OEEC explores asset integrity at one of technical sessions

This year’s Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) held in Amsterdam RAI on Tuesday organized a technical session named Asset Integrity.

The session, organized in cooperation with NOGEPA, looked at the implementation of new industry standards, including Standard 48 on Independent Verification Management and Standard 49 on Safety and Environmental Critical Elements (SECE) Verification. SECEs are a part of installation with the purpose to prevent or limit consequences of major accidents.

The EU Offshore Safety Directive has been incorporated in national legislations in EU member states. To ensure asset integrity, The Netherlands has established Industry Standard No. 90. The combined facts of ageing infrastructure on one hand and a focus on cost savings on the other make adequate and cost efficient asset integrity management a key concern.

Session moderator was Ben Oudman, Director and Country Manager of DNV GL Oil & Gas Netherlands since 1st of January 2015. Next to heading DNV GL Gas Consulting & Services, Ben is tasked to establish DNV GL as the leading provider of assurance and advisory services to the upstream industry in the Netherlands.

The speaker line-up included: Anton van Gulik, Senior Inspector, State Supervision of Mines, Aad Kabel, Asset Integrity Consultant, NOGEPA, Hans Karsch, Department Head Technical Integrity Department, Total E&P, Pieter Verhoeven, Senior Consultant, DNV-GL and Henk van Nieuwpoort, Sr. Maintenance and Integrity Engineer, NAM


The session subtopics were:

·      Asset lntegrity = Safety

·      NOGEPA Industry Standards Independent Verification

·      Technical Integrity

·      Video stream/recording


Oudman opened the session with a comparison to the year 2015 when he was also a speaker at the OEEC 2015, describing the situation back than and giving the stage to the first speaker by saying: “Compared to the year 2015 when it all began, it is interesting to see where are we now and today’s session will give us that view, we will start with State Supervision of Mines Anton van Gulik, Senior Inspector.”

Anton van Gulik underlined the importance of verification and mentioned some of the major accidents, including the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. In his introductions he said: “I would like to discuss a few subjects, we are going to look at the past, I will talk a little bit about major accidents, it is not real technical discussion but more, well, see for your self.”

After giving some video examples he added: “From the newspaper article, I discovered that workers have fear for their safety, that was in 1991. Companies were doing their very best but it still wasn’t good enough. They suffered from fatalities in the early 90s. What a major hazard really is has been defined in offshore safety directive.”

At the end of his presentation he concluded: “Verification is an additional pair of eyes, it is an assessment and confirmation, meaning that it’s not just confirmation on paper but the verifier has to go to the field to verify things. To see if the SECEs are specified, fit for the purpose, well maintained, such that they do what they suppose to do. And of course, there’s the state’s supervision of mines, which looks after for all processes.”

Aad Kabel from NOGEPA opened his presentation by explaining what NOGEPA really is and does by saying: “NOGEPA is founded in 1974 and represents Dutch licensed companies for Oil & Gas Exploration & Production on and offshore at Dutch Continental Shelf. NOGEPA Industry Standards are drafted by Work groups manned by Nogepa members’ experts. The Standards are reviewed and approved by the Operations, Legal and HSE committee. The Executive committee-members endorse the Standards by signing off, for a commitment by Operators.”

Nogepa Standards provide guidance and clarity on a range of topics for O&G operations onshore as offshore. The Asset Integrity family provides guidance and an approach to develop and implement a thorough Asset Integrity Management scheme compliant with legal requirements.

He wrapped up his presentation by saying: “The goal of NOGEPA is to improve economic sustainability and to represent O&G sector in the joint interest, with respect to safety, safety culture also that is included in it. Another thing which is important is that we align together, so at the end, we’ll have a draft for the standard, on which state supervision of mines says we can all agree on.”

Then Hans Karsch from Total E&P took the stage and talked about unifying the documents to the extent of generic content and adding specific details for the specific cases by saying: “Problem with safety documents is that we are constantly repeating the same thing same subjects. We need to split all the generic subjects in the generically organized hazards and per platform, we add specific platform detail. We tried it and the result of this is that instead of the document of 400 pages we got a document of generic details 45 pages with all the reference which are required.”

Pieter Verhoeven, Senior Consultant, DNV-GL and Henk van Nieuwpoort, Sr. Maintenance and Integrity Engineer, NAM wrapped up the session with examples of verification by using video streaming and recording technology.

Verhoeven said: “If you look at both streaming and recording you will see that post-production is better since you don’t have to go there, you need to just bring in technology. If you look at our perspective, we pursue streaming technology and it helps DNV GL to be involved in verification in distant places. I guess that the connectivity is still the challenge when it comes to offshore platforms, where recording is a better option.”

Important advantages of remote witnessing are significant cost reductions, reducing safety risks, reduction of helicopter movements and offshore presence, only client staff is needed on location, no client staff needed to guide DNV GL staff offshore, flexibility in IVB tasks, also during maintenance shutdowns, direct access to DNV GL’s global pool of IVB surveyors and expertise.