Accidents stands for-Environment, Health and Safety- is a discipline

Accidents in Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry is known to be as one
of the most dangerous work sectors where dozens of accidents happen annually
due to the lack of simple safety precautions. That’s why safety on platforms is
a very important aspect to pay attention for. In this essay possible causes of
and mitigation methods (used in order to reduce the amount of harmful
consequences) are going to be discussed.

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There are some disciplines that the
organizations must follow in order to make sure that their work process is not
going to harm to anyone. One of them is HSE.HSE stands for-Environment, Health
and Safety- is a discipline and speciality which involves managing, handling
and controlling all health and safety aspects and the non dangerous environment
in the petroleum industry-mostly focusing on major accidents risks.There are
several reasons why HSE is so important in oil and gas sector:

1-The industry involves high risk activities
including production and processing flammable and explosive materials

2-Massive manpower, expensive and complicated
equipment

3-it needs high investment(which can be around
1 billion dollars)with long payback period(around 10 years)

4-It is vital and strategic industry

5-The consequences of accidents could be
catastrophic in terms of fatality, environmental hazards, investment loss

The accidents on offshore platforms are inevitable.
They cause environmental pollution at all stages of oil and gas production. The
scale, the causes and severity of the accidents’ consequences are quite variable.
They depend on definite combinations of technical, natural, and technological
factors. Each accident develops in accordance with its specific scenario.

The most frequent causes of accidents include
personnel mistakes, equipment failure and natural impacts ( ice fields,
hurricanes ,tornadoes and etc). Their main hazard is related with the spills
and blowouts of gas,oil and  other
chemical substances and compounds. The environmental damages of accidents are
especially severe when they happen near the shore, in areas with slow water
circulation.Here are  oil and gas accidents
that happened on platforms:

1-Piper alpha
platform(UK north sea)

Piper Alpha is an offshore oil and gas platform
where in July 1988 a huge explosion happened,it is regarded as the worst
offshore oil and gas disaster disaster in the history of the UK.

As a consequence of accident 160 out of 220
crew members have died. The accident was caused by a human error. A damage of  $1.4bn was estimated.

The accident was mostly caused by simultaneous
maintenance work carried out on one of the high-pressure condensate pumps and a
safety valve, which led to a leakage from condensates.After the removal of one
of the gas condensate pump’s pressure safety valve for maintenance purposes,
the condensate pipe remained sealed temporarily with a blind flange as the work
was not completed at the end of the day. Not aware of the maintenance work
carried out on one of the pumps, a night crew member turned on the alternative
pump.Afterwards the blind flange and firewalls failed to manage the
pressure,which lead to several explosions.

BP Macondo Deepwater
horizon

On 20th April 2010 a well blowout
happened in Macondo Prospect,which was operated by BP,resulting in explosion in
Deepwater Horizon,in which 11 people were lost and never found.Oil keeped
flowing from subsea well for 87 days,It was estimated that 4,9 billion barrels
of oil was discharged into Mexican gulf.It holds the world record as the
largest accidental oil spill in sea.

The whole disaster at Deepwater Horizon began
with a “well-integrity failure,” according to investigation report, which was
caused by a “improper cement job.”

The cement job, which seemed to be of a high
quality to the people involved, had failed to seal the well. When the cement
failed to seal the well, the crew lost control of the pressure of fluid in the
well.

A “blowout preventer” is supposed to
automatically seal a well when the pressure gets out of control.Deepwater
Horizon’s blowout preventer did not work properly.When it failed to do its job,
hydrocarbons flew up the well at enormous speed. When hydrocarbons,such as
methane gas,flew up the well, and reached the drilling rig,they reached an
ignition source and ignite  if the rig’s
Emergency Disconnect System (EDS) isn’t activated. If hydrocarbons meet with an
ignition source, an explosion occurs.Deepwater Horizon’s Emergency Disconnect
System was not activated before the first explosion occurred on the rig.

There can be a big variety of hazards after oil
and gas accident.These Hazards consist of;

1-Pressure hazards-which are the consequence of
high pressure from oil and gas reservoir,and pressure of pipes and vessel

2-Temperature hazards-which are resulted by
high T at compressor discharge pipe

3-Motion hazards- are the consequence of
rotating drill pipes and shafts

Chemical Hazards-as example corrosion
inhibitors,lube oils

Electrical Hazards-which are caused by
lightening and electric work and so on

So,this hazards should be managed in order to
avoid possible accidents.High pressure at oil and gas sectors can be prevented
by installing BOP(Blow out preventer) during drilling.The permission to work
during drilling operations should be strictly controlled.Another way to prevent
high pressure hazards is to wear special Personal Protective Equipment(PPE)
during the operation process,such as high impact gloves and etc.Another
possible hazard that can happen on oil and gas platforms is provocated by high
T at compressor’s discharge pipe.It can be avoided by installing pipe
insulations which are able to withstand the maximum temperature of compressed
gas at the same time being cool enough outside if touched by workers.For
additional safety PPE should be worn.

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