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TITLE

THE ROLE OF TECHNICAL AUTHORITY IN MANAGING


ASSET INTEGRITY

By

EMMANUEL MBATA
B.Tech. Physics/Electronics Technology

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the


award of Master of Science in Safety and Reliability Engineering at the
University of Aberdeen
September, 2013

DECLARATION
I EMMANUEL MBATA declare that the presented and submitted work is my original
work and has not been submitted for any other degree award to any University.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I am most grateful to my supervisor Dr H. Tan for his kind words of encouragement,
constructive feedbacks and support throughout this research. Most especially I want to
thank you for your patience and understanding.
My sincere appreciation to OPITO for the great opportunity granted me through the
Piper Alpha Memorial Scholarship. My profound gratitude goes to Bruce Lawson for
taking out time from your busy work schedule to guide me through this project work.
I want to say a big thank you to Les Linklater (Team leader Step Change in Safety),
Emily Taylor and Dr Gillian Simpson for your support and all the help rendered. I am
sorry for all the inconveniences caused. The Asset Integrity Steering Group of Step
Change in Safety for helping me ensure that the questionnaires where answered. I
would also like to use this opportunity to thank Bob Taylor and Valerie Wilson for their
valuable contribution to this work.
To my Parents Mr & Mrs Robert Mbata, you are the best, thank you for going the extra
mile to ensure that I do my Masters degree.
To my family, friends and loved ones, thank you so much for your help, understanding
and encouragement through it all.
Most especially, I am grateful to God.

ii

ABSTRACT
The offshore oil and gas industry on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is a dynamic
and mature production area with an ageing infrastructure. Past and more recent
accidents have alerted the oil and gas industry of the need to manage their assets and
control the risks associated with production operations from design to abandonment.
Asset integrity is the fitness of an asset to be operated as intended in an effective and
efficient way with an acceptable risk of failure, and asset integrity management ensures
that the people, systems, processes and resources that deliver integrity are available,
functional and reliable over the whole life cycle of the asset.
Essential for the integrity of an asset are the safety critical elements. These are
components, systems (including computer programs) whose purpose is to control,
prevent or mitigate major accident hazards, and whose failure can lead to or contribute
substantially to a major accident.
Ensuring the functionality, availability, survivability and reliability of the safety critical
elements as offshore asset continually age is essential for an effective asset integrity
management. This responsibility lies with the Technical Authorities who acts as
backstop against continuous use of degraded safety critical elements.
The main objective of this research is to understand the current implementations of the
Technical Authoritys role within operating companies in the UKCS via a questionnaire
and the definition of key roles going forward.
The findings of the research highlighted the strengthening of the Technical Authoritys
role within operating companies and provide an insight into their functions, roles and
how they manage the integrity of assets.
The key roles identified in this research to be performed by Technical Authoritys going
forward includes definition of performance standards for safety critical elements,
ensuring the safety critical elements meets the defined performance standards, manage
maintenance deferral of safety critical elements, review deviations from the defined
performance standard, involve in accident/incident investigations and carry out reviews
and audit activities as required. This will ensure the continuous fitness for purpose of
the safety critical elements.
iii

TABLE OF CONTENT
DECLARATION ........................................................................................................................ i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ......................................................................................................... ii
ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................................. iii
LIST OF FIGURES ................................................................................................................. vii
LIST OF ABREVIATIONS ................................................................................................... viii
1

INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 1
1.1

Background ................................................................................................................ 1

1.2

Aims and Objectives.................................................................................................. 2

LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................................... 3


2.1

Introduction ............................................................................................................... 3

2.2

ASSET INTEGRITY MANAGEMENT (AIM) ....................................................... 3

2.3

Asset Life Cycle ........................................................................................................ 4

2.3.1

Plan/Design Phase ............................................................................................... 5

2.3.2

Construction Phase .............................................................................................. 6

2.3.3

Commissioning Phase ......................................................................................... 6

2.3.4

Operations Phase ................................................................................................. 6

2.3.5

Decommissioning Phase ...................................................................................... 7

2.4

Asset Integrity Elements ............................................................................................ 7

2.4.1

Mechanical Integrity ............................................................................................ 8

2.4.2

Operational Integrity............................................................................................ 8

2.4.3

Personnel Integrity............................................................................................... 8

2.5

Description of the Elements and the Intended Purposes ........................................... 9

2.5.1

Management of Change ....................................................................................... 9

2.5.2

Assessment and Continuous Improvements ...................................................... 10

2.5.3

Ownership and Accountability .......................................................................... 10

2.5.4

Asset register ..................................................................................................... 11

2.5.5

Risk Management and Hazard Evaluation ........................................................ 11

2.5.6

Protective Systems ............................................................................................. 11

2.5.7

Facilities Design and Construction .................................................................... 12

2.5.8

Operation and Maintenance ............................................................................... 12

2.5.9

Incident/Accident Investigation and Prevention ............................................... 13

2.5.10

Leadership ......................................................................................................... 13
iv

2.5.11

Competency/Skills Assurance ........................................................................... 13

2.5.12

Emergency Management ................................................................................... 14

2.6

Risk based approach ................................................................................................ 15

2.6.1

Risk Base Inspection (RBI) ............................................................................... 15

2.6.2

Reliability Based Maintenance (RBM) ............................................................. 15

2.7
Safety Critical Element (SCE), Major Accident Hazard (MAH), Risk Based
Inspections (RBI) and Performance Standard (PS) ............................................................. 16
2.7.1

Safety Critical Element (SCE)........................................................................... 16

2.7.2

Risk Based Inspections (RBI) ........................................................................... 19

2.7.2.1

RBI Process ................................................................................................ 20

2.7.2.2

Risk Assessment Process ........................................................................... 20

2.7.2.3

Hazard Identification .................................................................................. 21

2.7.2.4

Frequency Assessment ............................................................................... 21

2.7.2.5

Consequence Assessment........................................................................... 21

2.7.2.6

Risk Evaluation .......................................................................................... 21

2.7.2.7

Action Forward .......................................................................................... 25

2.8

Major Accident Hazards (MAH) ............................................................................. 25

2.9

Performance Standard (PS) ..................................................................................... 26

2.9.1

Integrity Assurance ............................................................................................ 27

2.9.2

Verification ........................................................................................................ 27

2.10
3

RBI, MAH, SCE and PS Loop ................................................................................ 28

METHODOLOGY ........................................................................................................... 30
3.1

Population and Sampling ......................................................................................... 31

3.2

Data Collection Method .......................................................................................... 31

3.2.1

Pilot Interview ................................................................................................... 31

3.2.2

Questionnaire ..................................................................................................... 31

3.2.3

Unstructured Interview ...................................................................................... 32

3.3

Data Analysis Method ............................................................................................. 32

3.4

Research Ethics and Limitations ............................................................................. 33

3.4.1

Research Ethics.................................................................................................. 33

3.4.2

Limitations ......................................................................................................... 33

DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION ........................................................................ 35


4.1
4.1.1

The Questionnaire.................................................................................................... 35
The Organisations .............................................................................................. 36
v

4.1.2

TA Standard/Framework ................................................................................... 37

4.1.2.1
4.1.3

TA Disciplines............................................................................................ 39

TA Role Definition and Organisational Approach ............................................ 42

4.1.3.1

Review and Audit ....................................................................................... 44

4.1.3.2

Risk Assessments ....................................................................................... 45

4.1.3.3

Defines Regional Technical Standard ........................................................ 45

4.1.3.4

Endorse waiver to Technical Standard ....................................................... 45

4.1.3.5

Interpretation of Good Engineering Practice ............................................. 45

4.1.3.6

Endorse Deviation from PS ........................................................................ 46

4.1.3.7

Strategic Maintenance ................................................................................ 46

4.1.3.8

Approves Key Engineering Drawing ......................................................... 46

4.1.3.9

Ensure Conformity with Legislation and Standard .................................... 46

4.1.3.10

Guidance, Mentoring and Training ............................................................ 47

4.1.3.11

Investigations and Root Cause Analysis .................................................... 47

4.1.3.12

Review Suitability of SCE ......................................................................... 47

4.1.3.13

Defines PS .................................................................................................. 47

4.1.3.14

Maintenance Deferral of SCE .................................................................... 48

4.1.3.15

Review Changes and Modification ............................................................ 48

4.1.3.16

Independent View on Safety and Operational Risk ................................... 48

CONCLUSIONS .............................................................................................................. 50

RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................................................. 51

APPENDICES ......................................................................................................................... 59

vi

LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE 2.1: IMPORTANT CONCEPT OF INTEGRITY MANAGEMENT .............................................. 4
FIGURE 2.2: ASSET LIFE CYCLE.................................................................................................. 5
FIGURE 2.3: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ASSET INTEGRITY ELEMENTS .......................................... 7
FIGURE 2.4: COMPETENCY VERIFICATION SCHEME ................................................................. 14
FIGURE 2.5: SCE GROUPS AND BOWTIE DIAGRAM ................................................................... 18
FIGURE 2.6: MAJOR COMPONENT OF THE RISK EVALUATION PROCESS .................................... 22
FIGURE 2.7: TYPICAL 4X4 RISK MATRIXES .............................................................................. 23
FIGURE 2.8: RISK RATINGS ....................................................................................................... 24
FIGURE 2.9: RBI, MAH, SCE AND PS LOOP ............................................................................ 28
FIGURE 3.1: OVERVIEW OF PROCESS ........................................................................................ 30
FIGURE 4.1: PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF OFFSHORE PLATFORM ACROSS RESPONDENT ..... 36
FIGURE 4.2: FLOW DIAGRAM FOR TA REPORTING STRUCTURE INTO SENIOR
MANAGEMENT.................................................................................................................. 37
FIGURE 4.3: THE BASIS FOR WHICH TA'S ARE SELECTED......................................................... 38
FIGURE 4.4: TA SELECTION BASIS % IN AGREEMENT .............................................................. 38
FIGURE 4.5: TA DISCIPLINE WITHIN DUTY HOLDERS IN THE UKCS ........................................ 39
FIGURE 4.6: TA DISCIPLINE % OF RESPONDENT IN AGREEMENT.............................................. 40
FIGURE 4.7: TA ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES ............................................................................... 43
FIGURE 4.8: TA ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES % OF RESPONDENTS IN AGREEMENT ...................... 44
FIGURE 4.9: PS DEVELOPMENT FLOW DIAGRAM ....................................................................... 47

