Implementing a Process-Safety Program
- Chris Carpenter (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 106 - 109
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 157022, "Implementing a Process-Safety Program," by Saiee B. Julaihi, Saifuddin Shah B. Sowkkatali, and Rabiatul Adwieah Bt Shukor, Petronas Carigali, prepared for the 2012 SPE/APPEA International Conference on Health, Safety, and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, Perth, Australia, 11-13 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
Between 2006 and 2009, Petronas Carigali embarked on a process-safety program driven by concerns over an increasing trend of process-related incidents. The program focused on defining explicit process-safety expectations and then putting in place the required processes to intensify implementation and mandatory compliance. Some 3–4 years into the program, tangible improvement can be felt across the organization.
Petronas Carigali has an established Health, Safety, and Environment Management System (HSEMS), developed and implemented in line with the company’s Group Mandatory Control Framework and its associated Group Technical Standard.
The HSE Management System Manual broadly defines the company’s expectations for the effective management of matters relating to health, safety, and the environment. Associated procedures and guidelines define the processes by which compliance to the HSEMS is achieved.
Process-safety expectations were generally included with those of occupational safety. In retrospect, this approach was far from ideal in that the organizational safety focus would frequently tend to be on occupational safety, with major-hazard management left primarily to the initial facilities engineering design.
The process-safety program culminated in the development and issue of Petronas Technical Standards in eight key process-safety areas:
- Design integrity (DI)
- Mechanical integrity (MI)
- Management of change (MOC)
- Process-safety information (PSI)
- Process-hazard analysis (PHA)
- Preactivity safety review (PASR)
- Operating procedures (OPs)
- Proprietary- and licensed-technology assessment (PLTA)
On the basis of these distinct process-safety areas, Petronas Carigali was to incorporate these process-safety expectations as part of a substantially revamped HSEMS. Furthermore—and this was not done initially—operational procedures and guidelines defining the processes by which compliance is to be demonstrated needed to be formalized, to lend support in ensuring sustained compliance with the newly developed process-safety expectations.
During the initial 3-year period from 2006 to 2008, minimal progress was made in the implementation of process safety throughout Petronas Carigali. Audit findings alluded to ineffective and nonsustained implementation throughout the company; this was attributed to a lack of (a) process-safety leadership, (b) competent resources through underestimation of the work involved, and (c) clarity regarding the processes required to demonstrate compliance with the HSEMS expectations.
Consequently, a companywide review was carried out that culminated in the relaunch of the Petronas Carigali process-safety program (branded then as the Process Safety Change Management Initiative) in early 2009.
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