Oil & Gas UK last night welcomed a report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on extending the use of North Sea assets that have exceeded their design life but are still in use.
The body pledged to “further strengthen” its approach to extending the life of ageing assets after the HSE report found a range of areas where aging and life extension (Ale) management was “developing well” and areas where “extra focus is required”.
Oil & Gas UK health, safety and employment issues director Robert Paterson said:
“The safety and business dimensions of Ale go hand-in-hand, our industry prides itself in continually improving its safety arrangements and performance as we seek to extend the life of the UK Continental Shelf and maximise economic recovery. Both industry and regulator share the common goal of ensuring ageing assets are maintained properly and that any proposed life extension is achieved safely. Oil & Gas UK’s commitment to this is well documented, and we believe asset integrity management is the cornerstone of our major accident prevention measures.
“We fully support Step Change in Safety and HSE’s focus on long-term integrity management and the learnings we take from this report will be used to further strengthen Ale management approaches across the sector. We also acknowledge the areas of additional focus set out in the report and our Ale steering group will review the detailed findings and help develop appropriate response strategies and actions and to share these learnings across the industry.”
The watchdog’s report is the result of a three-year investigation programme onhow effectively the offshore industry is handling Ale issues and how it should address the issue in the future.
Thirty three installations under the control of a range of operators were assessed during the course of the three year programme, half of which were being used beyond their initial design.
The offshore safety regulator presented its Ageing and Life Extension Inspection Programme (KP4) report at an event in Aberdeen on Wednesday.