LIST OF TABLES
TABLE 2.1: DEFINITIONS OF LIKELIHOOD FOR TYPICAL 4X4 RISK MATRIX ............................. 24
TABLE 2.2: DEFINITIONS OF CONSEQUENCE FOR TYPICAL 4X4 RISK MATRIX... .................. 25

vii

LIST OF ABREVIATIONS
BP

British Petroleum

UKCS

United Kingdom Continental Shelf

HSE

Health and Safety Executive

OSD

Offshore Division

KP3

Key Programme 3

NUI

Normally Unattended Installations

FP

Floating Production

FPSO

Floating Production Storage Offloading

MAH

Major Accident Hazards

TA

Technical Authority

SMS

Safety Management System

LTI

Lost Time Injury

HAZOP

Hazard and Operability

QRA

Quantitative Risk Assessment

FMECA

Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Assessments

HIPPS

High Integrity Pressure Protection System

MOC

Management of Change

ESD

Emergency Shutdown

PSV

Pressure Safety Valve

PSD

Pressure Safety Device

RAM

Reliability, Availability and Maintainability

RBI

Risk Based Inspections

RBM

Risk Based Maintenance

UK

United Kingdom

AISG

Asset Integrity Steering Group

SIS

Safety Instrumented System

PA

Public Address

GA

General Alarm

BS

British Standard

PS

Performance Standard

ISO

International Standard Organisation

OPEX

Operational Expenditure
viii

ICP

Independent Competent Person

EPC

Engineering Procurement and Construction

P&ID

Piping and Instrumentations Diagram

MMS

Maintenance Management Systems

ix

1
1.1

INTRODUCTION
Background

Long dismissed by many as a potential source of oil or gas, the North Sea has, over the
last four decades, become the centre of one of the world most productive and dynamic
energy industries. Gas was first found in commercial quantity in the Groningen area of
The Netherlands in 1959. This was followed by the first British discovery of gas in the
West Sole field, off the coast of East Anglia, by the British Petroleum (BP) jack-up
drilling rig Sea Gem, late in 1965 [1].
The offshore oil and gas industry on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) of
the North Sea is now a matured industry with about 107 oil platform and 181 gas
platforms and many subsea installations. It operates in an increasingly more challenging
business environment due to rising energy demands, declining oil and gas production
rates and ageing infrastructures. It is a known fact today that more than 50% of the
offshore oil and gas production facilities has exceeded their design life and this
proportion is steadily increasing with time.
About a decade ago, in response to the deteriorating nature of assets especially the
Safety Critical Elements (SCE), the UK Health Safety Executives (HSE) Offshore
Division (OSD) responded with the Key Programme 3 (KP3) which was directed more
widely on asset integrity, and schedule to run between 2004 and 2007 [2].
The KP3 inspections were done by OSDs specialist and inspection management team
in about a 100 offshore installations representing about 40% of the total infrastructures
in the UKCS. These included all types of offshore installations Fixed, Manned and
Normally Unattended Installations (NUI), Floating Production (FP), Floating
Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels and Mobile drilling rigs [2].
The main focus of the KP3 was on the maintenance management of SCEs i.e. the
management systems and processes which should ensure the reliability and availability
of the SCEs. The SCEs are essential for the integrity of any installation, these are the
parts of an installation or component (e.g. hardware, software, procedure etc.) which are
designed to prevent, control or mitigate Major Accident Hazards (MAH) and the failure
of which could cause or contribute substantially to a major accident [2].
1

In November 2007 a report was published by HSE detailing the findings of the KP3.
One of the main finding was that Technical Authorities (TAs) roles needs be
strengthened in many companies [2].
Although referred to frequently in HSE documents, and adopted widely in operating
companies within UKCS after the KP3, the role of the TA is not universally defined or
implemented.
This thesis will seek to assess and documents the implementation of TAs in duty holder
organisations via an industrial questionnaire, to understand the role TA plays in
managing asset integrity.
1.2

Aims and Objectives

As the currently operating oil and gas installations in UKCS are ageing, it is very
important to ensure that they are still capable of performing their intended functions in
the safest possible manner to avoid any harm to personnel or the environment. It is
therefore important that the role of the TA be universally defined and implemented
because it acts as a backstop against degraded SCEs and safety related equipment and
structures.
My main aim in this work is to understand the current implementation of the TAs role
with operating companies and definition of the key roles to be delivered by TA going
forward.
In an attempt to fully achieve the aim of this work, the objectives would be as follows;

To review various asset integrity management techniques

To understand the current implementation of the TAs role within operating


companies in the UKCS

To draw conclusions and make recommendations based on my findings

LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter seek to review different techniques employed in Asset Integrity


Management.
2.1

Introduction

Safe and reliable production is the cornerstone to efficient and profitable oil and gas
production operations. As majority of the offshore oil and gas installations in the UK
sector of the North Sea are operating beyond their design life, management and
prevention of unwanted incident especially those involving hydrocarbons, is essential to
achieving this desired safety and reliability. This sort of events can lead to multiple
fatalities with respect to people, contamination of the environment, economic loss and
reputational damage for example, the Texas City refinery disaster in 2005 and The Gulf
of Mexico Oil Spill in 2010 [3].
The effective Asset Integrity Management (AIM) is critical to the control of MAH,
preventing major accidents, improve availability, business and operational efficiency
and increase reliability in oil and gas production operations. To achieve this, it is
necessary that an aware workforce deploy quality practices to sound facilities [4].
2.2

ASSET INTEGRITY MANAGEMENT (AIM)

Management of asset integrity in modern oil and gas industry is a complex and a crossfunctional activity made up of many components covering many disciplines, and it is a
birth to death journey for an asset.
The UK HSE defined Asset Integrity as the ability of an asset to perform its required
function effectively and efficiently whilst protecting health, safety and the environment
and AIM as the means of ensuring that the people, systems, processes and resources that
deliver integrity are in place, in use and will perform when required over the whole
lifecycle of the asset [2].
According to Sutton [5], AIM should be a core element in companies' total management
systems, strategies and activities. It seeks to ensure that all equipment, piping,
instrumentation, electrical systems, and other physical items in a unit are designed,
constructed, operated, inspected, and maintained to the appropriate standards. AIM is

built on the philosophy that prevention of major accident is reliant on the following
principles that;

The Plant or equipment are designed and continually assessed to ensure it is


fitness for purpose (i.e. Mechanical integrity).

The Process (including programme and procedures) are in place, in use, up to


date and adhere to (i.e. Operational integrity).

The People are trained and competent with regards to their safety critical duties
(i.e. Personnel integrity).

Figure 2.1: Important Concept of Integrity Management [6]


For an effective integrity management of an asset, the people, plant and process needs to
remain fit for purpose over the life cycle of the asset.
2.3

Asset Life Cycle

The life cycle of an asset simply means the different phases/stages an asset goes through
before it is no longer fit for service. Over the life of an asset, the design intentions or
operational conditions may change. These changes can introduce risk or impose added

burden on the assets both in terms of operating practices as well as the asset reliability
and integrity [7].
To ensure the life cycle integrity of the asset is managed and maintain, it is required that
such changes are recognised and appropriate steps taking to mitigate the effect. This is
dependent on good leadership, senior management commitment, effective maintenance
and risk management conducted by a competent workforce for each phase of the asset
life [8].
The main phases of an asset life are summarized in the figure 2.2;
Construction
Commissioning
Design
Operations
Plan

Decommissioning

Asset Life
Cycle
Figure 2.2: Asset Life Cycle
Each of these phases has an impact on the integrity of the asset and is of itself a
significant event with the potential to change the risk profile of the asset [9].
These phases are discussed below;
2.3.1 Plan/Design Phase
The plan/design phase is crucial and the most important phase of any asset. Integrity in
design yields high reliability, availability, reduces downtime and cost of maintenance
[10]. Dreher et al [11] explain that, the most effective manner in which to reduce the
overall risk exposure for an asset is to reduce the risk during the planning and design
phases. Implementing the inherently safe design concept will minimise the hazards to
personnel during their operating phase and subsequent decommissioning.
A variety of studies may be undertaken during this phase to identify risk in order to take
appropriate step to mitigate the risk. These studies consider risk in a variety of areas,
including project, safety, and operational risk.
5

These steps include, but not limited to the following;

Project risk assessment

Safety risk assessment e.g. Hazard Identification (HAZID), Hazard Analysis


(HAZAN), Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP), Quantified Risk
Assessments (QRA) etc.

Operational risk assessments e.g. Failure Mode Effect (and Criticality) Analysis
(FMEA/FMECA), Reliability and Availability Studies.

2.3.2 Construction Phase


In this phase of an asset, a variety of risks can also be introduced. These ranges from
occupational health and safety risks associated with injuries to major financial risks that
may have the potential to change the objectives of the project. In addition to managing
the lower level risks, it is essential to identify and address risks that have the potential to
seriously impact the viability of the project [11]. According to Butler [9], the cause of
the risk during the construction phase could be as a result of panic driven last minute
changes, or the root of the problem coming from the engineering design. Steps should
be taking during this stage to ensure that assets are constructed according to the design
specifications.
2.3.3 Commissioning Phase
De wardt et al [12] defines commissioning as the process by which a plant, facility,
equipment (which is installed, or is complete, or near completion) is tested to verify if
its functions according to its design objectives or specifications. During this phase of
an asset life cycle, reviews are essential to ensure that the equipment and system has
been manufactured (according to design specifications), connected and installed in a
safe and reliable way. Integrity testing of mechanical equipment, Loop testing of control
and Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS), etc. should be conducted to ensure that the
installed design of the facility meets the specified performance parameter [13].
2.3.4 Operations Phase
When a plant has been commissioned and is in operations, the design and construction
safety has to be maintained by structural inspection and maintenance regime [11].
Particular emphasis should be placed on control of changes to the facilities for example,
changes in reservoir chemistry, or production parameters. Plant change control is
essential to ensure that any modifications are considered at the correct technical level to
6

ensure that all potential risks are evaluated, if necessary by repeating the whole design
control measures as in the earlier phases.
2.3.5 Decommissioning Phase
Applying appropriate risk management during planning and design phases of an asset
will anticipate potential problems and take them into consideration in the initial design
of the facility. This can in the long run eliminate or reduce the issues associated with the
decommissioning of the facility at the end of their useful life [11].
2.4

Asset Integrity Elements

The asset integrity major elements are;

Mechanical Integrity

Operational Integrity

Personnel Integrity

Mechanical
Integrity

Asset
Integrity

Personnel
Integrity

Operational
integrity

Figure 2.3: Relationship between Asset integrity Elements

[14]

The figure above shows the relation between asset integrity and its major elements, as
well as the interrelation between the elements. The way each of the elements performs
has effect on the others. The range for mechanical integrity is defined by the operations
and both of these elements depend on the personnel involved in dealing with them. This
enforces

the

requirement

of

personnel
7

integrity

to

define

asset

integrity

comprehensively. Mechanical integrity is an important contributor to asset integrity, it


ensures that equipment are designed, constructed, installed and maintained to minimise
risk. The other two elements also have a potential influence on the integrity of an asset
[14].
These elements are discussed below;
2.4.1 Mechanical Integrity
Mechanical integrity is the ability of the asset to withstand the design load (i.e. design
pressure/stress, design temperature, etc.). It is primarily concerned with the structural
integrity, pressure containment and leak tightness, and focuses on pressurized
equipment, piping systems and major structure [15].
According to Smallwood [16], to achieve optimum mechanical integrity for process
fixed equipment, the following tasks must be used as applicable:

Effective management of plants operation, engineering and maintenance to


achieve mechanical integrity

Design mechanical integrity into a process plant during the design stage

Know and understand equipment's type/condition e.g. degradation or failure


mechanism

Operate equipment within acceptable operating envelope

Use secondary containment or other methods to diminish the effects of loss of


containment.

2.4.2 Operational Integrity


Operational integrity is the ability of the asset to perform its required functions
effectively and safely. It is primarily concerns with the reliability of SCE such as
Emergency Shutdown systems (ESD), critical process control systems, and hazard
mitigation system (e.g. Fire/gas detection system, High Integrity Pressure Protection
System (HIPPS), Safety valves etc.) [6]. Operational Integrity is about making sure the
operating basis are in place, understood, supported and adhere to.
2.4.3 Personnel Integrity
Personnel integrity is the ability of the asset personnel to operate the asset safely and
effectively. It is primarily concerned with human factors issues such as operators

training, competency management systems, reporting systems, anomaly management,


etc. [17].
The AIM program is intended to be applicable at all stages/phases of an asset life from
design and construction to operation and decommissioning. It is a cradle-to-grave
program that covers the full life cycle of an operational facility and is based on a
continuous process of identification of potential hazards associated with such facility
and the risk management and mitigation programs developed to control the hazard [18].
For a facility to perform its required function effectively and efficiently whilst
protecting health, safety and the environment, the Mechanical, Operational and
Personnel Integrity should be maintained throughout the life cycle of the operational
facility.
Listed below are the selected AIM elements to ensure that the Mechanical, Operational
and Personnel Integrity are maintained over the life cycle of the asset [7].

2.5

Management of Change (MOC)

Assessment and Continuous Improvements.

