While Asset Integrity may be considered as a well-established framework in oil & gas offshore production and drilling operations, this is not yet the case for typical offshore construction operations. The legislative framework in place at international and regional level traditionally excludes offshore construction vessels from their scope of application. A number of Major Accident Scenarios are identified as credible escalations from initiating events that may occur during operations carried out by offshore construction vessels, for example during the installation of a platform or during pipe-laying operations. An Asset Integrity Management Model has therefore been designed, based on internationally recognized standards, aimed at controlling the risks related to Major Accident Hazards posed by offshore construction operations. As done in traditional applications, this model identifies the Safety Case as the key process to analyse Major Accident Event (MAE) Scenarios and to identify barriers that shall be in place to prevent and control escalation to major events. While the identification and assurance of Performance Standards of (Safety Critical) Equipment is systematic and supported by a consolidated approach, the same cannot always be said for Safety Critical Competences and Safety Critical Procedures, due to their "soft" nature. As for equipment, where key parameters outline the expected performance (e.g. functionality, reliability/availability, vulnerability), for Safety Critical Competences and Safety Critical Procedures an equivalent set has been established. A new set of Asset Integrity Key Performance Indicators has been designed to better address the different nature of MAE scenarios and Safety Critical Elements. A multi-layer dashboard has been created to give updated information about Asset Integrity of Offshore Construction Operations with different levels of detail according to the various levels of the organisation.
In the Oil and Gas Industry, the risk of Asset failures leading to Major Accident Events (MAEs), with consequences on the Company's reputation and enterprise value has to be managed, controlled and minimized. The human factor is nowadays fully recognized as a contributing element or even as the main root cause of up to 90﹪ of Major Accident Events (MAEs). In the past, the priority was identifying, preventing and/or mitigating technical failures that could heighten to MAEs and human error was not perceived as crucial. For the time being, various Oil&Gas Companies have studied actions to manage the risk of human error for both Onshore and Offshore business. Among offshore activities, historically coastal State authorities in charge of Oil&Gas extraction have always focused on drilling and production facilities complementing marine standards issued by IMO with national regulations addressing the typical hydrocarbon processing plants.
While the Oil&Gas Companies have adopted integrity management, risk-based methodologies and technologies to meet safety requirements and target their operational goals, offshore construction vessels are not thoroughly addressed. The primary reason derives from the type of production processes onboard. As offshore construction vessels do not treat hydrocarbons, the creditable Major Accident Events scenarios related to their activities are not perceived as adverse as those involved in production or drilling processes. This introduced the authorities to adopt a risk-based approach for "Offshore Units" (drilling rigs and production facilities) as the first area of application. With references to the MAEs the table below outlines some of the peculiar scenarios for Offshore Construction Vessels.