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DNV GL: investment in inspection and maintenance too low

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

New research from DNV GL reveals that 46% of senior professionals in the oil and gas sector believe there has been underinvestment in inspection and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment in recent years.

The findings appear in ‘The State of Safety’, a special report from DNV GL’s research on the outlook for the oil and gas industry in 2018. DNV GL conducted a survey of 813 senior sector players. Just 28% of respondents said that they expect to increase spending on safety this year, while 61% will maintain current budgets and 5% plan to cut investment.

The report also affirms expectations for digital technologies to bridge the gap between long-term cost efficiency and enhanced safety in projects and operations.

While cost efficiency has been the top, or a high priority, for more than 82% of senior industry professionals since 2015, 40% of respondents believe digital tools and technologies have already improved safety over the past three years.

“The industry’s strong focus on cost control must continue in the long-term for oil and gas to remain competitive and play an increasingly important role in the energy transition. However, our research confirms the sector’s clear belief that cost control must never come at the expense of safety,” said Liv Hovem, CEO, DNV GL – Oil & Gas.

“At DNV GL, we believe that digital technologies will be crucial to enhancing safety practices and improving hazard management. These will enable more effective and transparent risk communication across all levels of an organisation as well as between multiple parties involved in projects and operations. We are investing in this field,” Hovem added.

Many new investments in safety will be aimed at digitalising safety monitoring, processes and responses this year. For example, DNV GL’s MyQRA service draws on data from quantitative risk assessment (QRA) reports to create a single source of safety data that can help all stakeholders better understand important safety signals, make decisions and predict future outcomes.

The report also highlights the risks that implementing digital technologies can have on operations, particularly around cyber security. It concludes that existing guidelines and standards may not be sufficient to demonstrate the safety of new concepts.

The company is leading a joint industry project with a consortium of eight companies and two Norwegian universities to tackle the issue. Safety 4.0, due to begin this year, aims to develop a best practice framework to safely and securely introduce new technology solutions to the subsea sector.

Other key findings from the report include the following:

  • Twice as many engineers and technical specialists (28%) as business leaders (15%) believe that stringent cost control has affected safety levels in the sector.
  • 38% of those questioned stated that safety management is effective and does not need to change. Just 26% of those questioned disagreed.
  • 47% of Chinese respondents say their organisation will be increasing spending on safety in 2018, compared with 27% in the US, 19% in Norway and just 14% in Australia.
  • Downstream respondents currently expect the highest increase in safety spending (41%), compared to other parts of the industry.

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