The regulator’s December 2014 yearly report identified that the occurrence of unplanned events requiring the implementation of emergency response plans had been trending upward for the past decade.
Ageing offshore facilities was named as a contributing factor to the concerning trend along with companies’ “deficient preventive maintenance”, which continues to lead to safety incidents and unplanned hydrocarbon releases.
“We are certainly looking carefully at the maintenance performance of the industryas a whole, particularly at the upkeep of
heir emergency response equipment.
“The reason I mention it is because in the experience of some of our inspectors, some have seen in international markets that after about four to six months after a significant price fall, there can be a deterioration in maintenance performance at offshore sites. We have been flagging this concern with industry since well before Christmas, 2014.”
OLD FACILITIES NEED IMPROVEMENT
The regulator’s data also shows hydrocarbon releases are steadily increasing. According to NOPSEMA, the number of releases rose from 20 to 25 last year with five already recorded in the first quarter of this year.
Mr Smith says he is concerned with the upwards trend and says industry should act swiftly to curb the number of damaging releases.