Environmental Component of the Safety Case

Key Legislation: Directive 2013/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on safety of offshore oil and gas operations and amending Directive 2004/35/EC (Text with EEA relevance).The Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015 (Statutory Instrument No.398) (SCR 2015) replaces and revokes the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 2005.

The primary aim of SCR 2015 is to reduce the risks from major accident hazards to the health and safety of the workforce employed on offshore installations or in connected activities. The Regulations also aim to increase the protection of the marine environment and coastal economies against pollution and ensure improved response mechanisms in the event of such an incident. As part of the introduction of the SCR 2015 there is now a requirement to include environmental information that was not previously required.  This includes the requirement to provide information on the Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS), the Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (OPEP), the Corporate Major Accident Prevention Policy (CMAPP), general environmental information and the inclusion of Safety and Environmental Critical Elements (SECEs). Additionally, the potential for a Major Environmental Incident (MEI) from the installation and/or within the 500m safety zone must be considered and assessed as part of the Major Accident assessment, and a description of the results must be included within the Safety Case.

Supporting Legislation: The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (OPRC 2015) (Statutory Instrument No.386)
OPRC 2015 amends the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation Convention) Regulations 1998EU Commission Implementing Regulation No. 1112/2014 determining a common format for sharing of information on major hazard indicators by the operators and owners of offshore oil and gas installations and a common format for the publication of the information on major hazard indicators by the Member StatesReporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)

Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc) Regulations 1996Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995

  • Approved Code of Practice and Guidance available here.
Guidance: Guide to The Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc) Regulations 2015Guidance Notes for Preparing Oil Pollution Emergency Plans, For Offshore Oil & Gas Installations and Relevant Oil Handling Facilities, December 2016

Safety Case Topic Specialist Assessment Templates and Guidance

Lessons learnt from early transitional safety cases PDF.

 

Consent Needed: Safety Case:

All oil and gas operations in external waters, that is, the territorial sea adjacent to Great Britain and any designated area within the United Kingdom continental shelf (UKCS), require an approved Safety Case be in place. Different requirements apply to installations used for producing oil and gas compared to those used for other purposes, such as drilling, exploration or providing accommodation. The duty to submit safety cases and notifications is generally placed on a single duty holder in respect of each type of installation, namely the operator of a production installation and the owner of a non-production installationHow to Apply:For new production installations to be established offshore, operators must send a notification to the competent authority at the early design stage. The notification must be followed by submission of a safety case before the installation can be operated. If a production installation moving to a new location in external waters and already has an accepted safety case, the operator must submit a revision of the safety case to the competent authority for acceptance. A revision to the safety case must be submitted to and accepted by the competent authority before a fixed installation is dismantled. Where revisions to the safety case result in a material change, these must also be submitted to the competent authority for assessment and acceptance prior to the changes taking effect.

A notification under SCR 2015 is also required if a production installation is to be moved to a new location in external waters or if a non-production installation is to be converted to a production installation. The notification must be followed by submission of a safety case, for the competent authority’s acceptance, before the installation can be operated. If a production installation moving to a new location in external waters already has an accepted safety case, the operator must submit a revision of the safety case to the competent authority for acceptance. A revision to the safety case must be submitted to and accepted by the competent authority before a fixed installation is dismantled. Where revisions to the safety case result in a material change, these must also be submitted to the competent authority for assessment and acceptance prior to the changes taking effect.

For non-production installations, the owner must submit a safety case before moving the installation in external waters for the purpose of operating it there. If a non-production installation is to be converted to a production installation, the owner must send a design notification and the operator must submit a revision of the safety case.

Guidance on regulations available here.Who to Apply to:The Competent Authority - The Offshore Safety Directive Regulator (OSDR) is the Competent Authority (CA) responsible for implementing the requirements of the EU Directive on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations.When to Apply:The process for applying for a brand new Safety Case will involve an initial Design Notification (available here) to the OSDR CA at the Design Stage. An Initial Review template for Design Notification is available which details the requirements for Design Notifications.  A copy of the template should also be submitted to the OSDR CA along with the Design Notification itself.

If there is any drilling this should be covered under the rig Safety Case. If there is to be installation drilling, then the installation Safety Case must be approved prior to any work (3 months for submission-review, this may take longer depending on whether the CA have any Non-Acceptance Issues) and therefore any operational case needs to be submitted a minimum of 3 months before intention to operate.

