Process Safety Management in the Energy Sector

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    March 22, 2010
  • Skill Level:
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This paper describes experience of application of the principles of process safety management within Centrica plc, an integrated energy company with operations in North America and Europe. The paper describes the key challenges for implementation of process safety requirements in this sector, the approaches which Centrica has developed and the successes and lessons learned to date.

The elements Centrica has identified as critical to success in process safety are presented under the categories of ‘people', ‘plant' and ‘processes'. A case study is then presented of application of one of these elements - process hazards analysis - to Centrica's US gas-fired power plants and Canadian upstream gas operations, including drilling and completion activities. The focus of the paper then broadens to the ‘people' elements of process safety management - including leadership, culture, accountability and stakeholder engagement - as key to maintaining the effectiveness of risk controls. Specific issues examined include leadership behaviors, clarity of expectations around process safety, organizational design and the role of external stakeholder engagement. The paper brings an international dimension to these topics, describing approaches which Centrica has adopted based on industry best practices and accident learnings.

The conclusion of the paper is that the principles of process safety management have much wider application than the traditional process industries, indeed that there are common issues and important learnings to be gained across a variety of high hazard industries. The paper underlines human, corporate culture and organizational issues as key to delivering sustained, high levels of performance in process safety.



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