FPSO Risk analysis: Harsh environment and challenging operational set-up
| Written by Mark Buzinkay
HSE standards are based on experience and excellence as safety is paramount to FPSO operations. A proper risk analysis mitigates potential hazards.
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On all operational plants - whether FPSOs or traditional offshore platforms, the safety of personnel and the protection of costly assets have the highest priority. Consequently, hazard management and risk analysis are not only standard but must meet the most rigid and comprehensive demands. Offshore HSE standards are based on experience and excellence and on the belief that all harmful incidents can be avoided or at least mitigated if the proper procedures are available and carefully followed.
fpso risk analysis: Human and organisational factors
Although FPSOs are becoming common, operational safety performance may still be considered somewhat unproven, especially when compared to fixed installations. Floating installations are more dependent on manual control of some of the marine systems, during normal operations as well as during critical situations. One of the main risks in FPSO operations is a potential collision between shuttle tanker and FPSO during off-loading.
Accidents are often initiated by errors induced by human and organisational factors (HOF), technical (design) failures or a combination of these factors. Effective means to prevent or mitigate the effects of potential operational accidents are therefore important.
An interesting aspect of FPSO assignments is that they operate far off the coast which rarely features the necessary infrastructure and service support. These regions can often be considered greenfield developments which require an integrated team to prepare for operations. Logistics and marine infrastructure must be established and sometimes challenging ocean and tidal conditions are met. Thus, the prime focus is to keep the workforce safe. An example is The Liza Phase 1 development project features the Liza Destiny Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, moored 190 km offshore Guyana in 1,743 m (5,719 ft) of water, and four subsea drill centres supporting 17 wells.
fpso safety related Literature
There is an abundant list of literature discussing the relation of safety and FPSO operations, including recommendations for risk reduction (e.g. respective field configuration, minimum time to be available for recovery from drive-off scenarios, as well as crew competence, positioning systems, the interface on shuttle tanker, FPSO and between the vessels):