Barrier method is used to model the safety of dynamic positioning (DP) operation for mobile drilling and well intervention vessels. Two barrier functions are identified which are aimed to prevent loss of position and to prevent loss of well integrity given a loss of position, respectively. The first barrier function is analyzed in this paper. Deficiencies are identified based on the DP incidents on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and recommendations are proposed to strengthen each barrier element which can improve the safety of DP operations for drilling and well intervention vessels working in the North Sea. The barrier model and recommendations are also valid to DP operations on drilling and well intervention vessels worldwide.

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