Exchange of information and analysis of past accidents is paramount to safe offshore operations© QR9iudjz0 (stock.xchng)
New JRC report reviews oil and gas offshore accidents
The report reviews current sources of information on accidents and their availability to operators, authorities and the public. It also analyses some landmark accidents and examines the lessons learned for the industry and the regulatory authorities, linking them to the phases of the risk management chain: prevention, mitigation, emergency preparedness, response and recovery. In addition, statistical information on the frequency and severity of accidents is included.
The conclusions highlight the lack of harmonised reporting on accidents across the EU, and the poor access of information for researchers, consultants and the public. A common format for reporting on accidents is recommended, as it would allow pooling of experience and exchange of non-confidential information, eventually contributing to safer oil and gas extraction.
The statistical analysis also reveals that offshore accidents with severe and long-lasting consequences are not extremely rare events as initially thought, at least concerning failures, causes and chain of events. It is the magnitude of the consequences that made some of them truly catastrophic.
A political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on offshore legislation, following a Commission proposal, was reached yesterday.
The JRC will continue to support the Commission's activities in this field by providing the technical and scientific secretariat to the EU Offshore Authorities Group, which brings national offshore inspectors together to ensure the effective sharing of best practices and contribute to developing and improving safety standards.