Ownership and Accountability

Asset register

Risk Management and Hazard Evaluations

Protective System

Facility Design and Construction

Operations and Maintenance

Incidence Investigation and Preventions

Emergency Management

Competence/Skills Assurance

Leadership
Description of the Elements and the Intended Purposes

2.5.1 Management of Change


In AIM and major accident prevention, Management of Change (MOC) is one of the
most important elements which are employed throughout the life cycle of the asset. It is
simply about understanding changes and trying to control them.
9

One of the major threats to MOC is that a change might not be recognised in the first
place, and this can be followed by the failure to identify the impacts of the change and
implement appropriate actions that allow transition to the change [19].
This is evident from a number of globally reported major incidents, where it was
revealed that failure to manage change was the root cause or a significant contributor.
For example,

Failure to manage temporary change led to the loss of containment, explosion,


fire and fatalities at the Nypro plant at flixborough in 1974 [20].

In most cases, MOC is applied well to permanent visible physical changes to an asset.
However, temporary or insidious changes are sometimes overlooked or not noticed. In
addition, issues such as operations outside of acceptable operating envelops, chemical
addition modifications, change in physical properties etc. are often missed. According
to Ciaraldi [6], understanding what constitute a change and how different types of
change are governed is important for an asset operator to establish an effective MOC
process. To further improve the effectiveness of MOC, an audit procedure which feeds
back into process modifications and clarifications should be employed [6].
2.5.2 Assessment and Continuous Improvements
Another important element in AIM is the assessment or evaluation of the changing
condition of an asset and the continuous assurance and verification of its integrity. This
can be achieved if performance measures are in place to monitor progress and determine
if effective systems and procedures are in place [7].
The preservation of safety critical function of SCE to achieve the required level of asset
integrity is achieved by a programme of planned inspection, testing and maintenance
activities. This is supported by timely/focussed repairs, replacements and restoration of
asset condition so that the asset remains fit for its operational purposes. Without this,
asset will deteriorate, leading to degradation of performance, ageing and unreliability of
its SCE.
2.5.3 Ownership and Accountability
If the accountability is not defined, the ownership of any task or initiatives is diluted
and progress will not be recorded. As such, for any integrity management plan or
initiative to succeed, the responsibility for identifying the loop holes in the integrity of
10

the asset, the necessary actions required to close these identified gaps, monitoring of
progress made in the corrective actions and maintaining of the desired level of
performance must be defined [7].
2.5.4 Asset register
Palmer [21] explained that, data availability, accuracy and continued update are
necessary for the implementation of AIM initiatives and measure of progress towards
meeting the preset objectives.
Without integrity management data, it will be difficult for asset management to monitor
or to assert with any level of confidence that the plant or asset is in a safe condition or to
complete meaningful predictive work that will ensure the long term reliability of the
facilities. All supporting inspection, testing, investigative findings, modifications and
maintenance database should be aligned with the asset register. Therefore, periodic
reviews are required to ensure the asset register and supporting databases are maintained
and always up to date [22].
2.5.5 Risk Management and Hazard Evaluation
The core of AIM is risk and hazards evaluation. These involves the process of planning,
identifying, estimating, evaluating, selecting and implementing actions to prevent,
minimize, control or eliminate harm to personnel, environment and assets [23].
This emphasizes the need for continuous process that establishes and progressively
updates the understanding of the hazards and their management through the life cycle of
each asset.
The hazard analysis should produce a hazard register and SCE list (for prevention,
control and mitigation of the hazards) that includes the level of criticality based on the
likelihood and consequences of their failure in service [7].
2.5.6 Protective Systems
This are safety critical systems which contribute to preventing, detecting, controlling or
mitigate a major accident and ensuring the survival of people and protection of assets.
To ensure AIM, these systems should always be reliable, available and operational and
their operational functions continually verified to ensure they meet the performance
criteria. These systems include,

11

ESD

Pressure Safety Valves (PSV)

Gas detectors and fire alarms

HIPPS

Process Safety Devices (PSD) etc.

2.5.7 Facilities Design and Construction


This means ensuring integrity of the assets during design in order to operate within
acceptable safety margins and to ensure optimized economy throughout operational life.
This is achieved by adopting inherent safe design, developing a safe layout integrating
ergonomics (human factor) requirements right from design stage, selection of an
appropriate material for sustained operations and carrying out Reliability, Availability
and Maintainability (RAM) studies [10].
Laskar [15] explained that, the mechanical integrity of the asset is assured by
construction and fabrication to a suitable design using appropriate materials, good
workmanship and quality assurance in accordance with;

Recognised codes and standards

Good industry practises

Regulatory requirements

2.5.8 Operation and Maintenance


This element addresses the need to operate assets within the safe operating envelope and
define the limits beyond which system integrity may be jeopardized. Mechanical
integrity can be maintained by adhering to operating procedures and processes [7].
Asset integrity can be maintained when assets are;

Operated within the original design parameters or through parameters defined


through a MOC process that evolves as the facility moves through different
phases of its life cycle.

Inspected, maintained and repaired to a condition which is consistent with the


original design or fitness for service criteria.

12

Audited to provide assurance of conformance and identification of nonconformance for corrective action and this corrective action is assigned
ownership and target date to ensure it is carried out.

Atherton [24] explains that a successful AIM programme requires comprehensive


knowledge of the asset, including its actual condition, all operations and activities
conducted in the life of the asset.
Rahum et al [25] also added that the core element in managing an asset or operations is
based on a good Maintenance Management System (MMS). Proper asset maintenance
requires proactively planned maintenance programmes and this can significantly reduce
the overall operating cost and increase the efficiency and productivity of the asset.
2.5.9 Incident/Accident Investigation and Prevention
The thorough investigation and analysis of incidents and accidents (both actual events
and near misses), along with the appropriate follow-up to prevent recurrence, provides
one of the most effective means of improving the safety and reliability of an asset [26].
Every unexpected asset failure or damage present an opportunity to learn about the
integrity of the assets, determine the root cause of the failure, developing action plan to
prevent recurrence, track the progress of these actions and communicate lessons learned
throughout the asset [7].
2.5.10 Leadership
Leadership at all level of an organisation is a necessary start to good AIM. The senior
leadership has the key function of improving understanding, simplification, challenge
and learning in major hazard control and ultimately in performance [25].
When the leadership visibly and openly display passion for integrity management, this
will pervade through the organisation and promote the development of a similar zeal
within the workforce [6].
2.5.11 Competency/Skills Assurance
According to Esaklul [7], one of the most overlooked requirements for integrity
management is the assurance that all personnel are trained and competent for their job.
It is a dangerous assumption to believe that an operator is competent to operate a unit
because he/she has operated a similar unit in another plant. It should be noted that,
13

competency is not about training, intelligence or education level, but it is about the
specific skills required to properly do a particular job and the individuals level of
expertise.
Managing peoples competence is a critical part of managing overall safety and integrity
of an asset. Wherever people interface with complex work systems, skilled knowledge
and skilled performance are vital to operational integrity [29].
A proper competency assurance program defines the skills required for each job and the
minimum level of competency necessary to carry out the job. Additionally, there must
be a means in place to continually assess the individual skills of a worker so that
deficiencies may be identified and corrected with targeted training and testing [30]. See
figure 2.4

Figure 2.4: Competency Verification Scheme

[6]

2.5.12 Emergency Management


Tveiten et al [27] defines emergency management as the total activities (both
administrative routines and informal processes) conducted in a more or less coordinated
way to control emergencies before, during and after an event. This includes analysis,
planning, training, handling, learning, anticipation and monitoring.
This is the last line of defence in an AIM plan, the ability to reduce the effect or
mitigate the consequences of an accident. It is essential that assets are reliable and
14

available and can respond quickly to mitigate the effect of an undesired event by having
robust emergency management plan. In addition to having the plans in place, they
should be regularly reviewed to be able to adapt to changes in the identified hazards, be
fully understood by all those likely to be impacted and regularly exercised and tested
through drills [28].
2.6

Risk based approach

Risk based approach provides a detailed evaluation of failure modes and the assessment
of their corresponding likelihood and consequences if the failure eventually occurs.
Leading and lagging indicators are then developed to monitor the performance of the
asset to prevent potential incidents [31]. Two types of risk based approach are discussed
below.
2.6.1 Risk Base Inspection (RBI)
Risk Based Inspection (RBI) methodologies are becoming standard industrial practice
for the management and planning of in-service inspection activities. According to
Horrocks et al [32], these methodologies seek to define and manage the risk associated
with individual equipment, such that items that constitute the highest risk receive the
greatest attention from a planned inspection program.
RBI provides detailed evaluations of the mode of failure, the barriers to prevent, control
or mitigate these failures, and results in an inspection programme to effectively identify
potential failure before they occur at reduced cost [33]. RBI is discussed later in details.
2.6.2 Reliability Based Maintenance (RBM)
The oil and gas process plants and facilities require essential targeted continuous
maintenance to ensure high levels of reliability and safety. A Risk Based Maintenance
(RBM) strategy is a useful tool to plan and design a cost effective maintenance schedule
[34]. The unexpected failures, the down time associated with such failures, the loss of
production and, the higher maintenance costs are major problems in any process plant.
RBM approach helps in designing an alternative strategy to minimize the risk resulting
from breakdowns or failures [35].
The RBM methodology is comprised of four modules;

Identification of the scope of maintenance

Risk assessment
15

Risk evaluation

Maintenance planning.

Krishnasamy et al [36] explained that, using this methodology, one is able to estimate
risk caused by the unexpected failure as a function of its probability and consequence.
Critical equipment can be identified based on the level of risk and a pre-selected
acceptable level of risk. Maintenance of equipment is prioritized based on the risk,
which helps in reducing the overall risk of an asset.
2.7

Safety Critical Element (SCE), Major Accident Hazard (MAH), Risk Based
Inspections (RBI) and Performance Standard (PS)

2.7.1 Safety Critical Element (SCE)


SCEs as defined earlier are those systems and components (including computer
programmes, hardware, procedures etc.) designed for the purpose of preventing,
controlling or to mitigate major accident hazards (MAHs) and the failure of which could
cause or contribute substantially to a major accident. These include SIS, structures, fire
and gas detection, and ESD, blow down, temporary refuge etc. According to HSE [2],
the term contribute substantially to a major accident is intended to include within the
category of SCE those parts whose failure would not directly initiate a major accident
but would make a significant contribution to the chain of events which would result in a
major accident.
As assets age, it is very important to ensure that the SCEs are still capable of performing
their intended functions efficiently and effectively whilst protecting health, safety and
the environment.
Marty et al [37] explained that in AIM, duty holders must ensure that the SCE lifecycle
management should involve identification of the MAH, selection of the SCEs by
identifying structures and plant which can cause, contribute to, prevent or mitigate a
major accident event and develop Performance Standards (PS) for the identified SCEs.
This management plan should involve alignment of planned targeted maintenance,
inspection and testing etc. required to ensure the SCE meet its required PS.
Unnikrishnan [38] added that managing deviations or changes and impacts on MOC is
also a critical part of the lifecycle management of SCEs. The continual monitoring of
the status of the hardware barriers and performance assurance task (using a feedback
16

loop) enable management and operators to analyse the ongoing conformance of the
SCEs with their PS. This provides opportunity for improvement and possibilities for
further risk reduction.
A comprehensive risk assessment is the best practice approach for the identification of
the SCE and the eventual definition of the required PS. This involves the detailed
identification of all hazards associated with different phases of the asset life [39]. This is
achieved by performing a number of HAZID exercises and representing the information
from the HAZID workshops using Bowtie diagram. Bowties are graphical
representations providing information related to hazard with threats which could release
the hazards potentials on the left hand side of the graph and the consequences on the
right hand side [40].
On each threat branch of the bowtie, there are shown barriers which are control
measures provided to prevent the threat from arising. Similarly, on each consequence
branch, there are mitigation barriers and recovery control measures which are
considered to provide risk reduction from the consequences [41].
The Figure 2.5 shows the barriers (SCE) on both sides of the top event (Hazard)

17

Figure 2.5: SCE groups and Bowtie diagram [40]


The Swiss cheese model at the top of the bowtie diagram in figure 2.5 shows the
realisation of the hazardous event if all control safety barriers fails and the escalation of
the consequences if all mitigating safety barriers fails
For an effective life cycle management of SCE, the following point should be noted
[41];

The PS for the SCE should be defined based on the MAH (more on PS in the
next sub-heading).

