PSA for a Confidential Client

Taq Taq Safety Audit

A Confidential Client has a concession to develop an oil and gas field ina remote region of the Middle East. A number of wells which feed into Central Processing Facility (CPF). Units in the CPF treat the well fluids to remove gas (discharged to flare), water (processed), and Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S - stripped and scavenged), such that the resulting oil is ready for sale. This oil is then transferred to the nearby Tanker Loading Station (TLS), where oil tankers are charged with oil to be delivered to various regional destinations.

On one night in 2013, a hydrocarbon vapour fire was ignited at the TLS. The fire quickly spread and was sustained for several hours. Several people were seriously injured as a result of the blaze, due to burns and fumes inhalation. In addition, several of the loading bays and several oil tankers were destroyed.

The subsequent Process Safety Audit (PSA) was carried out by 3 Engineering Consultants:

  • Angus Keddie, Process Safety Manager
  • A Technical Safety Consultant
  • A Process Safety Engineer

The goals of the PSA were:

  • Review the current Process Safety of the Client's CPF against the criteria laid out in the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) 3133 Guidelines for Auditing Process Safety Management Systems
  • Make recommendations where necessary to improve the overall and particular safety of the plant
  • Set deadlines for implementation of recommendations so that plant is deemed appropriately safe by an agreed timeframe
Key Findings of the Audit
   

Performance Ranking

Safety Systems

Individual Elements

0

1

2

3

PSA 1 – Process Control & ESD Safety Systems

Relevant Codes & Standards

   

CPF & TLS

 

Emergency Shut Down

 

CPF & TLS

   

ESD Philosophy

 

CPF & TLS

   

ESD Levels

CPF & TLS

     

Control & ESD Loops

CPF & TLS

     

Isolation Philosophy

CPF & TLS

     

Cause & Effects

TLS

 

CPF

 

PSA 2 – Fire & Gas Systems

Relevant Codes & Standards

 

CPF & TLS

   

Fire & Gas Philosophy

CPF & TLS

     

Portable Gas Detectors

     

CPF & TLS

Fire & Gas Detector Locations

 

CPF & TLS

   

Fire & Gas Device Types

 

CPF & TLS

   

Voting Strategy

CPF & TLS

     

PSA 3 – Escape & Emergency Evacuation

Relevant Codes & Standards

 

CPF & TLS

   

Philosophy Document

CPF & TLS

     

Layouts

CPF & TLS

     

The audit team made a number of key findings during the course of the PSA. These consisted of inconsistencies in the application of Process Safety Management on the Client's CPF and TLS facilities. All of the findings and hazards are included in the Hazard Register, but key amongst these were:

  1. Category 1 drawings not up to date: PFD's, P&ID's, Hazardous Area Drawings, Key Single Line Diagrams, Escape & Evacuation Routes, Fire & Gas locations & layouts.
  2. ESD Philosophy document not available/ complete / could not be identified by audit team.
  3. No evidence available to audit team for close out of CPF HAZOP Review Action.
  4. There is currently a 6 month backlog of MOC initiatives, which may have an impact on plant safety.
  5. Inadequate automation present at tank farms for tank outlet lines (i.e. ESD actuated valves) to provide safe isolation under an upset condition.
  6. In total, there was a total of 13 Hazards identified onsite during the PSA, and as mentioned earlier, these are recorded in the Hazards Register.