Major industry award for Blow-Out Preventer highlights importance of independent assurance authority in safer offshore drilling

Tue, 15 October 2013

Lloyd’s Register wins The EIC Award for Supply Chain Excellence 2013 for its work on Blow-Out Preventer (BOP) risk modelling, leading to safer and better performing deep-water drilling.

Lloyd’s Register’s was awarded the EIC Supply Chain Excellence Award 2013, at the annual Energy Industries Council (EIC) award summit, held at The Natural History Museum in London, UK, on October 10.

The EIC award recognises those companies in the Energy industry who have demonstrated superiority within the supply chain, and there is only one winner every year.  The award was presented to Lloyd’s Register for its Blow-Out Preventer (BOP) Risk Model programme.

Lloyd’s Register’s BOP Risk Model allows owners and operators to model the risk of their BOP (a critically important component in any hydrocarbon drilling operation) against component failure, helping to determine whether to pull the BOP to the surface for inspection and repair or not. With results received and modelled in Lloyd’s Register’s programme, risk and non-productive time is significantly reduced, both of which can prove costly to the industry and community at large. It is a key technical and innovative first step towards a risk-based and transparent decision-making tool for safer drilling, as well as immediate and consistent communication to all stakeholders in the event of a subsea BOP equipment failure.

“Winning this award is recognition of Lloyd’s Register’s innovation and technical excellence in the Energy industry, and in particular the progress we are making on providing solutions that help to achieve safer subsea drilling operations,” said Meindert Sturm, Global Business Development Manager for Lloyd’s Register’s drilling business. “Our work in this area is a great example of how synergies between regulators, operators, equipment suppliers and contractors can lead to innovative products which make the industry more reliable, better performing and safer.”

Lloyd's Register has from the outset worked with leading owners and operators from the oil and gas industry to improve current methods of monitoring the performance of BOPs and reduce the risks for one of the industry's most safety-critical pieces of equipment. Such collaborations, which introduce core competencies,  redefines industry perceptions of safety and fosters important dialogue about energy supply and demand issues. 

“Our BOP Risk Model is an excellent demonstration of our deep competences in our business using our world-leading risk assessment software RiskSpectrum®,” said  Xuhong He, Principal Consultant for Lloyd’s Register’s Software Marketing and Sales. “Recognition of the EIC award is a great encouragement to continuously improve the BOP Risk Model product and also importantly apply the same technology for many other safety-critical systems across the Energy supply chain.”

Deep water drilling once again puts the oil industry at a cutting edge. A subsea BOP is very special system which is highly regulated and among one of the few pieces of equipment that combines multiple functions such as drilling and operations control, a tool for preventing risk and supporting emergency response procedures. When operational, it is not visible. These factors mean that simple component failures can cause drilling operators to be exposed to severe risk -- the BOP is often the final line of defence for protecting life and the environment. So there is high demand for a transparent and well-structured risk assessment approach that helps owners and operators to monitor the BOP's safety performance.

“As the industry looks to implement new, best-in-class offshore drilling operations, we believe we have a great deal to contribute to the conversation,” highlighted Jason Knights, Global Communications Manager for the Energy business of Lloyd’s Register.

The Energy business is breaking new ground in assessing risk by developing technology such as the BOP Risk Model. What makes this product so valuable is the quality of the data used to carry out the assessments. The ability to define the operational risk level of a BOP, including the risk effect of faulty components, is already proving of great benefit to the industry and society as a whole.

“We understand high-risk, capital intensive industries better than anyone,” said Knights. “And we know that safety-critical is business-critical.”

Details on Lloyd’s Register’s BOP Risk Model:

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