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However, because the significant potential of the near-misses can be hardly realized, it is not reported properly and this can translate into undesired consequences.To have safe oil and gas productions, it is expedient that HSE regulations become as proactive as possible and shouldn’t wait for the occurrence of an accident to revive or review regulations, just like the case of the piper alpha incident.I think regulators and Oil majors would definitely tell us what we want to hear but in principle, it is not likely that anything would change. I will take the Deep water horizon accident for example.We know that on offshore installations, blowout preventers (containing powerful shear rams designed to cut through the drilling rigs’ steel pipe and shut off a well that has gone out of control) are installed to provide redundancy if all else fails.
The major routine before this incident was just to collect a licence from the then government and start exploring and exploiting this mineral resource from the seabed without knowledge of the implications to Health, Safety and the Evironment.
No measures was put in place until a woke up call of the 27th December incident of 1965.
February 15, 1982, Ocean Ranger capsized and sank off the coast of Newfoundland in the Canadian waters killing 84 crew members on board.
In 2001, the Minerals Management service, commissioned a study that revealed over 100 failures in the testing of blow out preventers and were advised by experts to enforce the operation of TWO SHEAR ARMS in blow out preventers for all offshore installations. Historically as with enforcement agencies (The Energy department ignored recommendations to apply offshore, the CIMAH regulations already in place onshore in 1975, and we know how their ignorance paid off) they ignored the advice and one wonders if this second shear ram was present, maybe, just maybe the deep water horizon accident would have been avoided.
Controversial reports alleged that the Mineral Management service neglected to enforce a rule that required oil companies to provide evidence periodically showing that their shear rams did in fact work – (New York Times, June, 20, 2010).
’ In other words, any improvement in HSE performance is only due to learning from incidents after they occurred.