OGP kicks-off process safety committee

New subcommittee to track leading indicators. But UK says ‘no thanks’ to Brussels regulator.

The UK-based oil and gas producers association (OGP) has established a process safety subcommittee (PSS) to track ‘leading indicators’ and prevent accidents. At the kickoff meeting in London this month, Hans Jørn Johansen was elected to the role of subcommittee steward. Johansen explained, ‘We’ve established the PSS because work with low-frequency/high-impact incidents is important for the industry and society at large.’ PSS chair is Statoil’s Jan Roar Bakke, a 30 year oil and gas safety veteran who is also professor of safety technology at the University of Stavanger. Bakke was an expert witness at the Piper Alpha inquiry.

Bakke explained, ‘We want to go beyond the analysis of lagging indicators—the tiers 1 and 2 indicators that tell you how a leak or a release led to a major accident. By looking at leading indicators, we hope to be able to identify factors that influence major accident risk.’ The PSS is to interface with other OGP activities including the wells expert committee and other with external bodies. The plan is to ‘define leading indicators for major accidents, evaluate their potential and then get the wider industry to use these indicators to ensure safer operations.’

Faced with a proposal from the European Commission on EU-wide regulation of offshore oil and gas activities, the OGP appears less enthusiastic. Speaking at an offshore regulation stakeholder meeting in Brussels earlier this year, OGP executive director Michael Engell- Jensen held that, ‘Such regulation would conflict with current national rules [and] lead to duplication, confusion and uncertainty for the industry. While OGP fully supports the Commission’s objectives of further improving safety and environmental performance, these objectives could be better achieved through a properly worded Directive.’ More from OGP.

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