The Australian regulator is seeking feedback on its new industry guidance about ageing assets for offshore oil and gas facilities.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has stated that the intent of the new guidance is to promote practices that ensure risks associated with ageing assets are managed to be as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).
Following international research and experience, the guidance recognises that the age of a facility and equipment is less important than its condition and the effects of material deterioration and damage over the lifetime of a project.
To reduce risks associated in later life, NOPSEMA reinforces that duty holders’ management systems should incorporate lifecycle management principles to asset ageing and life extension.
As part of the legislation now, operators are required to have in place accepted risk management plans, which include safety cases, well operations plans, offshore project proposals and environment plans.
NOPSEMA has outlined that interested stakeholders are encouraged to review the ageing assets and life extension guidance note and provide feedback by Thursday, December 24.
The guidance note highlighted that when a new gas or oil field is developed, the anticipated production life is a factor in the design of the associated facilities and equipment, such as process plant and pipelines.
The age profile of facilities in Australia is similar to that of facilities in the North Sea, ranging from four years to more than 50 years old
The regulator will consider all feedback provided during the public comment period and, where necessary, contact stakeholders for further clarification.