NOPSEMA calls for comment on operational risk assessment guidance note

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Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 - 15:45
Policy & legislation
National News

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) recently called for comment on the final draft of the operational risk assessment guidance note.

NOPESMA noted initial feedback received has been captured in this revision, and said interested stakeholders who have not yet had the opportunity to provide input are encouraged to have their say prior to publication.

The guidance aims to help facility operators develop, implement and maintain robust operational risk assessment procedures where degradation of safety-critical equipment or some other abnormal operational situation may potentially compromise safety and increase the risk of a major accident event.

The guidance seeks to also clarify NOPSEMA’s expectations for how an operator should reasonably manage periods where safety-critical equipment cannot meet performance standards as outlined in approved permissioning documents.

The guidance note said the effective management of major accident events (MAEs) is an integral requirement of safe operations on offshore oil and gas facilities.

As such, robust arrangements must be in place to identify and evaluate MAEs, and to specify control measures required to ensure that MAE risks are reduced to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable.

In addition, a facility operator’s procedures for risk management need to be comprehensive such that they accommodate and account for adverse changes in safety-critical equipment (SCE) performance, or other abnormal situations that may potentially increase levels of MAE risk.

The guidance note also observed that there are many cases where the failure of a SCE can reasonably be foreseen (for example, failure of an emergency shutdown valve).

Considering these potential SCE failures prior to experiencing a failure in the field can help with contingency planning by identifying additional controls that may be required and allowing time for these to be developed before they are needed.

To provide feedback on the guidance, please submit comments to by no later than COB Friday, 6 September 2019.