Summing up the work done in relation to these ultra-important issues is a primary and necessary job for the PSA, and should be the same for the industry. Each of the four top concerns for 2013 has been carefully assessed.
Audits, investigations and mapping of the risk level in the petroleum sector during 2013 exposed relatively substantial differences between the players where barriers are concerned. These related to their understanding of the regulatory requirements for barrier management, and thereby also to their compliance with them.
The PSA sees that most companies still face challenges with regard to barriers. However, its efforts in this area have contributed to positive processes and initiatives in the industry.
Groups at particular risk (MP-GPR)
Much of the PSA’s work in this area was directed in 2013 at groups of drilling and well workers, with the principal emphasis on floating units. A number of weaknesses were uncovered, not least in what individual companies know about working environment risk and how operators involve themselves with contractors.
Noise was the working environment factor which received the greatest attention, and was followed up most closely in connection with audits, AoCs and consents. The PSA’s supervision activities helped to highlight contract personnel as a group, and resulted in more attention being paid to the challenges of following them up.
Natural environment (MP-E)
An important part of the work on this priority in 2013 related to knowledge development and prevention, including more attention to areas such as methodological developments for risk assessment. Others were learning from incidents, knowledge development with subsea installations, and an increased focus on well safety and robust wells. A series of industry seminars on the environment were organised during the year, and a number of player-specific audits conducted.
The MP-E is not being continued in 2014, but has been incorporated in the other main priorities.
Management and major accident risk (MP-M)
Attention at the PSA related to this main priority was concentrated in 2013 on drilling contractors – how they adapt their activities to scarcities of critical resources, and their follow-up and overview of their own business.
The PSA’s impression is that the contractors are giving greater emphasis to the way managers influence risk down through the organisation. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Otherwise, the industry is making a bigger commitment to improving planning and efficiency as a result of reduced profitability and high costs.