The oil and gas regulator in Norway, the PSA, has made barrier maintenance a priority for 2014. The PSA states, “Failure or weakening of barriers is a frequent cause of undesirable incidents in the petroleum sector.” The regulator finds that operators’ variability in the implementation of regulatory requirements is linked to differing levels of maturity in the process of improving the robustness of barriers. Contributing to this is the factor of aging installations and some difficulty in grasping the original plant design base – impacting the efficiency of barrier management.

The industry is expected to:

  • Clearly understand, right through to the top of the organization, the relationship between risk assessment and barrier management.
  • Develop robust and specific barrier strategies and performance requirements.
  • Ensure risk assessments take account of operational, organizational and technical barrier elements.
  • Section 5 of the PSA’s Management Regulations requires barriers to be independent. Further, it states, “The operator… or the party responsible… shall stipulate the strategies and principles that form the basis for design, use, and maintenance of barriers, so that the barriers’ function is safeguarded throughout the offshore or onshore facility’s life.”

PSA’s guidelines go further:

  • Performance, as mentioned in the fourth subsection, can include capacity, reliability, accessibility, efficiency, ability to withstand loads, integrity, and robustness;
  • Personnel shall be aware of which barriers are not functioning or have been impaired;
  • The responsible party shall implement the necessary measures to remedy or compensate for missing or impaired barriers.

CGE Risk Management Solutions’ BowTieXP software product is the leading qualitative risk analysis tool, with a high take-up in oil and gas as well as other industries. In 2014, with further improvements in BowTieXP’s version 6.2, users can meet the challenge from PSA in the following ways:

  1. Bowties are primarily barrier based analysis diagrams, with strong involvement and input from workshop participants. Unlike many traditional hazard registers, risk assessment teams using bowties are visually informed by the one-to-one links between Threats (or Consequences) and the specific barriers that prevent or mitigate the events.
  2. As the focus of efforts to manage risks, barrier analysis requires some level of detail. BowTieXP and its modules have an infinite capacity to store optional detail on barriers. With the ability to selectively display all, none or any level of detail in between, BowTieXP assists the risk professional to comprehend the efficacy and performance expectations of each SCE via a range of attributes – some of which are listed here and shown in the diagram below:
    • Type
    • Independent protection layer, or system
    • Criticality
    • Responsibility for the barrier and supporting activities from the Management System
    • Effectiveness (can be a product of defined factors such as reliability, availability, etc.)
    • Strengths and weaknesses (how the barrier might be compromised)
    • Supporting systems (escalation factor barriers and activities, documents, etc.)
    • Historical and current reliability (especially via the Audits and Incidents recorded on each barrier)
    • Customizable user-fieldsThe diagram below shows some of the detail that can – if so desired – be recorded and displayed.
  3. We all know barriers can fail, but the analysis and recording of this reality is rarely done. BowTieXP’s escalation factors (as shown in the diagram as the yellow element) and compensating barriers provide the risk analysts to prepare for foreseen weakness and impairment in barriers.
  4. Digesting barrier performance is enhanced by the two latest functions available in the software.
    • Allowing audit results and trends to be clearly displayed on the diagram or reported in detail in documents. A range of questions can be built in the AuditXP module, assigned to barriers. Custom surveys can be distributed and inputs recorded and displayed on each barrier.
    • With the BowTieXP integratable IncidentXP, a timeline or storyboard is generated and events recorded, borrowing elements from the BowTie diagrams where applicable. Being able to match incidents on your BowTie barriers provides a powerful tool to prove to your stakeholders and regulator that you are managing and monitoring barriers for improvement. Although four different incident methods can be used, the following shows BSCAT (as per DNV’s design) and Tripod Beta methods.

The Tripod Beta extract below has been drawn in BowTieXP, linking Consequences and Barriers, the performance of which can be included on the BowTie as above.

 

The software developers at CGE Risk Management Solutions have further major enhancements due for release this year. We are working to provide our clients with functions that approach the ultimate in end-to-end risk and barrier management.
Our global partner network contributes BowTie sales, training and consulting expertise in all major industries and sectors. Please contact us if you have queries or requirements for these to meet the needs of increasingly higher expectations from your internal and external stakeholders.

BowtieXP software – innovations, capacity for detail and user-friendly.

The software developers at CGE Risk Management Solutions will have further major enhancements due for release this year. We are working to provide our clients with functions that approach the ultimate regarding end-to-end risk and barrier management.

Our global partner network contributes with Bowtie sales, training and consulting expertise in all major industries and sectors. Please contact us if you have queries or requirements to meet the needs of increasingly higher expectations from your internal and external stakeholders.