The PS which describes the equipment operating parameters at which the safety
system fulfils its safety functions, should be defined for the SCE based on
recognised industry standards e.g. The British Standard (BS), International
Standard Organisation (ISO) etc.

To ensure the continuous integrity of the asset, it is important that correct


maintenance verification and test frequency is assigned to each SCE.
18

SCEs should be graded based on the risks associated, this assists in prioritizing
maintenance. It is important also to monitor the maintenance of non SCEs
because their failure can increase the workload of the SCE eventually resulting
in major accident.

The reliability and availability target for the SCE should be specified. The best
approach to achieve this is to use the risk based approach by performing Safety
Integrity Level (SIL) calculations.

In order to avoid ambiguity, the PS should have a clear pass/fail criterion. This
would assist the verification operator to document the results clearly which
could be used for further analysis of the performance of the SCE.

2.7.2 Risk Based Inspections (RBI)


The scope of an inspection and frequencies has traditionally been time based and driven
by statutory regulation or insurance requirements and industry practices. Major
shutdowns were planned to take place at particular fixed intervals, and it was normal
practise to open, clean and inspect all equipment irrespective of its condition or
necessity. The inspections when completed were often unfocused and indiscriminate,
resulting in large amounts of data which are in most cases irrelevant. These practices,
although inflexible, have to an extent, provided adequate safety and reliability. They
just have not been cost effective or efficient [42].
The Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approach is an effective inspection planning tool
supporting the engineers in their quest to focus the inspection and maintenance efforts
into the high risk operating assets, while assigning an appropriate effort to the lower risk
equipment. The end deliverable of RBI is a comprehensive inspection plan developed
through a risk management process that aims at ensuring the integrity of an asset in the
most cost effective manner [43].
RBI is an integrated methodology that factors risk into inspection and maintenance
decision making. It is a systematic and structured approach for developing inspection
plans using risk management techniques that identify the probability/likelihood of
failure and the consequences of such failure from the human, environmental, assets and
reputational viewpoints [44].
Overall, since a relatively large percentage of risk is associated with a small percentage
of equipment, the RBI methods improve the management of risk through closely
19

focussing on the critical areas of the asset, and reducing efforts on the non-critical areas
i.e. inspection effort is proportional to the criticality of the operating asset [45].
The RBI methodology provides a logical, documented and repeatable system for
making informed decisions on inspection frequencies, details of inspection, inspection
scope etc.
2.7.2.1 RBI Process
According to Peterson et al [42] The RBI process consists of;

Carrying out a Risk assessment on the asset

Using the results of the assessment to determine the inspection frequencies and
scopes.

Before performing a criticality risk assessment, three basic questions should be asked,
this are;

What can go wrong or what are the potential failures?

What are the probabilities or likelihood of the failure events occurring?

What are the possible consequences of these failures?

2.7.2.2 Risk Assessment Process


Risk assessments are fundamental tools in the safety community. They help make and
implement decisions regarding safety, which in effect prevent accidents, improve safety
performance, and reduce Operational Expenditure OPEX by systematically identifying
and evaluating hazards concerning the design and potential failures [46].
To conduct a risk assessment, the following process has been developed;

Identify the hazards

Frequency assessment

Consequence assessment

Risk evaluation

Action forward

20

2.7.2.3 Hazard Identification


The first and most important step in any risk management program is to identify any
possible hazards associated with your activities. Unless hazards are identified,
consequence and likelihood reduction cannot be implemented.
Hazards identification is the act of recognising the failure conditions or threats, which
could lead to undesirable events.
The main item to determine the hazards is the amount of information which is known
about the equipment or conversely the identification of where there is a lack of
information. Even when information appears to be known, the risk based approach
requires the quality and accuracy of the information be tested and validated. Risk
increases when there is a lack of, or uncertainty in the information required to assess the
equipment integrity [42].
Information about the asset can be gathered from the design specifications, fabrication
records, operational experience, maintenance records, inspection records, the knowledge
of material degradation methods and the rates at which material degradation will, or has
occurred.
2.7.2.4 Frequency Assessment
This is the likelihood of the undesired event occurring and the rate at which these
specified events would be expected to occur in a specified period of time.
2.7.2.5 Consequence Assessment
This can involve the use of analytical models to predict the effects of different scenarios
or consequence of a failure event. Information exists describing the effects of hazardous
materials on humans, fire and blast effects on buildings and structures, dispersion and
environmental effects, etc.
2.7.2.6 isk Evaluation
Risk evaluation is used to determine the significance of a risk to the organization and
whether each specific risk should be accepted. The value indicating a risk and its
associated implications are arguably subjective but are nonetheless important for
assessing the risk status [47].

21

For a given risk event (e.g. accidental hydrocarbon release), each of the release criteria
is evaluated based on the likelihood and consequence. Likelihood is the probability of
occurrence and Consequence is the severity of impact. In quantitative risk assessment,
the risk is the product of the numerical consequence and the probability of occurrence
[48]. (See figure 2.6).
According to Clare et al [48], Consequence and likelihood can each be assessed using
various methods of varying complexity, ranging from qualitative to quantitative.

Figure 2.6: Major Component of the Risk Evaluation Process

22

[48]

The simplest form of reporting risk is by simply grading the possible consequences and
likelihood of the failure events as high, medium or low. The preferred approach is to use
a Risk matrix to assign risk.
An example of a typical Risk Matrix is shown in Figure 2.7 below.
Each asset will fall within a cell in the matrix corresponding to the likelihood and
consequences of failure.

12

16

12

Low

Medium

High

Very High

(A)

(B)

(C)

(D)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(1)

Marginal
Minor

Consequence

Serious

Very serious

Risk = LikelihoodConsequences

Likelihood
Figure 2.7: Typical 4x4 Risk Matrixes

23

Unacceptable

Urgent Attention

Undesirable

Action

Acceptable

Monitor

Desirable

No action
Figure 2.8: Risk Ratings

Table 2.1 and Table 2.2 show sample definitions for Likelihood and Consequence for
4X4 Risk Matrix
Table 2.1: Definitions of Likelihood for Typical 4X4 Risk Matrix
Likelihood Ranking

Likelihood Category

Definitions

Low

Not likely

Medium

May occur

High

Probable Occurrence

Very high

Occurred/Occurring

24

Table 2.2: Definitions of Consequence for Typical 4X4 Risk Matrix

[42]

Consequence Ranking

Consequence Category

Impact

Minor

First aid, little/no response,


minor equipment cost

Marginal

Medical

aid,

response,

limited
equipment

repairs, minor losses.


3

Serious

Serious

injury(s),

major

response, major downtime,


expenses.
4

Very serious

Fatality(s),

long

environmental,

term

permanent

shutdown
2.7.2.7 Action Forward
The underlying implicit assumption is that in a competent organisation, findings from
the RBI will be followed by proper actions that will actually reduce equipment risk and
ensures the integrity of the asset [42]. The action plan may include one or a combination
of the following activities [42];

2.8

Follow up inspection

Asset monitoring

Asset replacement

Operational procedure changes

Use of upgraded materials

Instrumentation upgrade
Major Accident Hazards (MAH)

Major Accident can be thought of as an occurrence such as major emissions, spill, fire
or explosion resulting from uncontrolled developments in the course of operations and
can lead to multiple fatalities or serious danger to the environment. MAH are hazard
that has the potential of resulting to a major accident e.g. hydrocarbon releases [49].
Craddock [50] explains that, major accident occurs because of failure to identify or
recognise MAH and take adequate steps to manage the associated risks. Major accidents
25

are low frequency very high consequence events requiring careful management. This
needs to be supported by a safety culture that has all levels of an asset organisation
engaged in the common goal of major accident prevention. This starts with committed
leadership. Leadership that is complacent about low frequency high consequence events
will be leading an organisation that is closer to triggering a major incident than a
leadership that is mindful about such events.
It is important to recognise that for this class of failures, the primary risk control
measures are built into the system at the planning selection, design, construction, and
installation phases (i.e. ensuring the integrity of the asset in all phases). Major incidents
are not driven by operational considerations i.e. they do not necessarily require
operational failures to be realise, and may occur even if a system is operated within its
design envelop [51].
2.9

Performance Standard (PS)

PS are statements which can be expressed in quantitative or qualitative terms, of the


performance required of a system, item or equipment, person or procedure, and which is
used as the basis of managing the hazard e.g. planning, measuring, control or audit
through the life cycle of the asset (SCE). Or, they are documents describing the criteria
for the assessment of the asset (SCE) for compliance with minimum requirement to
asset operations and characterizing its performance criteria [41, 40].
Marty et al [37] explains that, The PS standard defines the following criteria for each of
the SCE;

Functionality of the SCE i.e. response time of the SCE

Availability of the SCE i.e. the handiness of the SCE

Reliability i.e. the ability of the system to perform its required functions when
its needed.

Survivability i.e. the ability of the element to deliver its function if exposed to an
undesired event e.g. fire, blast, vibrations, etc.

Interdependency i.e. other systems necessary for the function of the SCE to
perform adequately e.g. emergency power supply for SIS [37].

26

2.9.1 Integrity Assurance


These are assurance activities performed to confirm that the asset meets the required PS
during design and throughout the operational lifetime of the asset. At the design stage,
such assurance is undertaken through the use of appropriate design codes and standards,
best practise, risk based approach, design review etc. by suitable qualified, experience
and competent persons [37]. Assurance activities during operational stage include
inspection, test and maintenance.
The activities mentioned above are required in other to enable;
2.9.2 Verification
Verification tasks are carried out in order to verify that the previously defined PS for the
SCE is achieved. According to Dhar [41], this is system of independent and competent
scrutiny of the suitability of SCE throughout its life cycle. The process of identifying
SCEs, producing PS and performing Assurance is monitored and verified by an
Independent Competent Person (ICP). Verification is a sampling process and includes
document review, checks using calculation, physical examination, testing or witnessing
of tests, audit, and confirmation of records during the operational life of the asset.

27

2.10 RBI, MAH, SCE and PS Loop

An Asset

Risk based inspection (RBI) to


classify MAH
Major Accident
Hazard (MAH)
Safety Critical
Element (SCE) to
Prevent Major
Accident
Major accident
Occurs
Safety Critical Element
(SCE) to mitigate the effect
of Major Accident

Definitions of Performance
Standards (PS) for the SCE

Figure 2.9: RBI, MAH, SCE and PS Loop


The flow chart above shows the relationship between RBI, MAH, SCE and PS. For an
effective AIM, a RBI is carried out on the asset in other to identify MAH associated
with the asset. Then the SCE are grouped into barriers for preventing, controlling or
mitigating the consequences from a major accident. The PS is specified for all the
identified SCE first to ensure the suitability of the SCE in the design and construction
28

phase and secondly the performance criteria that ensures the on-going suitability of the
SCE in the operational phase. The defined PS detail the goal of the SCE, functionality,
suitability, availability, reliability and interdependency and also the acceptance pass/fail
criterion for which the performance of the SCE will be measured and recorded.

