Managing the risk of oil and gas field facilities is necessary to assure that operations do not pose a significant hazard to the public or those individuals who operate and maintain them. This paper reviews the efforts of BP to implement a company-wide program to manage the risk of oil and gas field facilities.
The growth of BP over the past few years has brought together properties from many different companies in varied geographic locations. BP was challenged with having to safely operate thousands of wells, pipelines, compressors and field separation facilities built to different standards, throughout several generations, in many different states. A new approach was needed to provide assurance that these facilities were constructed and operated safely.
The process to assure that facilities were constructed and operated in a safe manner was broken down into series of steps. The first step was to define risk factors. These factors included rates, pressures, proximity to public areas and the composition of produced fluids. After defining the risk factors, it was necessary to establish design and operational requirements to mitigate the risk. These included use of safety devices, facility design, hazard mitigation measures and management systems. Next, each facility had to be "graded" against the risk factors to determine the relative risk of each facility. Equipment, operational or management system changes had to be next determined for each facility, if necessary. Finally, modifications to the equipment or operating systems to mitigate the risk were implemented.
This paper discusses each of these steps in detail, which BP employed to mitigate operational risk at its oil and gas field facilities.