Demonstrated use of Best Available Technology (BAT) is the guiding principle with respect to environmental performance when designing offshore installations. The paper shows how the well-established methods used for demonstration of safety risk reduction of a level As Low As Reasonable Practicable (ALARP) can be used for demonstrating BAT.

The BAT principle specifies that the environmental impacts shall be reduced as much as the economically and technically viable solutions allow. The criteria for demonstration environmental impact reduction are very similar to the criteria used for demonstrating risk reduction to ALARP. The paper explains how the well-established methodology for identifying hazards, assessing risks and demonstrating ALARP can be used for identification of environmental aspects, assessment of environmental impacts and demonstrating BAT. Examples of the use of the methodology are provided.

The methodology has been tested for carrying out a BAT assessment for a combined drill and production offshore installation. A BAT review workshop was carried out using the same methods as when carrying out a Hazard Identification (HAZID) workshop and an ALARP workshop. The participants were mainly technicians and safety people well familiar with the safety risk reduction concepts. This made the concept of BAT easily understandable for everybody and facilitated an efficient workshop execution.

Also, the use of comparable concepts makes it straightforward to identify where possible conflicts between environmental impact reduction and safety risk reduction existed. In that way it could be insured that the environmental impact reduction measured did not compromise the overall safety of the installation.

The new EU Offshore Safety Directive (2013/30/EU) requires the risk of major environmental accidents to be included in risk analyses (HAZID's, Quantitative Risk Assessments (QRA's)) for offshore installations. This is a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which drew attention to accidents including major safety as well as environmental consequences. The integrated approach to ALARP and BAT assessment described above fits very well with the requirements of the EU Offshore Safety Directive and with similar developments in other regions of the world.

The concept of using methods developed within the safety and risk reduction field when identifying environmental aspects, assessing environmental risks and demonstrating BAT is generally applicable when carrying out environmental assessments of equipment and operational modes. The main advantages are the familiarity of the methods amongst technical and safety personnel, and the possibility of carrying out environmental risk analysis and safety risk analysis in the same, or in parallel, processes. In that way, all HSE risks and impact reductions can be balanced for the benefit of the overall HSE performance.

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