Effective integrity management (IM) is critical to the control of major accident hazards in oil and gas production operations. To achieve effective IM, it is necessary that an aware workforce deploy quality practices to sound facilities. An easy summary statement, but complex and difficult to achieve in practice. Based on the author's experiences with production operations on five continents, important people, process and plant requirements for acceptable IM are reviewed. Pitfalls encountered are also described, with examples of successful recovery noted.

People requirements start with leadership, accountability and competency, but go beyond to shared vision, passion to achieve and willingness to challenge the status quo when necessary. People are the first priority for IM, as they are often able to overcome shortcomings in process and plant; the reverse is generally not possible.

Hazard awareness, understanding and management is the cornerstone process for effective IM. If dangers are known and widely understood, effective means to mitigate and control can be devised, implemented and tracked. Other important processes include robust management of change (MOC), engineering practices, operating procedures, incident investigation processes, emergency response procedures and performance scorecarding.

IM plant requirements start with inherently safer design, quality procurement, fabrication and commissioning. These progress to practices for sustaining safety critical equipment including inspections, chemical treatments, monitoring and effective repair and maintenance programs. For the latter, testing and assurance around process safety protective systems is especially important. Finally, modifications to facilities to systematically reduce risk should not be forgotten, particularly over the long producing life of some assets. This may involve correcting existing deficiencies or the introduction of new technologies to do things better.

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