Process Safety is a structured discipline with the object of managing the integrity of the systems/processes that deal with production, storage and handling of substances with dangerous physicochemical characteristics, such as: flammable and/or toxic substances.
Through the application of risk assessment techniques to support engineering design, we deal with prevention, control and reduction of the risk of major process accidents, such as explosions and fires, deriving from accidental releases in chemical, petrochemical and Oil&Gas process plants. Such accidents can, indeed, cause serious injuries/fatalities, damage to plant assets, loss of production and environmental impact.
The services provided by RAMS&E within the Process Safety area are the following:
- Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA),
- Fire Explosion Risk Assessment (FERA),
- Evacuation Escape and Rescue Assessment (EERA),
- Technical Safety Studies (TRIA, ESSA, Dropped Object),
- Venting and Flaring study,
- Consequence Assessment (accident scenario simulation),
- Facility Siting Studies,
- Identification of SECEs (Safety Environment Critical Elements) and definition of performance standards,
- Bow Tie and Barrier Management analysis,
- Process Safety Management Systems.
QRA/FERA/EERA Studies for the Revamping project of a North Sea Offshore Platform – Detailed Engineering
GOALS OF THE PROJECT
Following the problems due to structural subsidence of the ocean floor in an offshore oil field in operation for 30 years in the North Sea, it was necessary to make changes to the entire offshore rig in order to ensure the operational continuity of the same.
The Customer requested a complete set of process risk assessment studies aimed at supporting the designing and improving the aspects concerning intrinsic safety of the platform, minimizing the risk for personnel and the environment.
In particular, the following studies have been developed:
- FERA/QRA studies: with the aim of quantitatively determining the risks of fire and explosion on the platform and identifying risk reduction actions to prevent or mitigate any accident scenarios that may have an impact on structures and/or equipment (FERA) and plant personnel (QRA). The QRA/FERA quantitative analysis allows to numerically estimate frequencies and damage of accident scenarios, thus allowing to identify and quantify the extent of the corrective measures required, already in the design phase, to optimize the plant layout from the safety point of view, dimensioning active and passive fire protection systems, defining the Fire&Blast resistance requirements for the structures.
- EERA study: the analysis of evacuation, escape and rescue responses to major accidents is an important part of risk assessment studies in the offshore Oil&Gas sector. The EERA study was conducted to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the Evacuation plan (EER), evaluate and confirm that adequate emergency safeguards are provided in the arrangement and designing of the structures (e.g., adequate provision of escape routes and crafts for abandoning the platform).
- ESSA/TRIA studies: Survival analysis for emergency systems (ESSA) aims at estimating the risk of damage and assessing the survival of key emergency systems (e.g., Fire pumps, Shutdown valves, Emergency Power Generators). TRIA study aims at assessing the risk of damage and assessing the integrity of TRs (Temporary Refuges) as a result of process incidents identified in FERA and QRA studies.
- Dropped Objects Study: The goal of Dropped Object Study is the assessment of the risk for offshore personnel following the fall of objects moved by handling systems (offshore cranes) to and from the platform and the preparation of any preventive/mitigative measures (such as, the redefinition of lifting paths, relocation of critical equipment outside the range of handling of the lifting systems).