HCR the Offshore Hydrocarbon Releases Database_XII-Paper-08

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  THE OFFSHORE HYDROCARBON RELEASES (HCR) DATABASE R.A.P.Bruce HSE Offshore Safety Division Technology Branch Merton House Bootle. L20 3DL Following the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988, and the subsequent investigation by Lord Cullen, it was found that there was a scarcity of information on incidents resulting from hydrocarbon leaks or spills, which meant that the frequency, and hence the risk, of future incidents could not easily be predicted. In his report, Lord Cullen recommended ( Recommendation 39) that: The regulatory body should be responsible for maintaining a database with regard to hydrocarbon leaks, spills, and ignitions in the Industry and for the benefit of Industry. This paper deals with the setting up of the HCR Database, and discusses the main features and benefits of the database. KEY WORDS  : Offshore Safety; Hydrocarbons Incidents; Leak Frequencies; Database; Cullen Recommendation; INTRODUCTION During his investigation of the Piper Alpha disaster, and in his subsequent report [ref.  1],  Lord Cullen wrote  (Vol.11,  Page 299, Section 18.43): I am convinced that learning from accidents and incidents is an important way of improving safety performance. I consider that it would be useful if there was a systematic means by which what could be learnt from incidents and near misses could be shared by all operators. At the time of the Piper Alpha disaster (July, 1988) the sources of accident/incident data were such that there was a scarcity of information on incidents resulting from hydrocarbon leaks or spills. The main data sources in the public domain at the time either covered major accidents involving substantial loss and stoppages over 24 hours, or they only covered failures and breakdowns with no link to the consequences of the failure. Figure 1 overleaf illustrates this situation, with the main data sources shown on the left of the triangle, and the severity of incidents covered by these sources shown on the right. The base of the triangle represents the many offshore failures and breakdowns occurring over a period of time. The further one progresses up the scale of severity, the less frequent the incidents become, until, at the peak of the triangle is the disaster resulting in loss of platform and major loss of life. 107  I CHEM E SYMPOSIUM SERIES No 134 The numbers of occurrences also shown in the figure give an indication of the relative orders of magnitude for each incident type over a period of time. That is to say for every 10,000 failures there could be 1,000 near misses. For every 1,000 near misses, there could be 100 dangerous occurrences and/or serious accidents. For those 100 serious accidents, there could be 10 major accidents, and for every 10 major accidents there could be 1 disaster, such as Piper Alpha  itself. In 1988, the main accident data sources in the public domain, covering Offshore incidents in the North Sea, were WOAD  [ref.2],  IFP Platform  [ref.3],  and the Department of Energy Brown Book [ref.4] the statistics for which were extracted from the Safety System database containing all incidents reported to the regulatory body on OIR/9A forms. There was also a joint Industry project underway to gather incident data on Pipelines And Risers Loss Of Containment , which has since been published as PARLOC '90  [ref.5].  The main source of data on offshore system and equipment failures was OREDA  [ref.6]. Most accident data sources at the time shared a common criteria that dangerous occurrences involved stoppages of over 24 hours. This meant that near misses i.e. those hydrocarbon leaks, spills and ignitions resulting in a lower level of consequential stoppage or damage, were missing from the published data. 108  I CHEM E SYMPOSIUM SERIES No 134 Lord Cullen identified this shortfall of data in his report, and one of  his  106 recommendations dealt directly with the question of   Hydrocarbon Releases Database. Cullen Recommendation 39 states that: The regulatory body should be responsible for maintaining a database with regard to hydrocarbon leaks, spills and ignitions in the Industry and for the benefit of Industry. The regulatory body should: (i) discuss and agree with the Industry, the method of collection and use of the data; (ii) regularly assess the data to determine the existence of any trends and report them to Industry; (iii) provide operators with a means of obtaining access to the data, particularly for the purpose of carrying out quantified risk assessment (QRA) As a result of other Cullen Recommendations (Nos.23-26) the Health and Safety Executive, Offshore