BP West Java offshore operations include over 140 unmanned wellhead platforms which are frequently the sites of infill drilling and workovers using jack-up rigs. Although operational SIMOPS controls have been systematic for years, only recently has attention been directed towards the technical integrity of the platforms themselves. Most of the unmanned facilities are over twenty years old and of variable condition. Potentially severe consequences could result from a platform hydrocarbon leak during SIMOPS, made worse by the high density of drilling personnel working on site and in the rig offices and accommodations.

For this reason, a program was instituted to assure the technical integrity of unmanned wellhead platforms as a prerequisite for well SIMOPS. The work program includes thorough inspections of platform hydrocarbon pressure systems, including attached risers, as well secondary structures such as gratings, hand-rails and stairs, process safety protective and other critical electrical and instrument systems. When necessary, time consuming repairs must be executed before SIMOPS, but in some cases, mitigations are sufficient based on a risk-based rationale. The program has been a considerable challenge to implement due to the hectic pace of well operations, but has certainly reduced major accident risks associated with SIMOP activities and therefore resulted in a safer work environment.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.