For any Oil & Gas organization successful decision making is the most crucial step in the risk management process. The driver in the decision making process shall always be safety but in the Oil and Gas business there are typically very complex issues involving multiple conflicting criteria that need to be weighted such as cost, impact on productivity, time frame for implementing a design alternative, etc. and there are also multiple parties and several aspects of the project that are deeply affected from the decision.
A powerful and innovative approach combining the risk screening tool BART (BAseline Risk assessment Tool) with the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology has been set up to assist in the decision making process through the reliability assessment of the preventive and recovery barriers in place in a plant, the identification of any possible effective risk reduction scenarios and the prioritization of recommended actions.
Outcomes from BART are inputted in the AHP methodology to compare all alternatives with reference to specific benefit and cost factors properly prioritized in accordance with company needs. Weighted hierarchic structures are then built on the basis of multiple sets of pairwise comparisons to represent the decision problem in which all priorities are concisely captured and expressed as numerical values.
In addition, since one of the fundamentals of Risk Assessment is that safety must not only be achieved but also demonstrated, a further step has been to use this approach to assist in the ALARP demonstration that involves weighing a risk against the trouble, time and money needed to control it.
A case study is presented in this paper to provide an insight of the methodology, the rationale behind it and how it has been applied to support ALARP and decision making process in one of the company asset.