Gassco-Safetec Project Focuses on Business Continuity Plans for NCS Installations
The Norwegian gas network is one of the world’s largest integrated gas transport systems. It is essential that consumers who depend on daily gas deliveries can rely on a stable gas transport from the third-largest natural gas exporter. This dependency requires high focus on the production performance of all installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) and the total deliverability for the system.
An emergency situation may interrupt the level of gas deliveries on shorter or longer term. Emergency plans for handling an emergency situation are normally in place for securing people and the environment, but there is a need for a plan for how to get the business up and running again. This is the main focus of Business Continuity Plans (BCPs). One example is that a fire or explosion at a receiving terminal can damage critical production equipment with long delivery and/or installation time, which would result in a total loss of or reduced production before the delivery of gas can be obtained.
Safetec Nordic AS, an ABS Group company, has assisted Gassco in establishing BCPs for all Gassco-operated installations (including pipelines, riser platforms, the Kårstø and Kollsnes processing plants and six receiving terminals in Europe). The main focus has been on incidents that could lead to more than 30% loss of installation capacity for more than 90 days.
Gassco is now more prepared to handle a major disruption with the establishment of the BCPs. The plans provide a formal Gassco BCP process that clearly defines responsibilities and a process for how to respond to a major disruption, including predefined plans for how to recover. These scenarios include existing as well as a new proposal for temporary solutions that can help reduce the considerable consequences following a major disruption.
This collaborative project, together with similar projects within Gassco, has given the Company a better understanding and overview of the potential consequences of major accidents and disruptions on the NCS. The BCP project states that there has been a development or change in the focus on major accidents/events, and it may be the start of a change in the industry from a preventive actions focus to a business continuity focus after major disruptions.
Safetec has, together with Gassco, presented a technical paper describing the method used for developing the BCPs at the European Safety and Reliability ESREL Conference in Zurich in September 2015. The paper can be read here