PSA risk management memo

PSA has started preparation of a memo about implementation of risk management in the petroleum activities. We support this initiative. Risk management has often been reduced to a ritual, which implies that studies are being carried out as before, but often with very little real impact on the decision-making. The decisions are made largely on the basis of economy and lately, cost reduction initiatives.

An area which often receives too little emphasis, is the need for robustness in choice of concepts and capabilities. (see also article about concept selection.) If the weight margins are small at the end of the FEED phase, then you know that the concept when installed will virtually be without capabilities to allow future extra equipment or tie-in of future reserves. This may lead to unnecessary extra investments in the future.

Another aspect which has been downplayed in the FEED phase for many years, is the need to look critically at how major accident risk may be further reduced through layout improvements and passive protection.

One aspect where we are in some doubt about the approach, is the wish to integrate risk management into enterprise management. This could be acceptable, if there are strong requirements to documentation of how risk management, within enterprise management, is implemented in the development process, with respect to the evaluation process, the premises and results. But the tradition is that Norwegian legislation is quite weak when it comes to requirements to documentation of the adherence to legislation. If this is not improved, then integrating risk management into enterprise management does not appear to be very fruitful, and is probably not leading to increased attention to risk management in practice.

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