Safety Division (HSE-OSD) took over the responsibility for offshore safety from the Department of Energy, in April, 1991. As the new Regulatory Body, HSE-OSD therefore also assumed responsibility for the setting up of the Hydrocarbon Releases (HCR) Database in line with Cullen Recommendation 39. The remaining sections of this paper are concerned with the setting up of the HCR Database, with examples of the Outputs and Trends information likely to be produced, and with the likely benefits to be gained from their use by Industry, for example in QRA. D T COLLECTION Since item (i) of Cullen Recommendation 39 required that the regulatory body should discuss and agree with Industry, the method of collection and use of the data , it was necessary to set up the formal lines of communication required to achieve this. A Joint Working Party (JWP) with Industry on Failure Rate Data (FRD) was formed , and an inaugural meeting was held in April, 1992. Initially, the membership of the JWP comprised three representatives from the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) ; one member representing the joint interests of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and the British Rig Owners Association (BROA) ; and four members from HSE-OSD including the Chair and Secretariat. This was later augmented by one coopted member representing the Exploration and Production (E & P) Forum, and another one member representing Offshore Risk Consultants via the Affiliates of the Safety and Reliability Society (SaRS). 109  I CHEM  E  SYMPOSIUM SERIES No 134 Releases  Data Before setting about gathering the required data on hydrocarbon leaks, spills and ignitions, however, it was recognised that the existing scheme for reporting offshore incidents [ref.7] would need to be amended. The first thing to be done, therefore, was to discuss and agree revisions to the existing definitions for dangerous occurrences. These definitions appear on the OIR/9A reporting form, which is the official form issued by HSE-OSD for the reporting of  ll  offshore incidents covered by the regulations. The main definition regarding hydrocarbon releases, now reads : Any release of petroleum hydrocarbon resulting in the stoppage of  plant;  the suspension of work; a flash fire; a continuous fire; an explosion; the operation of a smoke, flame, fire or gas detector at or above the lowest action point; or any specific action to prevent the possibility of a fire or an explosion; and/or any release resulting in or having the potential to cause death or serious injury to any person . It was felt that this revised definition would have the effect of lowering the reporting threshold, thus covering the near misses and leaks.spills and ignitions discussed in the Cullen Report. At the same time, a new voluntary reporting scheme was set up. This scheme requires the operator to provide further details, on a voluntary basis, of the hydrocarbon released. These details would be provided on a new Hydrocarbon Release Report Supplementary Information form (OIR/12) and would include : ã Date, time and geographical location of incident, including Installation details ã Hydrocarbon type, including density/gravity. Gas to Oil Ratio (GOR), level of H^S ã Quantity released, and Duration of leak ã Location of leak, including an itemised check list indicating system and equipment involved ã Hazardous area classification ã Equivalent hole diameter, based on hydraulic equivalent hole, d = 4A/p where A = Actual cross-sectional area of hole and p = wetted perimeter. ã Module Ventilation and Weather Conditions ã System Pressure, maximum allowable and actual at time of release ã Total (isolatable)Hydrocarbon Inventory in system ã Means of Detection, i.e. type(s) of detector activated and/or sight/sound/smell indications ã Extent of dispersion/accumulation ã Cause of Leak, including an itemised check list indicating any failure in design, equipment, operational, and/or procedural aspects, plus operational mode in the area at the time ã Ignition details , including delay time (if any) and sequence of events, plus ignition source ã Emergency actions taken, with tick list for shutdown, blowdown, deluge, CO/Halon, call to muster stations/lifeboats. Many other details were discussed, e.g. maintenance data including tag numbers, methods of repair, criticality, etc., but these were discounted mainly in the interests of anonimity and of brevity (The OIR/12 form is currently 6 pages long ). The first completed OIR/12 forms were received in HSE-OSD in early October, 1992, and so it was decided to make the start date 1 October, 1992 for all data in the HCR Database. no
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