Oceans of knowledge

Safety Discussed

Hydrocarbon Releases
Bluewater always advocates safe operation. However, there are so many factors that influence safety and so many aspects of safety that require attention that we prioritise the topics and focus our attention on them one by one.

An example of a topic that we focused on in the recent past is hydrocarbon releases. We identified room for improvement and decided to prioritise this issue (see figure 1.)

To improve our performance, we initiated a fleet-wide Hydrocarbon Reduction Project with the aim of reducing the number of releases per installation by 50% by 2012. The plan included a range of measures, including the following:

– Review of our procedures against industry best practice;
– Promotion of HCR awareness in the entire organisation and by senior management, and a visit to GL Noble test facilities at Spadeadam;
– Intensification of our “Corrosion under Insulation” inspection campaign.

The first project measure was to mobilise Bluewater staff to create awareness of the HCR problem, to highlight the consequences of hydrocarbon releases to staff and environmental safety and to introduce the way forward. Visits by offshore and onshore staff to the GL Noble test site at Spadeadam were scheduled to actually make them feel and see that even small releases of hydrocarbons have a major impact and threaten the lives of crew on board of our FPSOs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtweHXir_-o). We checked our procedures against industry best practices and improved them where necessary.

By improving the HCR incidents reporting method, we were able to identify root causes and initiate improvements. In line with our no blame philosophy, crew members were encouraged to report incidents.

These efforts resulted in a dramatic drop in hydrocarbon releases, as can be seen in figure 2 and figure 3.

Even though we have already exceeded our goal, we will continue to pursue our zero-release ambition, further contributing to a safe working environment.

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