How to make risk assessments more dynamic

Written by Nick Blenkey
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MAY 2, 2017 — DNV GL has launched a position paper showing how risk assessments can be made more dynamic, to provide improved and real-time decision support during operations.

Static quantitative risk assessment (QRA) reports are widely used in the oil and gas industry to evaluate the safety of activities and systems. However, in operation, says DNV GL, the risk picture will change, based on degradation of safety-critical barriers, changing production conditions, modifications to assets etc. Effective operational support requires easy access to updated risk results and the ability to obtain quick real-time answers to new questions that arise.

In addition, digitalization is on the rise in the oil and gas sector, enabling efficiencies and cost reductions, and operators are increasingly focusing on harvesting insights from “big data” from sensors. The challenge is to make sense of the data to improve risk management. This requires that condition monitoring data is put into context with a risk model, to provide insights on how changes impact the risk.

The position paper by researchers in DNV GL demonstrates concepts on how to develop dynamic and real-time risk assessment methods and tools for the future.

Frank Børre Pedersen, Group Technology and Innovation, DNV GL, says: “Conditions change over time, new knowledge becomes available, and changes in context may affect our risk tolerability. Risk models are just approximations of real life. In order to provide relevant and timely decision support, models need to keep track with current conditions and context. Managing the safety of complex dynamic systems requires dynamic risk assessment.”

Dynamic risk assessment implemented in (near) real-time tools can provide an updated risk picture and enhance the ability to learn from experience and adapt to new conditions. However, to make risk assessments dynamic, it is not enough to merely re-compute risk measures based on current conditions. It is also essential to monitor any deviations from the assumptions made in the risk assessment, as this may alter the risk picture. Also, supporting efficient risk management in operations is not only about dynamic risk assessment, but also about dynamic presentation of risk results – making results accessible and suited to support decisions in operation. This requires that we make use of new technology and interactive delivery platforms.

DNV GL has developed MyQRA, a new online tool that harnesses risk information. It unlocks the detailed information from QRA studies in ways not possible in a typical, static QRA report. Through filtering, drill-down functionalities and 3D visualizations, MyQRA can help both technical and non-technical professionals to gain a better understanding of hazards and to make day-to-day decisions more effectively. The tool also helps to improve risk communication across multiple stakeholders in a project or asset – at each stage of its lifecycle.

Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO, DNV GL – Oil & Gas, says: “Safety is always our first priority, and with the help of big data and digitalization, DNV GL’s position paper shows the next step for safety in the oil and gas industry. We need to get safety monitoring, reporting and evaluations up to speed with realities. Dynamic real-time risk assessment is a key enabler for safe and efficient oil and gas operations.”

Download the position paper HERE


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