Under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations 2009 (Cth), administered by NOPSEMA, a Safety Case is required if your offshore project involves the use of a ‘facility’ (e.g., any ‘vessel’ in contact with the seabed, such as a drill rig, platform, construction vessel, accommodation vessel or pipeline laying vessel).
A facility cannot be constructed, installed, operated, modified or decommissioned without a safety case in force for that stage in the life of the facility.
Safety Cases are valid in Australian waters for 5 years. If a facility has an in-force Safety Case in place, it requires a Safety Case Revision to make it specific to your project.
Safety Cases are prepared in four parts and involves:
A detailed facility description;
A description of the operator’s safety management system (SMS);
A formal safety assessment (FSA) of all of the hazards that may occur as a result of the facility operation. In particular, there is a requirement to identify hazards that have the potential to cause a major accident event (MAE) and the safety critical controls (SCCs) that prevent or mitigate their outcomes; and
An ALARP statement demonstrating how the operator will manage risks to as low as reasonably practicable.
There are several key studies that are often required to support the Safety Case, including:
Fire and Explosion Analysis (FEA);
Emergency System Survivability Analysis (ESSA); and
Emergency Evacuation and Rescue Analysis (EERA).
All SCCs for a facility must have defined performance standards detailing their functionality, reliability/availability, survivability and maintainability.
Aventus specialises in:
Close liaison with the facility operator to understand the way the operator manages its day-to-day business and understand the way the facility is managed;
Preparing for and undertaking a HAZID workshop with relevant facility management and crew to ensure all MAE hazards are understood;
Auditing the operator’s SMS to ensure it meets the requirements of the Safety Case.
Preparing Safety Cases and revisions; and
Implementing Safety Cases.
Once a validation is requested by NOPSEMA, an operator may not submit the safety case for a facility before the operator and NOPSEMA have agreed on the scope of validation (SoV) for the proposed facility or proposed significant change to an existing facility. Aventus can manage the whole process of drafting and agreeing a SoV with NOPSEMA to allow the Safety Case to move forward, including stewarding the closeout of all findings from the external validation party.
The knowledge we’ve acquired over many years with regard to well blowout prevention and management is particularly helpful in the preparation of Safety Cases. One of our HSE & Risk Consultants prepared the West Atlas and West Triton Rig Facility Safety Case Revisions following the Montara well blowout in northwest Australia in 2009.