29

METHODOLOGY

This chapter includes a review of the research method and design appropriateness, a
discussion of the population and sample, methods used in the collection of data, the
approach used in the analysis of collated data, ethical consideration and limitations.
This research was carried out in three main parts. The first was aimed at identifying key
background issues/studies relating to AIM. The second concentrated on the collation
and assimilation of available data. Specifically, it examined information relating to the
KP3 reports, review and studies on integrity management together with the data from
the questionnaire and notes made from the unstructured interviews with some TAs and
asset integrity managers. The final phase involved the analysis of all of the available
data, draw conclusions and make recommendations based on the findings.
An overview of the process is shown below with colour codes representing the different
parts.
TASK 1
Literature Review

TASK 2

TASK 3

Pilot interview/Brainstorming
Section with AISG

Source for Information from


Duty-Holders via
Questionnaire
TASK 4
Sort Data from DutyHolders/Unstructured
Interviews
TASK 5

Analysis and Discussions

TASK 6
Conclusions &
30
Recommendations
Figure 3.1: Overview of Process

3.1

Population and Sampling

The main focus of this research was on the UK oil and gas industry. This involves dutyholders operating in the UKCS of the North Sea. A form of sampling was introduced.
As explained by Silvermann [52], the purpose of this sampling was to study a
representative subsection of a precisely defined population in order to make inferences
about the whole population. Within the duty holders, the participant includes Asset
Integrity managers and TAs.
The above participants were chosen because of their relevance and experience to answer
the research question. It was necessary to employ this form of sampling techniques
because of the time and resources available to the research.
3.2

Data Collection Method

3.2.1 Pilot Interview


A pilot interview was done prior to administering of the questionnaire to inform me on
the approach to take in the design of the questionnaire. As described by Punch [53] it is
a small-scale trial before the main investigation with the intention of assessing the
adequacy of the research design and of the instruments to be used for data collection.
The pilot interview studies was crucial to this research which was primarily based on
questionnaire to gather data, since there will not be an interviewer present to clear up
any confusion when the participant are trying to answer the questions.
3.2.2 Questionnaire
This phase of data collection involves generating of questions to design the
questionnaire based on the findings from the pilot interview, brainstorming section done
with the Asset Integrity Steering Group (AISG) of Step Change in Safety and findings
from the literature review. The designed questionnaire was forwarded via an e-mail to
the participating companies. This method of distribution was preferred because it was
easier to reach a larger population.
Though questionnaire was seen as the best method of gathering data for this research
considering the time available, it is not without its own pros and cons. The pros include,
it was cheap particularly for group administered, it is far quicker to conduct, absence of
interviewers effect, and at the convenient for respondent.

31

Nevertheless, the cons also include, the response rate was low, the fear of given some
confidential documents out and there were no one present to help the respondents if
they are having difficulty answering questions. In other to mitigate some of the cons, a
good covering letter explaining the reasons for the research, why it is important and
why the recipient has been selected and a guarantee of confidentiality was attached to
the questionnaire (see Appendix A). Furthermore, a simple questionnaire with clear
instructions and an attractive layout was designed.
The questionnaire contains 22 questions in total including open and close -ended
questions. It is assumed that the likelihood of response to this format considering their
busy schedule is more compared to using all open-ended questions. In addition, the
weakness associated with either form of question is the strength of the other.
The administration of the questionnaire to the target participants and the persistent
contact of the respondent to ensure quick response to the questionnaire were made
possible through the AISG of Step Change in Safety.
3.2.3 Unstructured Interview
These involved informal interviews and discussions conducted to explore or get a wider
understanding on the topic being researched. There was no predetermined list of
questions to work through in this situation, just knowledge of the aspect I want to
explore. As mentioned earlier, the interview was purely informal. The interviewee is
given the opportunity to talk freely about events, behaviour and beliefs in relation to the
topic area [54].
I was able to have three different unstructured interviews, two of which were from TA
working in the UK and the third was with TA in the United State of America. The
information obtained from this interviews where used to explore and explain themes
that have emerged from the use of the questionnaire.
3.3

Data Analysis Method

Various methods of data collection produce different types of data that requires different
handling strategies. The main method of data collection for this research was the use of
the questionnaire and an unstructured interview to explore on findings.

32

First step involves reproducing the collated data so that they provide a fair summary of
what has been studied and so that they can be analysed readily to answer the
researchers questions.
The questionnaire as stated earlier, contains both closed and open-ended question, the
first step was to code this data, i.e. transforming the data from the questionnaire into a
form in which we can analyse efficiently. For the unstructured interviews, the analysis
of the data was a bit challenging since there was no interview agenda. This was finally
overcome by constantly visiting the note made from the discussions and ideas that form
in my head. This process continued until I felt fairly confident that I had identified the
set of variables that I needed and could measure, and had also identified some of the
main categories of each variable. The data extracted was also coded. The themes arising
from the coded data will be linked to the research objective in analysis providing a
framework with which findings will be reported and discussed.
The data was analysed using EXCEL, a personal computer based analysis software.
This was chosen because it is particularly useful in basic statistical analysis.
3.4

Research Ethics and Limitations

3.4.1 Research Ethics


During the period of this research, careful steps were taken to ensure that the way the
research was design is both methodologically sound and morally defensible to all those
who are involved. A confidentiality agreement was signed with the participant and also
a cover letter detailing what the research is about, the aims and objective of the research
and statements on the use of the data assuring confidentiality and anonymity of the
respondents (see Appendix A).
3.4.2 Limitations
The major limitation of this work is the poor access to primary data and time. Due to the
busy schedules of the target respondent, it was difficult to get them to respond to the
questionnaire. Likewise, it was impossible getting approval for interview with
representatives from the respondents, HSE, asset integrity managers and TAs as
proposed to clarify some of my findings. This limited the number of data and the
amount of respondent. To help overcome this limitation, a meeting with the members of

33

the AISG was organised to brainstorm on the available data and make relevant
contributions.

34

DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

In 2009, following the findings from KP3 as regards the declining nature of the
influence of the TAs; the OSD of HSE conducted a review of the industrys progress.
The review concluded that there have been real changes to, and strengthening of, the TA
functions in a number of companies which are showing tangible benefits. The challenge
remaining for the industry according to OSD is to ensure that the enhancements to the
TAs role and resources are replicated uniformly and consistently across the industry
[56].
Based on the findings of the OSD of HSE, a questionnaire was developed to understand
the current implementation of the role of TAs across duty holders in the UKCS. This
chapter contain the data presentation, analysis and discussion of the findings.
4.1

The Questionnaire

The questionnaire is structured into 3 sections;


The organisation: To understand the organisational structure
TA Standard/Framework: To understand the TAs discipline and the basis
within which TAs are selected
The

role

definition

and

organisation

approach:

To

understand

the

implementation of the TAs within the organisation


This section details the findings from the questionnaire after coding of the data into the
different sections. (See Appendix B)
A total of 7 duty-holders responded to the questionnaire, with a combined total of 44
operating platforms within the UKCS. The platform includes FP, FPSO, Manned and
NUI platforms. The respondents are involved in explorations and productions,
consultancy, Engineering Procurement and Construction, project management. To
ensure anonymity, the respondent are hereafter referred to as Company A, B, C, D, E, F
and G. The pie chart below shows the percentage distribution of the offshore platforms
across the respondents.

35

`
Figure 4.1: Percentage Distribution of Offshore Platform across Respondent
4.1.1 The Organisations
The question around the organisation was asked based on the findings by OSD in 2009
that .much needs to be done to strengthen this TA function and wider consideration
needs to be given as to the role of the TA function at senior levels in companies. [2].
In order to understand how this has been incorporated into the industry, the duty holders
were asked to describe the company structure within which the TAs seats in, and how
they report into the senior management level.

36

The flow chart below summarises the responses.

Figure 4.2: Flow Diagram for TA reporting Structure into Senior Management
The flow diagram shown in figure 4.2 above summarises the organisational structure
within which the TAs seat in, and how they report into the senior management within
the respondent organisation. The responses show a strengthening of the TAs within the
organisational structure of the respondent.
4.1.2 TA Standard/Framework
The TA in a company as mentioned by HSE act as a backstop against continuing
operations with degraded SCE, their function is to provide expertise and judgement on
key operational engineering issues [2]. This is an important strategic role particularly in
decision making relating to the continuing operations with degraded SCE, equipment
integrity and MAH management. To get a clear understanding about TAs and the
required qualification for this strategic role, the duty holders were asked to state the
basis upon which they select their TAs.

37

The stacked bar chart below (figure 4.3) summarises the responses from the respondents
with the colour code matching each respondent, and the bar chart in figure 4.4 showing
the percentage of respondent in agreement.

Figure 4.3: The Basis for Which TA's are Selected

Figure 4.4: TA Selection Basis % in Agreement


From the bar chart above in figure 4.4, it can be inferred that the TAs are recognised
engineers in their various discipline appointed by the organisation within a specific
technical discipline to provide independent technical advice.
38

4.1.2.1 TA Disciplines
The duty holders where ask to list the TAs discipline within their organisation. This
question was asked to have an understanding on the critical discipline occupy by TAs
across the industry. The stacked bar chart below (figure 4.5) summarises the responses
from all respondent and the bar chart in figure 4.6 shows the percentage of respondent
in agreement.

Figure 4.5: TA Discipline within Duty Holders in the UKCS

39

Figure 4.6: TA Discipline % of Respondent in Agreement

40

As stated earlier, the duty holders are involved in various operational activities within
UKCS; this explains the weak percentage of agreement notice in most of the TAs
discipline. Different organisations select their TAs discipline based on their specific
MAH operational activities or the relevance of the discipline to the organisation.
Nevertheless, there were some TAs disciplines that had strong agreement across all
respondents, disciplines such as the mechanical/pressure vessels TA, structural TA,
electrical, instrumentation and control TA, process/technical safety TA, materials and
corrosion TA. These are disciplines with high potential of resulting in major accident if
not properly managed and they are susceptible to degradation as asset age. An
explanation of the TAs discipline is given below;

The Mechanical/Pressure vessel TA: This TA is accountable as the companys


authority for providing technical expertise to other departments on piping,
valves and vessel engineering issues with special emphasis on pressure
containment and vibration issues. It is a known fact that the effective pressure
containment of vessels and pipe work is essential to minimising the risk of
hydrocarbon releases. Maintaining the mechanical integrity of a vessel is a
significant factor in ensuring contained fluids is not accidentally released.

Structural TA: According to the HSE, TA act as a backstop against degraded


SCE, safety related equipments and structures. In other to prevent MAH, the
structural TA should have a good understanding of the behaviour of the
structure, and the degradation and failure mechanisms of critical structural
elements. This is necessary to prevent structural failures leading to hydrocarbon
releases or other catastrophic consequences which can lead to multiple fatalities
[2]. Structural integrity management is the principal barrier to safeguard assets
and those working offshore from MAH. The integrity of this offshore structures
depend on the structural TA getting it right at the design and construction stage,
and keeping it right over the life cycle of the structure.

Electrical, Instrumentation and Control TA: As offshore infrastructure age, there


is an increased risk of ignition of electrical infrastructure in the event of a major
loss of hydrocarbon containment if not managed adequately. The Electrical,
Instrumentation and Control TA discipline is responsible to ensure that critical
power generation and distribution, well-related SIS, process and emergency
41

support systems such as ESD and public address/general alarm (PA&GA) are
reliable and available when called upon.

Process/Technical Safety: Process safety management involves the prevention of


uncontrolled loss of containment of flammable hydrocarbons, which may result
in a fire and/or explosion. Process/technical safety TA should be able to
recognise changes made to production rates, operating parameters, plant
modifications, operating procedures and key drawings, and training needs during
the lifetime of the process plant. If used correctly, the process/technical safety
TA has a vital role in managing cumulative risk.