 

 Safety and Environmental Critical Elements Safety and Critical Elements (SCEs) are now to be referred to as Safety and Environmental Critical Elements (SECEs). The required Performance Standards and Verification Scheme associated with SCR 2015 will require to refer to SECEs rather than SCEs.   The overall objective of the Verification Scheme is to establish a system of independent and competent scrutiny of SECEs throughout the life cycle of an installation and to obtain assurance that satisfactory standards will be achieved and maintained.  Guidance available here.
There are no specific sampling requirements. However, the regulations state that the following monitoring takes place:
Schedule 2 - Matters in accordance with which the corporate major accident prevention policy and safety and environmental management system must be prepared:The need to ensure there is a suitable framework for monitoring compliance with all relevant statutory provisions by incorporating statutory duties in respect of major hazards control and environmental protection into standard operating procedures.

Regulation 5 - Duties of Licensee:

However, the licensee must assure themselves that the operator that is nominated is carrying out the functions correctly in practice. What is reasonable for this purpose will depend on the level of capability and resources available to the appointee and their track record in operating installations.

These duties fall jointly on all the partners in any licence. Even if they are not all active in pursuing the goals of a licence, they will need to agree and put in place a management system to ensure these duties are discharged.

Regulation 7 – Corporate major accident prevention policy:

Arrangements should be put in place to ensure the effectiveness of the CMAPP is monitored by the management board on an ongoing basis.

The duty holder and well operator must set up a system for monitoring the CMAPP to ensure both the CMAPP and SEMS continue to remain effective and set the corporate values and goals.

Regulation 10 – Other provisions as to verification schemes

A verification scheme will develop and should be subject to continual monitoring, revision and review throughout the installation’s life cycle. The verification scheme must outline the principles for keeping the scheme under review, and the duty holder should ensure that the scheme is reviewed as often as may be appropriate. These arrangements could include the requirement for a review or a more fundamental revision, in line with safety case reviews and revisions.

Regulation 12 – Other provisions as to well examination schemes:

In line with the well operator’s responsibility for the effectiveness of the well examination scheme, the well operator must ensure the scheme is monitored, reviewed and revised as often as may be appropriate. Any development which could affect the pressure containment boundary must be incorporated into the examination process. Details of the examination scheme and sufficient records must be kept to form an auditable trail showing what work has been done, its findings, any recommendations made and any work carried out as a result.

 

 

What to Report: Operators and owners of offshore installations, and well operators, are required to report certain incidents to OSDR. There is a requirement to report incidents under a number of pieces of legislation including:
  • EU Commission Implementing Regulation No. 1112/2014 link to external website
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)
  • Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc) Regulations 1996

To minimise the burden on industry, a single reporting tool is being developed for the reporting of incidents. The ROGI form, once completed, shall be sent by email to: osdr.reporting@hse.gov.uk.

Additionally, there is the requirement to report any spills to sea as per the PON1 process and any dropped objects as per the PON2 process (and RIDDOR from a Safety perspective).

Who to Report toAny environmental concerns should be reported to the BEIS.Any health and safety concerns should be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.When to ReportAny Major Accident should be reported by telephone to the HSE and/or BEIS as soon as possible.PON1 and PON2 notifications must be submitted to BEIS and the appropriate stakeholders within 6 hours.Who to Report to:Any environmental concerns should be reported to the BEIS. Any health and safety concerns should be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

When to ReportAny Major Accident should be reported by telephone to the HSE and/or BEIS as soon as possible.PON1 and PON2 notifications must be submitted to BEIS and the appropriate stakeholders within 6 hours.When to Report:Any Major Accident should be reported by telephone to the HSE and/or BEIS as soon as possible.PON1 and PON2 notifications must be submitted to BEIS and the appropriate stakeholders within 6 hours.

 

 

It is an offence to operate an installation in external waters without a safety case that has been accepted by the competent authority.
Permit Duration The Safety Case is a ‘living’ document that will be available and accepted for the life of the relevant installation.
Renewal A thorough review of the current safety case must be completed at least every five years or as directed by the competent authority.
Emergency Variation N/A
Update, Variation or New Permit Revisions that make a material change to the safety case must be submitted to the competent authority for acceptance. A material change is likely to be one that changes the basis on which the original safety case was accepted. The CA may also request that an update is made to the safety case if it deems there has been a material change. A revision to the safety case must be submitted to and accepted by the competent authority before a fixed installation is dismantled. The competent authority also has general powers to inspect the conduct of such reviews and to look at current safety cases at any time, supplemented by powers under regulation 25 to look at a developing safety case and related documents.
The ROGI form is to be updated and sent to operators for comment before it is formally rolled out. The OSDR website has the most up to date information on the SCR 2015 and any associated requirements.