A company responsible for pursuing oil and gas activities acceptably must identify the occurrences it needs to guard against – known as “defined hazard and accident conditions” (DFUs).
The annual RNNP report from the PSA uses one or more risk indicators to
measure the status of most DFUs. All data acquired through various channels are processed in a statistical model. This shows how the various contributors to risk are developing, both collectively and for the individual DFU.
DFUs with a potential for causing major accidents in the petroleum industry include the following:
Platforms and rigs are designed to withstand minor collisions. But being struck by a big vessel, possibly at high speed, could cause damage which leads in the worst case to complete collapse of the support structure.
Damage can also occur in extreme weather conditions. This type of hazard involves loss of stability or mooring/positioning system failures on floating units, resulting at worst in a total loss.
The major accident potential of damage to subsea facilities relates primarily to pollution from possible oil spills. Any nearby surface facilities could also be threatened.
Other DFUs also exist which have no major accident potential but nevertheless form part of the overall picture. These include personal injuries, occupational illness and diving.