Pipeline Safety Improvement, Focus of PSA Norway’s Seminar

Systematic and integrated thinking about pipelines in all phases of Norwegian petroleum activity was in focus at a seminar staged by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) on 19 October.  This international session was the latest annual meeting in a 10-year series held to share expertise and experience on pipelines and risers, and thereby contribute to continuous improvement.

Although the government and the industry are very interested in discussing the biggest challenges in this area, hard work is needed to make a positive impact on the level of risk.

This point was made by Finn Carlsen, one of the PSA’s supervision directors, in his opening address to the seminar.

Principle

He identified continuous improvement as a key principle in Norway’s petroleum safety regulations. “We emphasise this because it’s precisely what working with safety is all about.

“Continuous improvement assumes the willingness to share knowledge and being conscious in applying it.”

Mr Carlsen focused on the central role of pipelines in industrial facilities, in relation both to new technology and to aging infrastructure.

“The same risk-based and integrated approach to pipeline systems is required in every phase, from development, through operation and to removal,” he emphasises.

With reference to the systems approach chosen for the seminar, he also pointed to the complexity of the infrastructure and the need for system integrity.

Packed

Seminar chair Trond Sundby from the PSA steered a programme packed with experienced speakers from Norwegian and international oil, contractor and consultancy companies as well as the authorities.

The meeting was characterised by openness in sharing experience and in issuing challenges across roles.

As an illustration of the need to be constantly open to new lessons, one of the speakers noted that it was 18 years to the day since Draugen came on stream in the Norwegian Sea.

Most people had thought then that the field would be ready for retirement in 2011, but its producing life had been extended by the Linnorm subsea development.

This perspective was also emphasised by Mr Sundby in his summing up.

He highlighted the importance of securing resources for and focusing attention on day-to-day maintenance, in parallel with the integrated system perspective needed to combat major accident risk.

Source:Ptil , October 26, 2011;

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