The events of April 2010 at the Macondo Prospect did more than result in the tragic loss of eleven worker's lives and the largest oil spill in United States history. These events highlighted the complex technical challenges that face the offshore oil and gas industry, the risks associated with bringing needed energy to market from ever more difficult or environmentally sensitive regions, and the need to develop technologies to address these challenges, manage associated risk, and support ever more challenging operations. The authors believe that the situation facing the offshore industry in the early 21st century is akin to the challenges that world navies faced in the 2nd half of the 20th century with regard to assessing mission survivability on increasingly complex and integrated naval combatants. With this realization, the authors propose the use of total ship survivability technology to develop an Integrated Barrier Analysis (IBA) capability for the offshore industry.

As probability of occurrence assessment tools, Integrated Barrier Analysis can provide not only critical link paths (e.g. standard bow-tie risk assessment analysis result) but also quantify the criticality of each path element (component, system, or operation criticality), isolate the system and component failure mode effects, and identify the "root cause" for each loss of control event and consequence. Within this paper, the authors demonstrate the use of IBA technology in providing continuous improvement of safety and risk reduction in the offshore oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production (E&P) industry by evaluating the main safety function performance capability of a semi-submersible drilling rig when subjected to loss of well control and blowout events.

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