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Process Plant and Pipeline Risk Analysis
Risk Analysis involves hazard identification, hazard evaluation, the development of potential risk reducing measures, and the communication of risk information to decision makers.
Risk analysis typically involves the following key steps:
In a complex project, the analysis cycle from HAZID through to recommendations is performed repeatedly, until it is demonstrated that all hazards have been identified and all associated risks reduced to a level which is as low as is reasonably practicable.
In design projects, it is preferable that risk analysis proceeds in conjunction with design activities. At the feasibility or concept selection stage, the risk analysis should be high-level. Risk analysis at this early stage can assist in the selection of the optimum design concept. In the later design phases, the risk analysis should be developed in line with design progression to provide ongoing feedback to the designers, so that every aspect can be optimized.
In construction, risk analysis can be used to quantify the risks associated with hazardous procedures and to develop recommendations.
Risk analysis techniques are applied not only to risks to people and the environment but also to business risks. Risk analysis is particularly helpful when there is a balance to be struck between conflicting objectives, i.e. when the right solution is not immediately obvious. As well as assisting the decision-making process, risk analysis can also help demonstrate to third parties that correct decisions have been made.
Risk Analysis Tools
EPCONSULT's risk analysis tools include a comprehensive suite of in-house models for calculating event frequencies and consequences for all hazards normally encountered in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. These hazards include material and construction defects, environmental loading effects (including earthquake, landslide and fault movement), third party interference, operating errors, fire and explosion etc. For hydrocarbon leaks, models are available for the calculation of release rates, dispersion, toxicity and fire and explosion characteristics. The effects of fire and explosion upon structures and the consequences for people can be analyzed. Evacuation processes and systems can also be modeled.
EPCONSULT's risk assessment models have been programmed in-house variously in Mathcad, Mathematica, Delphi and C++. Commercial software is also used when appropriate, for example, commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) programs are used for analysis of complex gas dispersion and explosion problems.
General purpose analytical approaches include:
Specialized Types of Risk Analysis
Hazard analysis plays a central role in the risk management process for oil and gas industry facilities such as pipelines, platforms, floating production facilities and terminals. While some hazards can be addressed simply, others require specialized investigations as outlined below.
Offshore Platforms and Floating Facilities
Since the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988, a wide range of specialized types of risk analysis has come into use for assessment of the different aspects of the hazards associated with fixed platforms and floaters. These studies include the following:
EPCONSULT has extensive experience in conducting all of the above-listed studies. Some of our personnel were involved in developing the methodologies for such studies in the years immediately after the Piper Alpha disaster.
Offshore Pipelines, Risers and Subsea Facilities
Risk analysis for offshore pipelines, risers and subsea facilities normally focuses on the operational phase and on the following aspects:
The analysis normally quantifies the likelihood of occurrence of various categories of damage and makes recommendations for the measures necessary to reduce the associated risks to as low as is reasonably practicable.
Risk analysis may also be applied to the construction, testing and commissioning phases to evaluate particularly complex or hazardous procedures and to develop recommendations for the appropriate risk reducing measures.
EPCONSULT has conducted many studies for offshore pipelines and subsea facilities, including large and deepwater projects, as well as those in highly seismic and unstable terrain.
EPCONSULT is experienced in risk analysis for onshore pipelines, which normally focuses on:
Refineries, Chemical Plants, Terminals and Onshore Oil/Gas Plants
EPCONSULT has strong experience in risk assessment for refineries, chemical plants, terminals and onshore oil/gas plants and well clusters.
For onshore facilities handling highly hazardous chemicals, special legislation may apply such as COMAH in the UK, the "Seveso II" Directive (96/82/EC) across the EC and 29 CFR 1910.119 in the USA. These regulations came into place following the disasters at Flixborough and Seveso. They impose requirements for effective process safety management systems, risk assessments, and internal and external emergency plans. EPCONSULT can help clients to develop the safety systems and emergency plans for regulatory compliance as well as by conducting the required Quantitative Risk Assessments (QRA's).
The QRA activities for onshore facilities typically include:
EPCONSULT has been actively involved in LNG projects. The work has included code compliance checking, consequence modeling and risk assessment. The code compliance checking closely examines the design of the LNG facilities against applicable codes, which may include:
NFPA, API, EN and other codes require or recommend the use of consequence modeling to verify the safety of LNG and LPG facilities siting, building locations, and location and height of the flare. Consequence modeling may also be needed to investigate the consequences of a potential incident to achieve optimal design/layout of the facility.
EPCONSULT has a full suite of in-house software to perform consequence modeling:
Risk assessment involves the review of each process and system in the facility to identify all potential hazardous events, assess the likelihood and consequences of these hazardous events, and determine appropriate risk reduction measures.
Please contact us to request further details of our risk analysis services
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