Safety and Environmental Focus
Focus on Safe Exploratory Drilling
The industry and Government response to the 2010 incident in the Gulf of Mexico, in order to assure safe exploratory drilling, has focused on three main areas shown in the diagram below; regulations, equipment and spill response. Regulated operations with appropriate standards to prevent an incident, equipment and procedures to manage and, in the unlikely event of a loss of containment, a vigorous response to contain exposure.
Whilst all data collected to date in The Bahamas shows unambiguously that, compared to the Gulf of Mexico, there is different geology, reservoir pressures and shallower water depths it is most important the industry shares and then applies the learnings from such tragic occurrences. Bahamas Petroleum Company, in its forward work programmes, is looking to integrate these revised best practices with the safe drilling of the previous wells in The Bahamas. Thus over and above existing current regulatory requirements the Company will be examining the extent to which upgraded or new equipment and additional spill preparedness or indeed higher standards may help mitigate any future risk and thus incident. In addition, the Government of The Bahamas has committed to modernised and strengthened regulations to ensure risks to the environment and safe operations do not become manifest.
Focused approach to ensuring safe explortory drilling across offshore oil drilling operations.
The ‘Safety Case’ for an operation or installation is defined as a structured argument, supported by a body of evidence that provides a compelling, comprehensible and valid case that a system is safe for a given application in a given operating environment.
The two elements – argument and evidence – are mutually supporting. The evidence is needed to justify that the argument holds true. The argument is needed to show that the evidence is sufficient and relevant. A key part of the Safety Case will be to demonstrate that all credible risks have been identified and suitable methods have been identified to ensure these risks can be effecitvely managed.
Such an evidence-based, ‘performance’ oriented approach can be contrasted with a prescriptive approach which requires safety to be justified using a prescribed process. Such an approach has not typically, explicitly, required evidence of safe practices and instead relies on the premise that following the prescribed process will ensure safety.
Integrated into an overall safety management system or plan such a methodology is widely regarded as industry best practice.