By Alex Endress, Editorial Coordinator
To ensure uniform safety standards across its contracted rigs, Petronas has developed a set of HSE case guidelines that builds upon the IADC HSE Case Guidelines. The guidelines are meant to complement drilling contractors’ HSE cases and to provide additional technical support, Steven Oliver, Petronas HSE Technical Safety Specialist, said at the 2016 IADC Drilling HSE&T Asia Pacific Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 24 February. The HSE guidelines started to roll out in February.
The effort was driven by what Mr Oliver said was an especially apparent need for additional HSE support in Malaysia. “Within Malaysia, unlike certain areas like the UK, Norway or Australia, HSE cases are not a regulated requirement at the moment,” he said. This lack of official regulation puts more of an onus on the operator to ensure HSE cases are up to par. In late 2014, Petronas hired a third party to perform a gap analysis on the HSE cases for eight contracted rigs against the operator’s mandatory control framework, which is based on the IADC HSE Case Guidelines. “It raised some alarm bells in Petronas on common gaps that we noted throughout all of the HSE cases,” Mr Oliver said.
Gaps were identified in areas such as the management of safety equipment, limited performance standards and the operationalization of HSE cases. “We quickly realized that we had to give further guidance,” he said.
To bridge such gaps, the NOC put in place its own HSE case guidelines. “The aim of the guideline is just to give a consistent approach when it comes to the development of the HSE cases (and) the operationalization of the HSE cases,” he said. “It gives the contractor a full criteria of what we expect from Petronas for management of major accident hazards.”
Using internet-enabled software, contractors can interact with Petronas about the guidelines. The software also includes bowtie models, links to performance standards and real-time incident tracking. Petronas’ guidelines provide direction on review and acceptance criteria to internal staff when they evaluate drilling contractors’ HSE kits, too. “There’s actually a template there so they can give a clear guidance on what they should be looking at when it comes to the HSE cases.”
The company is set to start a trial of its new guidelines on two offshore rigs. If these efforts are successful, Petronas plans to implement the system on all of its drilling operations, Mr Oliver said. Petronas will have remote access to HSE cases for all contracted rigs through an online database when the case guidelines are implemented. “Hopefully, it is going to give us better control as an operator on what the rig contractors are doing on a daily basis with our rig HSE cases.” With the release of these guidelines, the review and acceptance of HSE cases will remain up to Petronas. “We do the review and acceptance of the HSE cases, so there’s not an independent body that’s doing the regulation,” he said. “Basically, Petronas will become self-regulated in a way.”