Tuesday 6 November 2012

Oil & Gas UK Welcomes HSE Report into Ageing and Life Extension of Offshore Infrastructure

Oil & Gas UK has welcomed the publication of a report by the Health and Safety Executive on the management of ageing and life extension of offshore infrastructure.

The interim report details the HSE’s progress to date with its ongoing Key Programme (KP) 4 inspection programme and highlights its initial findings on how duty holders manage asset ageing and the extended use of installations past the originally anticipated operational life.

Oil & Gas UK’s health and safety policy manager, Bob Lauder, said: “With many mature assets in the UK offshore sector, the management of asset ageing and life extension has been an industry priority for a long time.

“Mature assets are not necessarily less safe – they’re just older. With the right management approach, ageing infrastructure can be maintained to be operated safely and effectively well beyond its originally conceived service life.

“This latest report from HSE highlights a number of very positive findings with regards to good practice identified during its inspections. We’re pleased to see highlighted the fact that duty holders are taking ageing and life extension very seriously, with a strong recognition among senior managers of the importance of these issues.

“In early 2011, the oil and gas industry, in collaboration with HSE, began a programme to direct additional attention and effort to asset ageing and life extension. Oil & Gas UK produced industry guidance and formed an industry steering group comprising topic experts from a cross-section of the industry and HSE managers. There are now two additional technical work groups; one focusing on electrical, controls and instrumentation and the other on floating production installations.

“The HSE report does also identify some areas where industry needs to retain focus in order to ensure long-term plans are in place to anticipate and manage the effects of equipment degradation in the future, and to increase workforce involvement in the management of ageing and life extension.

“The industry has already identified these findings and work is well underway to tackle these issues directly.

“Oil & Gas UK will publish more technical guidance around specific hardware aspects of ageing and life extension, while improving workforce engagement at every level is one of Step Change in Safety’s key focus areas.”

For more information on Oil & Gas UK’s ALE Steering Group, visit http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/Health_Safety_Report_2012/asset_ageing.cfm

The HSE report can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/offshore/index.htm

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