Preventing hydrocarbon leakages is one of the main prerequisites for ensuring safety in the petroleum industry. Containment is consequently often defined as a separate barrier, extending all the way along the hydrocarbon transport chain. Securing this barrier involves many interfaces, whether physical, organisational or operational, which in turn involve different disciplines, systems and standards.
Requirement for continuous improvement
The companies involved must be aware of the condition of their equipment, both in isolation and in combination, and work continuously to reduce risk. In addition, efforts must be continuously made to identify the processes, activities and products where improvement is required, and necessary improvement measures must be implemented.
Industry practice and standards
The various industry participants will have differing approaches to handling this. The petroleum regulations make references to numerous standards that aim to provide a satisfactory level of safety. But it remains the companies’ responsibility to ensure that their systems are operated and maintained so as to secure full life-cycle integrity. The management of this will vary from participant to participant. This report takes as its starting point industry practice and standards.
From wellhead to facility
The report provides a general system overview of the hydrocarbon transport chain from wellhead to facility, describing relevant technical, organisational and operational interfaces, and relevant specialist domains. On the facility itself, the report’s scope is restricted to the riser emergency shutdown valve.
The following main topics are discussed:
- relevant standards in the chain
- risks (safety, health, environmental and economic)
- known failure modes along the entire chain
- reliability and robustness of the systems
- design criteria with the largest impact on leakage risk
- relevant historical developments in integrity management
- maintenance (inspection, monitoring, replacement)
- available technology relevant for condition monitoring