Environmental Review Using Structured Analysis Technique (ERUSAT) provides a method to comprehensively review the environmental regulatory requirements that would affect the engineering design of an offshore drilling and production platform. It is used to identify scenarios/issues which could result in environmental non-compliance and provide a means of addressing potential design modifications which would alleviate the environmental concerns.

The method is qualitative, requiring an experienced multi-disciplinary team to identify scenarios/issues from the review of all pertinent environmental legislations, development and design conditions, previously conducted HAZOP studies and third party studies that could potentially affect the platform design and to discuss potential design modifications leading to a recommendation for further task force/contractor review. The study is meant to be an integral part of the engineering process of the project, similar to the other safety studies performed on the platform design.

The approach is similar to other structured analysis techniques, such as Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) studies, but requires the identification of issues/scenarios rather that potential causes of undesired events. The review requires several steps:

  • Step 1: Identification of potential issues/scenarios;

  • Step 2: Critical review of identified issues/scenarios;

  • Step 3: Recommendations (where warranted) for changes in practices or design or for a more detailed study to determine solutions.

The ERUSAT study document thus produced, will now be a living document for the operating company to be updated regularly in response to environmental legislative changes, technological advances in pollution abatement equipment, operational experience, etc..

The paper outlines the ERUSAT approach, explains the customizing of a commercially available HAZOP software package to facilitate the documentation of the study, summarizes the results of the review sessions, and highlights the potential application of the technique to the current development project and other future onshore/offshore complex industrial projects.

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