Materials and Corrosion TA: If corrosion is not controlled, it can lead to the loss
of hydrocarbon containment and structural failure, with the possibility of
resulting in major accident with serious human, asset, environmental and
reputational implications. The Materials and Corrosion TA are accountable for
ensuring that adequate systems are in place for the control and monitoring of
plant, pipe work corrosion and selection of suitable materials in the design of
site modifications, or projects. For example, the close relationship between the
Materials and Corrosion TA and chemist to manage the chemical injection
systems to ensure adequate protection against corrosion

4.1.3 TA Role Definition and Organisational Approach


In this section, duty holders were asked to describe the role and accountabilities of the
TAs within their organisation. This was followed by some specific questions based on
the findings by HSE in 2007 on the poor performance of maintenance strategy of SCE
by duty holders (see Appendix C). The areas with worst performance include;

Maintenance of SCEs

Backlog

Deferrals

Measuring compliance with performance standards

Corrective maintenance

The specific questions were tailored to understand the industrys step in improvement
this areas of poor performance. (See Appendix B section 3).

42

The summary of the roles/responsibilities from the respondent are shown in the stacked
bar chart in figure 4.7 below.

Figure 4.7: TA Roles/Responsibilities

43

Figure 4.8: TA Roles/Responsibilities % of Respondents in Agreement


The bar chart in figure 4.8 above shows the roles/responsibility of the TAs and
percentage of respondents in agreement. The roles are each considered in turns;
4.1.3.1 Review and Audit
This is an important role to ensure the integrity of an asset over its life cycle as
discussed in the literature review (chapter 2). Reviewing and monitoring enables the
duty holders to understand how well the organisation is managing its asset integrity and
an understanding of the present risk level in the asset. For continuous management of
the integrity of an assets, periodic reviews is advised even on approaches introduced for
risk managements, this activity ensures that changes are understood and the selected
barrier are still effective.

44

On the other hand, auditing is done to identify loop holes or cracks on the safety
equipments.
4.1.3.2 Risk Assessments
Understanding of hazards present in an asset or operation is the first step in managing it.
It is a process of identifying hazards, the consequence if the hazard is released, the
likelihood that the hazard will be released, and the risk to personnel, environment,
assets, reputation and taking step to set up barriers to ensure the risk is reduced to a
level that is as low as reasonably practicable. Risk assessment is also a continuous
process done over the life cycle of an asset to ensure that hazards are identified over the
different phases of the asset.
4.1.3.3 Defines Regional Technical Standard
Technical Standard is the established norm or requirements for technical systems/assets.
This is an important role because all operational integrity and process safety plans are
built on a foundation of complete, accurate, and timely technical information [55]. For
example, for a proper HAZOP studies to identify possible deviations (in a process
plant), it is required that up to date and accurate Piping and Instrumentations Diagrams
(P&IDs) be provided to the team, operating procedures require information about
process limits, and the AIM plan requires information about equipment and piping. Also
with a good written technical standard, it is easier for duty holders or outside auditors to
evaluate the status of the integrity management systems [55].
4.1.3.4 Endorse waiver to Technical Standard
Waiver to technical standard is a sensitive activity that requires an engineering authority
with an understanding of the associated risks. The endorsement of waiver requires
proper risk assessments to determine the risk associated with the activity in other to
have proper barriers in place. Waivers to technical standards are issued on special
circumstances to allow certain critical equipment to continue to be on service provided
controls are in place. Each waiver to the technical standard should be recorded in the
asset register and subjected to regular review.
4.1.3.5 Interpretation of Good Engineering Practice
Sharing of good engineering practice is a good way of enhancing cross industrial
learning. The understanding of the good engineering practice from the industry by the
TAs will ensure proper implementation to manage the integrity of their assets.
45

4.1.3.6 Endorse Deviation from PS


As discussed in the literature, PS details the performance required of a system after all
major hazards scenario has been identified. PS generally describe the functionality,
survivability, reliability, availability and interrelation with other asset of the system.
Deviation from this standard will require risk assessments to ascertain that such
deviations will not lead to major accident.
4.1.3.7 Strategic Maintenance
Maintenance of an asset or installation is an on-going activity. Inadequate strategic
maintenance has been a contributory factor in many major accidents and incidents (e.g.
Piper Alpha). As assets continually age, there is an increasing need to strategically
maintain SCE whose purpose is to prevent, control or mitigate the consequence of a
major accident.
Strategic maintenance could be;

Corrective Maintenance: This strategy involves carrying corrective maintenance


on an asset until it eventually fails.

Preventive Maintenance: This strategy involves the carrying out of maintenance


on an asset to prevent possible degradation of the asset with time i.e. prolong
component life cycle minimizing asset failure.

Reliability Centred Maintenance: This maintenance strategy is done to prevent


failures whose consequences can be fatal. The maintenance interval is based on
the actual system criticality and performance data.

The understanding when to apply each of this strategy is essential for AIM.
4.1.3.8 Approves Key Engineering Drawing
Integrity in design will ensure integrity during operations. Proper risk assessments are
done on key engineering drawings (e.g. P&ID) to ensure risk are identified and proper
steps are taking to manage it.
4.1.3.9 Ensure Conformity with Legislation and Standard
Standards and Legislations have been developed to guide duty holders on various areas
exploration, development, operations, design, construction, procedure etc. for example,
the ISO standard.

They are crucial for the technical definition of oil and gas
46

installations, regardless of whether they are regional, international or industry standard.


Standards and Legislation are also called recommended practices, specifications,
bulletins, technical reports etc.
Standards and Legislation play an important role in the regulators technical definition of
the safety level of oil and gas installations they regulate and also in guiding the duty
holders to achieve the accepted level of safety. Conformity to standards and legislation
is important to ensure the assets are designed, installed and operated within the
international recognise standards and best practices.
4.1.3.10 Guidance, Mentoring and Training
To prevent major accidents such as the 1998 Esso Longford gas explosion and the 2005
BP Texas city fire, proper training, guidance and mentoring to ensure competency is
necessary.
4.1.3.11 Investigations and Root Cause Analysis
Preventing the next accident is a key issue in a high risk industry with ageing
infrastructures such as the UK oil and gas industry. As discussed in the literature review
(chapter 2), accident investigation and root cause analysis is the most efficient way of
preventing recurrence and improving on the hazard and risk management strategies.
4.1.3.12 Review Suitability of SCE
Integral to the integrity of assets are the SCEs. Reviewing the suitability of the SCE is
measuring the SCE against the pass/fail criterion of the PS to ensure conformity with
the required standard. This is essential to ensure continual fit for purpose of the SCEs
over its life cycle.
4.1.3.13 Defines PS
These are standard that can be expressed in both quantitative and qualitative terms of
the performance required of an SCE. It is developed after the hazardous scenario has
been identified and safety strategies developed as shown in the figure below.

47

HAZARD IDENTIFICATION
Determine Safety Strategy
e.g. the role and need for
the risk reducing measure

QRA or any other risk


analysis of safety studies

Define Specific Safety PS (i.e. Functionality, Reliability,


Survivability, Availability etc.)

Figure 4.9 PS development flow diagram


4.1.3.14 Maintenance Deferral of SCE
Deferral of maintenance is needed when management system has not provided
resources for the maintenance. The deferral process is recognition that there is potential
for degradation of the SCE. It should provide the means to compensate for the
degradation and the potential increase in risk [2].
4.1.3.15 Review Changes and Modification
The understanding of risk associated with changes and modifications is essential for
effective integrity management. As discussed in the literature review in chapter 2, each
changes and modification can change the risk profile of an asset. Review of changes and
modification enables duty holders to understanding risk and take necessary steps to
prevent, control or mitigate the consequences.
4.1.3.16 Independent View on Safety and Operational Risk
Operational safety addresses the need to operate assets within the safe operating
envelope and define the limits beyond which system integrity may be jeopardized.
Mechanical integrity can be maintained by adhering to defined operating procedures
and processes.
The bar chart in figure 4.8 shows the percentage of respondents agreeing to the listed
roles/responsibilities. Though most had low percentage of the respondent in agreement,
there has been considerable strengthening of the roles of TA within the industry. This is
obvious in the considerable improvement on the areas with poor maintenance strategies

48

discovered by OSD of HSE in 2009. As asset continues to age, more needs to be done in
other to ensure effective integrity management.

49

CONCLUSIONS

The finding of this research has given an insight into the current implementation of the
Technical Authoritys role within operating companies in the UKCS. It highlighted key
roles, functions and how they manage the integrity of assets.
Based on the findings, it is seen that the Technical Authoritys role has been
strengthened and embedded into the organisational structure of operating companies
within UKCS. The Technical Authorities are engineers whose combination of
education, experience and ability to lead make them the most appropriate person to
provide advice, guidance and decision making in their technical disciplines. They
occupy strategic technical disciplines within the operating companies with key roles of
evaluating and making engineering and other technical judgements as well as providing
advice and guidance on key operational issues. They also ensure major accident hazards
are managed by defining performance standards for safety critical elements and
ensuring they remain fit for operational purposes.
There is still need for the industry to ensure consistent and uniform implementation of
the Technical Authoritys role within operating companies to ensure integrity of assets
are continually managed even as assets age.

50

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on understanding of Major Accident Hazards, Safety Critical Elements, Risk


Based Inspections and Performance Standard loop discussed in the literature review and
the findings from this research, the recommended roles and responsibilities to be
implemented by Technical Authorities going forward are;

Define performance standards for safety critical elements. The performance


standard details the performance required of the safety critical elements after the
major accident hazards have been identified. As asset age, a program of planned
assurance and verification activities should be carried out to ensure the safety
critical element meets the required performance standard. This will ensure the
continual fit for purpose of the SCE over its life cycle.

Manage maintenance deferrals for safety critical elements. This is to ensure


deferral arrangements are better controlled and risk assessed

Review the suitability of safety critical elements. This should involve periodic
audit and review to ensure the safety critical elements meets the required
performance standards

Review changes and modifications to understand the risk associated with such
activities and take necessary steps to control, prevent or mitigate them

Investigation and root cause analysis. This help to prevent recurrence of an


accident and improve on the performance standards.

Technical authorities should be involved in risk assessments of critical


operations to identify the major hazards associated with such operations and
define the performance required of the safety critical elements.

The Technical Authorities should define technical standard at regional level and
ensure they remain fit for purpose.
Technical Authorities should provide guidance, mentoring and training across
installations where required
The Technical Authorities should approves key engineering drawing to ensure
design integrity

51

The Technical Authorities should carry out review and audit activities as
required ensuring the safety critical equipment meet the required performance
standards.

In order to ensure consistent and uniform implementation of the technical authority role
across operating companies, the industry should develop a central reference standard
defining the role of Technical Authorities. This will guide operating companies within
the UKCS.

52

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58

APPENDICES
APPENDIX A

COPY OF LETTER FROM STEP CHANGE IN SAFETY TO PARTICIPANT

Technical Authority Capability for Operators


Introduction
As part of the STEP CHANGE Asset Integrity Workgroup, the Technical Authority
Sub-Group have set an objective to define the key roles that need to be delivered by
Technical Authorities (TA) in operating companies and to develop a Generic TA
Model. Since a single organisational model across the industry is not practical, the
objective is that each operating company will map their respective organisations on to
the Generic TA Model to help identify potential gaps and so aid the development of a
more consistent approach across the offshore oil and gas production industry.
This questionnaire has been developed to determine the level and nature of TA
capability in individual operators, and to identify the ways in which individual
companies are assuring Asset Integrity through the TA model.
The identities of individual operators will be treated as confidential and will not be
disclosed in the results of the analysis. The information requested relates to operational
engineering and excludes engineering design that may be undertaken by specialist
engineering contractors, except where the engineering house is specifically contracted
by an operator or licensee to undertake that function on behalf of an operator.

