The updating of fire and explosion design guidance has been a significant project for UKOOA and HSE. The collation of best practices and latest Joint Industry Project (JIP) information has presented a challenge to provide information in a consensual way and yet push at the boundaries of known and accepted knowledge.

In 2004, the project team successfully issued Part 1 of the new guidance, dealing with design considerations for explosion hazards and a generic hazard management approach constituting a revision to the previous UKOOA Fire and Explosion Hazard Management Guide (retrospectively designated Part 0). The team are now finalizing Part 2, dealing with design considerations for fire hazards. Part 2 will be concluded later this year in parallel with the effort to develop Part 3, which will cover the implementation of the 3 previous "philosophical" documents, and as such is probably the most wanted part of the guidance, thus completing a "4 part" trilogy of documents.

This paper describes the history and intent of the guidance and the ways in which it should assist all sectors of the industry. The paper summarizes the development of ideas that have been included and are currently under consideration as well as describing some areas that have been excluded at this time as they are not sufficiently mature for general acceptance.

The paper explores the relationship with other standards and endeavours to show how a wider application may result from the accumulated "wisdom" from both Aberdeen and Stavanger, the two most prominent offshore technology centres in Europe, which are also rapidly becoming international support centres for worldwide design and operations.

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