Sunday, 15 September 2019

Regulatory News

Implementing the EU Offshore Safety Directive in the UK North Sea

The past three decades have seen several major offshore disasters in the oil and gas sector. The EU Directive 2013/30/EU, which was introduced into national regulations in EU member states, aims to minimize the risk of such accidents and limit their consequences, whilst tackling the problem of fragmented regulation throughout the EU.

At Offshore Europe 2015, experts from Lloyd’s Register Energy were on hand to help organizations understand the requirements and the pathways to compliance. Ian Mackay, Technical Manager of Compliance Operations, was giving an overview of the risks and opportunities associated with the implementation - and what help is available.

3Lloyds-Offshore Safety Directive - 306x172“The main aim of SCR is to reduce the risks from major accident hazards to the health and safety of those employed on offshore installations. It also aims to increase the protection of the marine environment against pollution and ensure the correct mechanisms are in place if such an event were to happen,” described Mackay.

“Lloyd’s Register were involved with the UK Government technical committee which formulated the UK Safety Case Regulations in the early 90s. We have remained one of the major providers of safety case verification services in the North Sea,” explained Mackay, “We want to share our knowledge and experience with ministries and newly formed competent authorities, not just in the UK but in all affected states.”

Ian Thomas, Department Manager of Consulting Operations in Aberdeen, presented on the required verification schemes for Safety and Environmentally Critical Elements (SECEs), which in the UK are addressed via SCR.

Thomas said: “The requirement to include environmentally critical elements within the verification scheme is already promoting much debate and is seen to be driving innovation. For example, environmental practitioners are now starting to apply techniques common to safety specialists such as Bow Tie studies to achieve a more systematic and objective method for the identification and management of the ‘environmental component’ of Safety and Environmentally Critical Elements and Performance Standards.”

“At Offshore Europe, Lloyd’s Register shared some of the knowledge gained around the Directive whilst working with independent verifiers and certifiers of environmental management systems and specialist consultants developing SECEs assurance schemes Lloyd’s Register will offer guidance on how to interpret the requirements and share their considerations for the identification, classification and management of SECEs” stated Thomas.

The Directive is a goal setting regime largely based on the UK Safety Case model. For some, this regime will be unfamiliar but even UK operators will be required to modify existing arrangements and provide additional documentation.

We aim to keep you updated weekly with relevant information concerning the Offshore Energy Sector.

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