barriers to incidents. Ideally, each defensive layer stands intact. In the real world, however, these layers are more like slices of Swiss cheese. Holes exist in the layers and continually shift. When the holes of several slices of defensive barriers align, the potential for an accident emerges.

The concept of asset integrity stands in the forefront of the next level of hazard control.
At the Offshore Safety Forum, I invited IRF to supply a series of articles on asset integrity to be published in Drilling Contractor. I am pleased that IRF was open to the opportunity to begin a dialogue with industry on the topic and has accepted the offer.

The first article will appear in the May/June edition of DC, just in time for OTC. It is being provided by the UK Health & Safety Executive and will cover key results from a series of inspections of nearly 100 installations between 2004 and 2007. Ten installations were mobile offshore drilling units.

A key finding was that the asset integrity of MODUs is generally managed better than for other types of installations – i.e., fixed and floating production installation.

We applaud IRF for this effort to clearly delineate the issues associated with asset integrity and are pleased that DC will be the vehicle for this communication.

IADC strives to “Do What’s Right for the Rig.” Asset integrity may be the next big step.

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