Case Study

Creating new Equinor technology for greater, large-scale operations

Dynamic risk model to minimise risk and optimise operations at Europe’s biggest gas export plant

Client

Equinor

Asset

Gas processing plant

Location

Kårstø, Norway

Client Challenge

Headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, Equinor is one of the world's largest oil and gas companies with global operations. The Equinor Kårstø processing plant is Europe's biggest export port for natural gas liquids and the third largest in the world. Kårstø issues thousands of work permits each year.

We have a long history of providing risk management services to this plant, including a major total risk analysis (TRA), on which the client’s current risk tool is based. Equinor Kårstø wanted an enhanced software tool and support to efficiently manage their operational risks. The risk of major accidents at such a plant is very activity dependent. For this reason, traditional risk analyses with their yearly averages were not sufficient for our client’s day-to-day risk management. The ideal solution would automatically read the planned activities of the day and produce a presentation of the current risk picture.

Key tool requirements included:

  • providing decision-support for planning and approving work orders
  • visualising the results in a way that increases risk-awareness and helps identifying risk-reducing measures
  • building in a user-friendly interface for short setup and processing time
  • incorporating custom, high-resolution risk models which are able to reflect the operational risks
  • increasing confidence in the underlying models by extensive testing, calibration and support.

How we helped

Using our expertise in quantitative risk analysis, technical safety and software development, we developed a tailor-made software solution. Together with Equinor, we devised methods for adjusting leak frequencies, ignition probabilities and consequences, based on activity levels. Input parameters here included activity type, duration and number of personnel involved. To increase the resolution of results, underlying risk analysis made use of a high number of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations.

This resulting tool helped Equinor achieve their objective of optimising their operations using dynamic risk models. The tool also contributes to risk-awareness, engaging personnel in how their safety depends on proper activity planning. The risk tool is in daily use by both operational personnel and safety management.

Throughout development, we shared results with our client, followed by an extensive support period on implementation.

Expertise Applied

  • quantitative risk analysis
  • technical safety
  • consequence modeling
  • software development.

Key Results

Operational risk management requires the continued commitment of people throughout the organisation, from the board room to on-site maintenance technicians. In periods of change and uncertainty, ensuring good assessments of the operational risk may require particular attention. By incorporating quantified assessment tools into daily operations, we helped Equinor Kårstø engage their people and improve the safety culture.

Our tool not only provides daily decision support for work planning, but also contributes to risk-awareness. It can be further developed for training purpose, customised to the actual asset, ensuring that operational personnel are seamlessly engaged in how their safety depends on proper activity planning.

The tool also delivers cost reductions through consistent, reliable results within automated work flows. Results are instantaneous, with no need to enter data manually perform time-consuming calculations.

Business Benefits

  • Risk reductions: Better, clearer decision support and increased risk-awareness.
  • Cost reductions: Less time is spent on assessments and manual data-entry.
  • Increased flexibility: Robust, high-resolution models allow for more simultaneous activities, without compromising safety.
  • Simplified daily risk evaluation of planned activities.

This project has attracted interest from other technical sectors in Equinor, including human factors and offshore safety.

Top score on all counts! We are very satisfied with the final product and its documentation. The partnership with Lloyd's Register Energy [Now Vysus Group] in this project has been exemplary throughout the process.

Equinor

We are very happy with the tool. It is of considerable help for risk management and approval of work orders. The functionality 'calculate risk contribution per work order' is particularly useful.

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