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The purpose of this paper is to ensure the integrity of operating assets in oil and gas through the application of a consistent and systematic process of assessment and improvement. The objective of this work process is to ensure that process hazards associated with operations and facilities in oil and gas are identified systematically, risks are assessed and managed in accordance with good risk management practices, facilities and operations are in compliance with applicable legislation, engineering codes and regulatory requirements, process information (i.e., key drawings, data books, process flow diagrams, area classification drawings, calculations, etc.) is accurate and upto-date.
Shell Oil Company's goal to be an industry leader in HS and E has placed even greater emphasis on the design of its production facilities so they will meet or exceed not only all regulatory requirements, but Shell's very demanding internal design standards as well. In addition to the many traditional equipment and process design requirements, there is also a need to incorporate Human Factors Engineering (HFE) into the design process. How the equipment will be operated and the potential for incorrect operation are very important safety design considerations as evidenced by recent industry disasters. Finally, the designs must not only achieve compliance with safety and environmental requirements, they must also consider how that compliance will be monitored and verified.
This paper addresses the approach utilized and some of the design considerations currently being made to provide for a safe and environmentally sound provide for a safe and environmentally sound operation of Shell Oil Company's deepwater Tension Leg Platform (TLP). It also identifies some of the HFE efforts being applied in the TLP design and describes the HS and E monitoring techniques used to verify and document compliance.
In 1993 Shell Oil Company will complete the installation of its first Tension Leg Platform (TLP) in the Gulf of Mexico. The TLP will be installed in approximately 2860 feet (872 m) of water in Garden Banks Block 426 (Prospect Auger) located 214 miles (344 km) southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana. The design of the topsides for the Auger TLP presented numerous challenges to the design team.
The integrated design embodies a conventional TLP with full drilling and production capability and marine systems required for the operation of the TLP over its design life. The design will also include:
- a permanent lateral mooring system used for positional control over a dispersed seafloor wellhead pattern;
- a floating drilling method based on a subsea blowout preventer (BOP) and low pressure drilling risers;
- surface production trees with top-tensioned risers;
- a single drilling rig fixed at the center of the platform;
- equipment to handle the BOP and risers, and to move the production risers to and from their assigned wellslot after the wells are completed;
- steel catenary pipeline risers.
Unlike typical Shell Gulf of Mexico operations, the Auger TLP will be designed to support simultaneous drilling and production operations with full treating facilities on the TLP. This is a major deviation from the past Shell operating philosophy relative to concurrent operations.
During the late 1960's and early 1970's, Shell developed standard layouts, flowsheets and equipment specifications for typical Gulf of Mexico facilities.
In the early morning hours of December 03, 1984, over forty (40) tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) leaked from the Union Carbide India plant in Bhopal, India. More than 3000 people immediately perished from the accidental release of highly toxic MIC gas, and an additional 15 000 deaths, along with numerous health-related claims, were attributed to this event.
Abstract In 2007 BAPCO won the prestigious Robert W Campbell award for integrating safety into its primary business processes. The team who reviewed BAPCO processes on behalf of the Awarding agency made specific reference to the excellent quality of HAZOPs that BAPCO had conducted and reported. Such commendation for BAPCO HAZOPs did not come by chance. BAPCO has a very strong and rich tradition in this field; arguably the pioneers in this region. Bert Lawley, inventor of the HAZOP process, published his first paper on the topic in 1976; BAPCO conducted their first HAZOP meeting in as early as 1981! The traditional P&ID (Piping and Instrument Diagram) line-by-line guideword-based HAZOP remains a very powerful tool in the armory of modern designers and engineers in minimizing hazard and operability related concerns from process plants in continuous as well as batch operations. Nonetheless, BAPCO have strengthened its effectiveness through developing some best practices of our own and adopting some recommended by other well-known authorities such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS). One noteworthy best practice developed by BAPCO is the adoption of a comprehensive list of "Global Parameters." This is generally referred to as the last Node in HAZOPs and it addresses unit-wide or plant-wide concerns related to civil and structural integrity, instrumentation philosophy, fire water system, fireproofing, environmental concerns, reliability, emergency shutdown systems … the list goes on (currently there are 50 items under Global Parameters that BAPCO HAZOPs take into account). In addition to the Global Parameters mentioned above, this paper describes the following best practices that we apply to our HAZOPs: use of specific checklists which will captures all the items that are not covered under Global Parameters, review of emergency inventory isolation block valves, modeling of gas blow-by scenarios, and overpressure protection. HAZOP is a continually improving and evolving process in BAPCO. Our recent contacts with reputable engineering consultants have given us feedback regarding current best practices with EPC companies. We in BAPCO are committed to striving for excellence.
On July 29, 2008, Mr. John S. Bresland, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety. He noted that since 1998, the year that the CSB was established, three out of the four deadliest accidents that they had investigated were determined to be combustible dust explosions. Thirteen workers died, and 39 were injured, at the Imperial Sugar refinery on February 7, 2008. Twenty-three people were burned from the fire and explosion, three of which were still hospitalized in a burn center after five months of treatment. At West Pharmaceutical Services in Kinston, North Carolina, six workers were killed, and 39 injured in a polyethylene dust explosion on January 29, 2003. The fuel for the explosion was a fine plastic powder, which had accumulated above a suspended ceiling over a manufacturing area at the plant and had ignited. And, at CTA Acoustics, Inc. in Corbin, Kentucky, seven people were killed and 37 were injured on February 20, 2003. This incident severely damaged a manufacturing plant of 302,000 sq. ft., and temporarily shut down four Ford Motor Company vehicle manufacturing plants for a time. Combustible phenolic resin dust had accumulated throughout the facility, and was the fuel for the explosion.
In November, 2006, the CSB completed a study on combustible dust. The CSB found that combustible dust explosions have been a recurrent cause of disasters at U.S. industrial facilities. Their study, which did not include primary grain handling or underground coal dust explosions, identified 281 dust fires and explosions that occurred at U.S. businesses between 1980 and 2005. These fires and explosions resulted in 119 deaths and 718 injuries. The Board called for a comprehensive Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulatory standard to prevent dust explosions in general industry; improved training of OSHA inspectors to recognize dust hazards; and improvements to Material Safety Data Sheets to better communicate dust hazards to workers.