Best Regards,
(Anonymous)

59

APPENDIX B

THE QUESTIONNAIRE
Section A: Organisation
RESPONDENTS

QUESTION 1
Number of Separate offshore facilities
operated in UK

Company A

Company B

Company C

Company D

12

Company E

Company F

Company G

Nil

QUESTION 2
Central TA Function covering assets?
Company A

Yes

Company B

Yes

Company C

Yes

Company D

Yes

Company E

Yes

Company F

Yes

Company G

Yes for engineering and construction, not


yet for operations (the Operations TAs are
part of the operational contract at present
but this is developing to a central resource)

60

QUESTION 3
Describe the organisation structure within
which the TA function sits, in particular
describe the reporting lines
Company A

The Discipline Engineering TAs are


shared across all facilities, and report
through a Regional Engineering Authority
to a Regional Vice President of Safety &
Operational Risk. This reporting line (TAEA-VP) is independent of the operations
organisation, all the way up to the main
board of the company.

Company B

The Technical Authorities are resident


within Facilities Engineering,
Maintenance, Reliability and Integrity,
Operations and Operational Excellence
Functions.

Company C

The TAs report into Discipline Section


Heads who again reports into the
Engineering & Maintenance Manager

Company D

We have a central Operations TA Function


covering all of the Assets stated above and
our International Assets. Instrument,
Mechanical and Electrical TAs report

Company E

The Tas in operations report to the


Engineering manager who reports to the
Operations Director and then the MD. The
TAs in Asset Integrity report to the AI
manager, who reports to the SHE&I
manager and then the MD.

Company F

The TAs sit outside the asset in an


engineering service organization reporting
61

to a service manager who has the same


seniority as the asset managers. Minor
project engineering and maintenance
delivery sit in the production services dept
providing a service to the assets. Major
projects have a separate organization.

Company G

Section B: Technical Authority


Standard/Framework
QUESTION 4
Do you have a job description of TAs?
Company A

Yes

Company B

Yes

Company C

Yes

Company D

Yes

Company E

Yes

Company F

Yes

Company G

Yes

QUESTION 5
If so, describe the role and accountabilities of a TA
Company A

A standard job description exists for all TAs, and


includes, within their Engineering discipline, an
accountability to drive safe, compliant and reliable
operations through:
1. Setting the engineering practice (i.e. to defining
the detail of the codes and standards that are to be
used),
2. Providing deep technical capability, in particular
around the interpretation of the engineering practice,

62

3. Providing an independent view on the health of


safety and operational risk, in particular holding
Agree rights over certain risk management
decisions, and
4. Intervening and escalating as required to cause
corrective action
Company B

A Technical Authority framework is in place which


describes the roles and responsibilities of the TAs,
minimum qualifications and the process for
nomination and approval. Roles and responsibilities
are;
1. Technical screening of Management of Change
requests.
2. Review and approval of Safety Case Risk
Assessments.
3. Approval of system/discipline specific operating
procedures.
4. Advise project staff in determining maintenance
and operating philosophies and standards taking a
whole of lifecycle approach.
5. Review and approve changes to Performance
Standards.
6. Maintain an overview of the safe & correct
operation of system(s).
7. Consult other Technical Authorities and SMEs as
required.
8. Work with the Verification Coordinator and ICB,
as required, to resolve verification scheme notes of
concern and reservation.
9. Work with project teams to ensure that the project
delivers equipment that meets the business units
expectations. Attends Design Reviews and Peer
Assists as required.

63

10. Adopt and apply industry best practice.


11. Challenge the status quo to ensure the impact of
boundary issues between disciplines or due to
changes in other disciplines are not overlooked.
12. Continuously seek to identify opportunities to
improve safety so far as is reasonably practicable
through improved processes, systems or equipment.
13. Provide incident investigation and technical
support to incident investigations.
14. Review and approve/reject requests for deferral
of safety critical maintenance.
15. Review the suitability of the SCEs for which he
is designated the Lead Technical Authority.
16. Maintain contact with Subject Matter Experts in
ETC and external organisations.
Company C

There is a generic job description for the Technical


Authorities (attached)
Also there is an informal this is what a TA do (also
attached)

Company D

A section of the Electrical TA Job Description is


shown below:
1. Act as Principle Electrical Engineer in support of
the wider asset base
2. Responsibility for assuring changes or
modifications safeguard the integrity of the operated
asset and ensure risks continue to be controlled to
the principles of ALARP prior to commencement of
operations.
3. Has responsibility for assuring the initial
suitability of any changes or modification
undertaken through the Engineering Change Control
and Verification process.
4. Review the suitability of 2nd deferral Safety

64

Critical PM, CM & PMAs beyond their original


scheduled due date.
5. Review impaired SCE ORAs beyond their
original scheduled due date.
6. Review Remedial Action Recommendation
(RARs) beyond their original scheduled due date.
7. Has responsibility to provide annual SCE fitness
for purpose assurance statements.
8. Is responsible for reviewing and keeping up to
date discipline related integrity assurance processes
and procedures.
9. Assesses and determines the technical
competence of Responsible Persons.
10. Be capable of applying sound independent
judgment in support of a resolution to complex and
non-routine problems
11. Provide influence and direction towards
discipline based decisions that affect company
policies and procedures and or significant capital
commitments related to upgrades or new projects
12. Fully competent in respective discipline and be
current in respect of advanced
techniques/procedures and industry legislative
requirements
13. Manage the strategic maintenance to ensure the
availability/reliability of electrical systems to meet
all safety, business/compliance targets/requirements.
14. Be the custodian for the Operations Electrical
maintenance strategies and ensure they are reviewed
and updated to reflect current practice.
15. Trend electrical system availability and review
operational strategies accordingly to maximize
electrical system availability and reliability.

65

16. Ensure compliance with regulatory, corporate


and business best practices.
17. Ensure appropriate contract management to
ensure alignment with Operations
business/compliance objectives
Company E

Key responsibilities include owner of allocated SCE


Performance Standards, approval of key
engineering drawings, involvement in modification
process, attendance at RCAs associated with failures
of plant in service, etc,

Company F

There are different levels of TA and responsibilities


depend on the level.
1. TA0 is appointed by the Managing Director
of the company and is responsible for
implementation and assurance of the
discipline controls framework. They appoint
TA1s in conjunction with global discipline
heads.
2. TA1s are responsible for setting the
discipline standards at local level and
appoint TA2s. They may approve deviations
from their standard.
3. TA2s have the competence to approve work
with a significant multi-disciplinary content
and modifications.

Company G

4.

Establish and
maintain consistent and legally compliant
performance standards and provide technical
leadership for the execution of GENERIC
DISCIPLINE operations in the region

5.

Establish and
maintain consistent and legally compliant
66

performance standards and provide technical


leadership for the recruitment and
development of GENERIC DISCIPLINE
operatives in the region
6.

To advise
HR, Functions and projects on the
recruitment, selection, training and
competency assurance of GENERIC
DISCIPLINE operatives.

7.

Ensuring
compliance with all statutory, client and
company requirements, assessing and
approving any deviations from these
requirements

8.

Promoting the
highest standards of safety and
environmental performance at all times

9.

Providing
expertise to management and to individual
projects as and when required

10.

To support
contracts in the planning, risk assessment
and execution of critical GENERIC
DISCIPLINE operations.

11.

Protecting the
reputation and interests of the clients and
company at all times

12.

To execute
scope content and frequency of any technical
audits of GENERIC DISCIPLINE
operations in the region and advise the
regional leadership team of corrective or
preventative actions arising there from.

67

13. To review and endorse all proposed


significant changes to or deviations from
approved performance standards, technical
guidance notes and standard operating
procedures relating to GENERIC DISCIPLINE
operations

QUESTION 6
List which TA Disciplines are included in
your operation, include both in-house and
3rd party TA services you contracted in.
15 staff TAs support UKCS offshore, plus

Company A

in around half of the cases, they also


support other hydrocarbon operations in the
Region (including Norway and
Onshore/Midstream):
1. Process Engineering
2. Process Safety
3. Mechanical Engineering
4. Instrument & Control
5. Electrical
6. Structural
7. Pipelines
8. Materials & Corrosion
9. Welding
10. Rotating Equipment
11. Production Chemistry
12. Flow Assurance
13. Floating Systems
14. Inspection
15. Subsea Hardware (currently vacant)
Company B

1. Communications

68

2. Control & Instrumentation


3. Diving
4. Electrical
5. Helideck
6. HVAC
7. Lifting Equipment
8. Marine Systems
9. Materials
10. Pipelines & Risers
11. Piping
12. Pressure Vessels (External)
13. Process Engineering - All assets*
14. Process Engineering - Captain
15. Process Engineering - Alba/Erskine
16. Rotating Equipment
17. Structural (External)
18. Subsea Control Systems
19. Subsea Wells
20. Technical Safety
21. Well Integrity & Control
Company C

All TAs are staff employees and sits inhouse


There is only one TA per discipline
In-house:

Company D
1. Electrical
2. Mechanical

3. Instruments & Controls


4. Technical Safety
5. Subsea
6. Integrity
7. Pipelines, Structural
8. Rotating Equipment
69

9. Metering
10. 3rd Party
11. Lifting
12. Telecoms
13. HVAC
We currently have 17 TAs defined in our

Company E

organisation, all of which are in house.


1. Process Engineering

Company F

2. Structures
3. Static equipment
4. Rotating equipment
5. Inspection and materials
6. Electrical
7. Instrumentation and control
8. Pipelines
9. Operations
10. Maintenance
11. Non facilities- subsurface e.g.
Wells, logistics etc.
There are a total of 29 disciplines with
TAs.
Company G

All in-house, we have three types of


technical authority: We have design
focussed TA, Commission construction
focussed TAs and Operational TAs.
1. Electrical Design, Electrical
Operations
2. Mechanical Design, Mechanical
Operations
3. Structural Design, Structural
Operations
4. Lifting and Rigging in Construction
70

(covers ops and design also)


5. Production Operations (supports
design also)
6. Piping Design, Piping Operations
(close contact with Integrity and
corrosion)
7. Process Design, Process operations
8. Instrument Design, Instrument
Operations
9. Metering Design, Metering
Operations
10. Welding Construction
11. Technical Safety Design, Technical
Safety Operations
Metals, Metallurgy, Corrosion in Design
and Operations

QUESTION 7
What is the basis upon which you select
TA's?
Company A

TAs are required to be recognised


company experts in the relevant
engineering specialty and should be
degree-level engineers, professionally
accredited to an international standard.
There is a formal competency assessment
protocol for each engineering discipline
that they need to complete before they are
accepted into the role.

Company B

TAs are primarily selected on the basis of


being the most senior person within their

71

discipline within the organisation. In


exceptional cases where a suitable
individual is not available then a TA is
sourced from within the Engineering
Services contractor.
All TAs must hold an industry recognised
academic engineering qualification and
should preferably be chartered. A
nomination and approval process verifies
the qualifications and allows senior
management to review the suitability of
the TA.
Company C

Must be a lead engineer or above (detailed


selection criteria is specified) plus
corporate approval of candidates

Company D

TAs are selected through a clear process


defined in our: OPERATIONS
TECHNICAL AUTHORITIES &
RESPONSIBLE PERSONS STRATEGY.
The selection is based on years of
experience in specific discipline,
qualifications and status i.e. Chartered
Eng.

Company E

TAs are generally Chartered Engineers


who have been selected as TAs on the
basis of knowledge and experience.

Company F

Technical qualifications and experience

Company G

The appointment process is being changed


in 2013 and will include a formal technical
assessment and structured interview by

72

more senior TAs.

Section C: Role definition and


organisational approach
QUESTION 8
Who defines and controls updates to the
technical content of individual
performance standards for the Safety
Critical Equipment?
Company A

The Document Custodian of the


Performance Standards for Safety-Critical
Equipment on each facility is the relevant
TA, who controls the detailed technical
content. The Issuing Authority is the
Duty-holder.

Company B

Each Performance Standard is mapped to a


primary Technical Authority who has
responsibility ensuring its suitability and
for approving any updates.

