More must be done to reduce major accidents: study

Frameworks for regulation vary considerably worldwide, and may evolve in different directions, requiring oil and gas companies to align their global operating standards towards unique local regulations. They also need clear oversight where requirements are less developed. DNV GL’s study‘ Regulatory Outlook: The way forward for offshore regulatory safety regimes’, outlines what DNV GL believes an effective offshore safety regime should look like, including greater sharing of lessons learned between regulators and operators, larger fines for major accident hazards (MAHs) and more harmonisation of HSE regimes.

“Occupational safety has improved greatly in recent years,” said Graham Bennett, Business Development Manager for UK and Sub Saharan Africa, DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “However, major accidents and near misses still happen, and new ways to reduce major accident hazards need to be identified”.

“We cannot say with certainty how national or regional regimes will develop, but we have been able to present a range of possible future developments and our views on what an effective offshore safety regime should look like,” Bennett added.

The study includes high level case studies for the offshore regulatory frameworks in Mexico, Brazil, the EU, Angola and Australia. It also covers the Arctic from an international regulatory perspective, as well as nationally for Alaska (USA), Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia.

“DNV GL’s contribution as a risk management expert is to assist the industry, which is facing increasingly complex and demanding environments, to understand the risks of major accidents. We would like to see learning from both incidents and major accidents implemented in regulation as well as in business practise,” said Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO, DNV GL -Oil & Gas.

It is now five years since the Macondo incident, and the findings of more than 20 major inquiries following it have now been summarised in a new DNV GL report4.

DNV GL’s study discusses possible scenarios for regulatory developments in different jurisdictions. DNV GL mapped these scenarios to its safety model to identify key factors that could help reduce MAHs in each region.

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