Platform Life Extension
This paper will detail a structured and holistic methodology to support the extension of the life of an offshore platform beyond that indicated by original design philosophy. The approach identifies the key asset reliability, integrity and process safety issues that need to be addressed in operating an asset beyond its design life. This methodology captures the key issues that arise in operating assets at or beyond design life, including; corrosion, obsolescence of equipment, change in design duties, change in oil or gas properties or production profiles, availability of historic information etc.
This methodology and has been applied to extending the life of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the UK, Danish and Norwegian shelf of the North Sea. In Norway it is a requirement to gain consent from the regulatory body prior to extending the life of a platform or field beyond original design. In the UK, the regulatory body sees such an extension in life as a significant and material change to the "Safety Case." In other parts of the world the shareholders, legislators and other stakeholders require assurance on the reliability and integrity of the asset.
The output from this type of study will identify the key Asset Integrity and Vulnerability risks for the platform or field and include a fully costed programme of activities that operators need to carry out to extend and continue to maintain the asset life.
With the volatile oil price and ageing profile of existing offshore platforms, the ability for operators and prospective investors to run assets beyond the original design life, whether for the short, medium or long term and still maintaining high standards of HSE and Integrity Management, is of paramount importance and forms a key part of any strategy to manage current and future business risk.
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