Company C

The so-called SCE Owner which for 95%


of the SCEs is a dedicated TA

Company D

Our Operations Technical Authorities are


responsible for the control and update of
performance standards for their specific
disciplines

Company E

Technical Authorities are allocated


specific Performance Standards and as
such they are accountable for the content
73

and approval of them.


Company F

TA2 does the work, TA1 approves.

Company G

The TA under whom the SCE falls. If the


SCE is a mechanical device then it falls
under the Mechanical TA

74

QUESTION 9
State the number of persons in each of the
TA disciplines
The latest data I have for the size of the

Company A

Discipline Engineering Community for


UKCS Offshore activity, by TA discipline,
is as follows:
1. Process Engineering (97)
2. Process Safety (10)
3. Mechanical Engineering (83)
4.

Instrument

&

Control,

including

Measurement (71)
5. Electrical (28)
6. Structural (13)
7. Pipelines (14)
8. Materials & Corrosion (14)
9. Welding (1)
10. Rotating Equipment (11)
11. Production Chemistry (4)
12. Flow Assurance (1)
13. Floating Systems (1)
14. Inspection (3)
15. Subsea Hardware (32)
Company B

In general there is a single TA in each


discipline. The exception to this is Process
Engineering which has asset level TAs and
a cross-asset Lead TA. We are currently
reviewing options for providing continuity
of TA support when the primary TA is
unavailable.

75

Company C

We dont have TA disciplines but


engineering sections. The Head of Section
is not the TA
There are following TAs
1. Mechanical (static)
Mechanical & Piping Section
2. Mechanical (rotating)
Mechanical & Piping Section
3. Instrument & Control
E&I Section
4. Electrical
E&I Section
5. Process
& Chemistry Section
6. Structural
Marine & Structures Section
7. Marine / Naval Architecture
Marine & Structures Section
8. Welding & Metallurgy
Marine & Structures Section
9. Technical Safety
Technical Assurance Section
10. Subsea
Subsea Section

Company D

We have 1 individual covering each of the


Operations Technical Authority
Disciplines

Company E

There is one TA per discipline who has


remit for the entire operated assets

Company F

Varies according to discipline from about


30 (process engineering) to 6 for the

76

smaller disciplines. Not all people in a TA


discipline are TAs.
Company G

We have several TA disciplines but each


only has one person. They often cover
more than their own group, i.e. the
engineering design TA may also cover the
operational role and vice versa.

QUESTION 10
For each TA discipline area describe who
is accountable for ensuring that equipment
meets the KPI.
Company A

Across all TA discipline areas, the


Operations organisation is accountable for
ensuring that equipment meets the required
KPI. The TA independently assures that
this activity is being carried out correctly,
and provides technical expertise to
contribute to a successful outcome.

Company B

The maintenance of equipment and the


completion of Performance Assurance
activities are managed via the CMMS
(SAP) or, integrity management database
(for piping/pressure vessels). The TA is
engaged in the review of any deferral of
maintenance of Safety Critical Equipment
and the assessment of any failure of the
equipment to meet its Performance
Standard.

Company C

System Owner for Equipment Systems,

77

SCE Owner for Safety-Critical Elements


both
Company D

The Asset Discipline Team is responsible


for ensuring equipment meets the required
KPI. The Operations TAs are responsible
for verifying

Company E

Within Company E we have specific


allocated "Guardians" for each SCE and
they are accountable for ensuring that
equipment meets the performance standard

Company F

Asset Maintenance Delivery

Company G

Not clear. I havent come across a defined


assurance loop but I believe it is CMMS
driven and managed by the associated
functional manager (Operations,
maintenance etc.)

QUESTION 11
For each TA discipline how many people
fill this role in your company?
Company A

For UKCS offshore there is one individual


allocated to each TA discipline area.

Company B

See previous

Company C

We have one and only one TA per


discipline

Company D

It depends on the size of the Asset

78

Company E

Nil

Company F

There is 1 TA1 and the number of TA2s is


typically 2 to 3/discipline

Company G

One (but the disciplines are defined as


operations, design or construction) so there
could be three for electrical for example,
but each has a specific remit and focus

QUESTION 12
In relation to modifications, at the highest
level who/what function reviews the
technical content of the Statement of
Requirements (SOR) for a discipline
perspective?
Company A

The technical content of the SOR for


modifications is owned by the Operations
organisation, who have the technical
capability to verify that it is correct. The
role of the TAs is to assure that this is
effective, and for risks above a certain
level (of severity and likelihood) they have
a formal role as reviewer. A higher
threshold exists at which the Engineering
Authority is required to be included as a
reviewer.

Company B

The Management of Change Process


requires the first approver (generally the
Facilities Engineering Manager or
Offshore Team Lead) to identify the
Technical Authorities who must review the

79

change before it can be implemented. This


is normally done in conjunction with the
Change Owner and the review is usually
completed on the basis of the Statement of
Requirements for detailed design.
The pre-start up safety review ensures that
all actions specified by the TA have been
completed prior to bringing the equipment
into service.
Company C

Nil

Company D

Nil

Company E

The documents are reviewed by many


functions, however, the Tas are involved in
review on a discipline basis, respecting the
scope of the proposed modification.

Company F

Not familiar with the terminology but


generally the TA2 approves the scope of
modifications and the TA1 if there is a
deviation from corporate engineering
standards.

Company G

Design TA reviews but the Operational TA


has involvement with the HAZOP

QUESTION 13
On a discipline basis how many people fill

80

this job role in your company?


Company A

No data. The bulk of the engineering


activity for modifications is carried out on
our behalf by an Engineering Contractor.

Company B

Nil

Company C

Nil

Company D

Nil

Company E

One per discipline where a TA has been


identified.

Company F

Nil

Company G

QUESTION 14
Who defines your company engineering
technical standards?
Company A

The TAs define which technical practices


are to be used at a Regional level, plus any
local variations, but the technical content
is owned by a globally centralised team
outside of the North Sea Region.

Company B

Engineering Standards are generated by


Subject Matter Experts who generally
work in the corporations Engineering
Technical Centre. The relevant TAs are
given the opportunity to provide input to
these standards when they are revised.
Where necessary, local addenda are put in
place to reflect the requirements for design
81

and operation of the equipment within the


UK/EU. Local addenda are endorsed by
the Technical Authority and/or corporate
Subject Matter Expert and Approved by
the Facilities Engineering Manager
Company C

Combination of various inputs, but overall


a line responsibility

Company D

N/A

Company E

This is done by a mixture of local


standards which will involve the TA and
Group Rules which are defined by the
discipline head in HQ, which may also
involve the TA in the UK depending on
experience and knowledge in the area in
question.

Company F

Standards are set by central engineering


organization.

Company G

The appropriate discipline TA

QUESTION 15
On a discipline basis how many people fill
this job role in your company?
Company A

At a UKCS Offshore level, the same


number as there are TAs (15)

Company B

Nil

Company C

Nil

Company D

Nil

82

Company E

17

Company F

One per discipline

Company G

One per discipline

QUESTION 16
Do you have a process for approving
exceptions to your company technical
standards?
Company A

Yes. This process is formalised at three


levels, the lowest of which is at the level
of the North Sea Region.

Company B

It is a corporate requirement that any


waivers or exceptions are endorsed and
approved by appropriate personnel.
Chevron Upstream Europe is currently
implementing a process in which the
Technical Authorities and/or Corporate
SMEs endorse any waivers or exceptions
to the standards. Waivers and Exceptions
will then be approved by senior
management

Company C

Yes and only TAs can approve waivers


from technical standards

Company D

Nil

Company E

Nil

Company F

Yes- by TA1

Company G

We have a technical deviation process

83

QUESTION 17

Do you have a competency scheme for


your engineering staff and if so is it based
on the principles of CPD?
Company A

Yes

Company B

Company B sets and verifies


minimum qualification requirements for it
engineering staff. New graduates undergo
a formal four year training program.
Career development for engineering
disciplines is managed through technical
career ladders which set expectations of
competency for each engineering grade
and demonstration of these competencies
is required prior to approving promotions.

Company C

No but aim to develop

Company D

Nil

Company E

We have a competency scheme for all our


staff.

Company F

Internal training courses


Accredited graduate schemes with
institutions such as IChemE and IMechE

Company G

Yes

QUESTION 18
If not, what is it based on and is it

84

accredited and to whom?


Company A

The competency development scheme for


engineering staff early in their career is
formally defined and accredited by each of
the Engineering Institutions (IET, IMechE,
IChemE etc) out to the milestone of
Chartered Status. The development
programme is being extended to cover the
first 10-12 years after graduation.
Thereafter competency development is an
expectation, but for discipline engineers is
not supported by a formalised framework.
Competency assessment is a requirement
for TAs, along with other roles.

Company B

Nil

Company C

Nil

Company D

Nil

Company E

Nil

Company F

Nil

Company G

Nil

QUESTION 19
In relation to assurance to Safety Critical
Elements (SCEs), who approves
maintenance deferrals?
Company A

Approval of the first deferral of


maintenance for safety critical is delegated
from the TA to the relevant (named)

85

discipline engineer in the Operations


organisation. Second deferrals can only be
approved by the relevant TA, and any third
or subsequent deferrals by the EA.
Company B

Initial deferrals of SCE maintenance are


countersigned by the Technical Authority
and approved by the OIM.

Company C

Fundamentally we dont do maintenance


on SCEs, but on Equipment Systems. We
assurance test SCEs against performance
standards.
Deferral of maintenance or assurance
testing is approved by TA in their roles as
System Owner and/or SCE Owner

Company D

All maintenance deferrals for Safety


Critical Elements are approved by the
Operations Technical Authoritys

Company E

The TA will be involved in approval of


deferrals of PMs on SCEs.

Company F

TA2

Company G

Deferrals based on time and within an


acceptable band (controlled by CMMS)
are approved by the maintenance or
operations manager. Deviations from the
performance standard are assessed and
approved by the TA. This normally
involves the instigation of some form of
mitigation, which is executed through the
maintenance manager or operations team
(for changes to process such as dropping
86

vessel pressures etc.)

QUESTION 20
Does the deferral process involve
documenting a risk assessment of the
deferral?
Company A

Yes, this is formalised as part of the


deferral process.

Company B

All SCE maintenance deferrals are risk


assessed using the ISSOW tool.

Company C

Yes

Company D

Yes

Company E

Yes

Company F

Yes

Company G

Yes

QUESTION 21
Is there an escalation process for the
approval depending on time?
Company A

No. The approval of deferrals is based on


the risk exposure associated with the
timescale until it is anticipated that the
maintenance will be completed.
Escalation occurs only once this predicted
timescale is exceeded, whatever it has
been set at.

87

Company B

Yes
The default time is 90 days but this can be
reduced by the TA. A process is in place
to escalate subsequent deferrals to senior
management

Company C

Yes

Company D

Yes

Company E

No

Company F

If an item is deferred more than 3 times, it


must be approved by the discipline TA1.
Fourth time must be approved by TA0 and
Asset Manager.

Company G

Theres an escalation process for


subsequent deferrals and deviations and
one based on time.

QUESTION 22
If so is this done on a discipline basis, by
whom and how many of these job positions
do you have on a discipline basis?
Company A

N/A

Company B

The escalation process includes the


Maintenance Reliability and Integrity
Manager, Operations Manager, General
Manager Operations and ultimately
Managing Director. It is normal for these
individuals to discuss the deferral and
associated risk assessment with the
relevant technical authority and Installation
Manager at each stage.
88

Each installation holds a fortnightly video


conference between the Offshore
Leadership Team and Technical
Authorities/onshore operations to review
live risk assessments and execution plans
for deferrals and SCE non-conformances.
Company C

N/A

Company D

N/A

Company E

N/A

Company F

N/A

Company G

All of the operational TAs

APPENDIX C
FINDINGS FROM HSE OSD 2009

89

HSE Traffic Light Definition

90