Process Safety Management Process in Oiland Gas Industry

Topics: Safety, Chemical engineering, Risk management Pages: 8 (2667 words) Published: October 24, 2012

Process Safety Management in oil and gas operations involves a risk management system that focuses on identifying and controlling the hazards arising from oil and gas Processes.Process safety management in oil and gas operations has proven quite a big challenge for oil and gas operators and stake holders involved in the industry. Oil gas and operations involves a complex process that is characterised with hazardous substances, if not controlled and managed properly could lead to major accidents. Since the inception of oil and gas industry, it has recorded series of process related incidents which have led to the development of various process management principles and system aimed at controlling the risks involved in oil and gas operations. However, lessons learnt from the series of incidents are continually shaping the direction and focus of process safety management in oil and gas operations over the years. Despite the various process safety management principles and system in place, process related accidents are still occurring in oil and gas operations. There is a need to make some connections with the past, identify the weak links of the present and develop better solution for the challenges ahead. This paper critically reviews the past, present and future directions of process safety management (PSM) in oil and gas operations.

2.0 Concept of Process Safety Management

The basic concept of process safety management is effectively managing people, technology and equipment that make up the process ensuring that the hazards involved in the process is contained. This involves a system that identifies and understands hazards involved in the process; establish necessary controls, designs and training necessary to mitigate or eliminate the hazards involved and ensure that the process is continually improved upon to achieve its purpose in a safe manner. A good process safety management emphasizes effective management system, effective risk control measures and safe operations of critical equipment and plant (FOWLER 2009). 3.0 An effective Process safety Management Framework

Process design selecting technology, process
and location Hazard identification, Hazop, risk assessment and inherent safe design

Detailed Design Risk Reduction Measures

* prevention
* Control
* Mitigation Layers of protection a. Passive
Residual risk b. Active c. Administrative

Operation management of process safety


The concept of process safety management was not properly understood and formalised in the oil and gas operational process in the 1970’s and 80’s. The basic philosophy guiding the safety management in this period was focused more towards protection of assets and the safety of employees. In the early 20th century, safe process design and installations was the basic idea of managing oil and operation safely. Process safety management program such as Hazard operability studies (Hazop) & related methods such as ‘‘what if’’ was developed during this period but was limited to identifying potential hazardous situation and safe process design ; which was not enough to effectively manage the process of oil and gas operations. The 1970’s and 80’s witnessed severe cases of process related incidents. Among the several incidents that occurred, the...
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