It is now widely accepted within the exploration and production sector that the inherently safe design of a facility is extremely important to achieving a high level of safety performance. However, despite the best design and HSE assurance strategies, the commitment of the Operator’s senior management to the effective implementation of an HSE Management System remains a critical factor for the safe operation of that facility and for the prevention of major incidents. Recent incidents (e.g. Texas Refinery) have demonstrated that whilst an Operator may have an HSE management system and undertaken safety studies, understanding the hazards and controls may not be so transparent at all levels of the organization.

For the Phu Horm Gas Development (incorporating onshore wells, sales gas pipeline to a gas production plant), the Operator has committed itself to adopting a strategic approach to managing hazards and thereby minimizing risk of a major incident.

As the facility was recently commissioned (late 2006), production management has agreed that the early operations phase is the ideal period to continue and improve the hazard management process started during the design development phase. This phase was concerned with "Delivering to Phu Horm Operations a Safer and Operable Facility". Implementing an EHS Assurance Program (that included a Safety Dossier) assisted in demonstrating that appropriate systems, procedures and plans were implemented to control the identified EHS hazards and risks to an acceptable level. Of importance was confirmation that the gas production facility was designed and commissioned to achieve their intended EHS performance. The Program also examined whether critical operating procedures had been identified and arrangements made for the provision of competent operations personnel.

For the early operations phase, the focus is to ensure that Operations takes the lead in hazard ownership. As such the Program has been developed that builds upon the EHS framework established during the design development phase. The aim of the Program is to appropriately distil the hazard knowledge to all levels of the organization such that personnel understand the causes of major accident, the inter-relationship of design measures against reducing the likelihood of these causes and the hazard severity. A description of the adopted program for hazard management during design and early operations phase is presented.

Foreword

As the 2007-2008 EHS Program was being finalised at the time of submitting this extended abstract, specific details could not be released. The paper has been structured to be general in nature, so that readers can consider and apply safety concepts contained herein to their facilities. The authors gratefully acknowledge the permission and information provided by Hess Thailand in preparing this abstract. The paper also draws upon the philosophies and practical work advocated by learned hazard management professionals of Crawley, Dalzell and Kletz.

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