The Italian classification group RINA has updated its offshore platform rules in response to growing industry challenges in the offshore sector, it announced today.
The rules and guidance provide a comprehensive guide to classification, certification, and verification of fixed offshore oil and gas platforms. They were “a cradle-to-grave framework for the structural and process safety of the entire platform”, said Andrea Bombardi, Energy Department head at RINA Services. The rules also draw on RINA’s extensive knowledge and experience with offshore platforms from various locations in the Mediterranean, Caspian and Red Seas, and the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
“The new rules facilitate life extension, reduce downtime caused by inspection and maintenance, and give owners more choices and control over their design, operation, and maintenance strategies,” Bombardi said. This was especially critical now because of uncertainty about the sector’s future, since the collapse of crude oil prices had put enormous pressure on stakeholders.
As well as original design, fabrication, installation, structural assessment, topside process certification, life extension assessment, and de-commissioning, the new rules also stress environmental protection so as to significantly reducing the risk of accidents and consequent environmental damage.
Above all, the rules set out clear guidelines and requirements for assessing fatigue and corrosion issues to determine what must be done to allow platforms to continue to operate beyond their design life, RINA said. The life extension approach incorporates risk-based inspection and maintenance planning so that operators can benefit from better targeting inspection and maintenance resources and reduce operational downtime.
The new rules and guidelines will be published in May 2015.