Exxon Company, U.S.A. has had a Simultaneous Operations Plan for offshore operations since 1978. The plan has provided valuable guidance in conducting safe and environmentally sound operations. However, new learnings identified opportunities to make the existing plan better. A task force formed to review Exxon’s Gulf of Mexico operations with regard to overall safety and emergency response capabilities concluded that an enhanced plan would assist in describing the procedures appropriate for conducting operations (production, drilling, construction, etc.) concurrently on offshore platforms. Exxon’s Offshore Division revised Simultaneous Operations Manual was subsequently published in November 1990. The new document, developed with input from field operations personnel, describes a series of minimum requirements for each simultaneous operations scenario. A definitions section provides an understanding of various equipment, conditions, activities, etc. which are addressed in the manual.

Provisions for deviating from the Manual’s requirements with management approval are included, provided special precautions and/or unique circumstances are involved. The process utilizes office automation (computer mail) which provides for timely responses to deviation requests. This system will also be used to track the types and frequency of deviations. This tracking capability will also provide input regarding future Manual revisions and ensuring that the Manual remains "evergreen."

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