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Ageing and life extension of offshore installations

The maintenance of asset integrity and control of the significant risk to asset integrity presented  by ageing processes is a key priority for HSE (see OSD Business Plan). This page has been introduced to provide information on Ageing and Life Extension (ALE) issues relevant to offshore installations and the work of Energy Division in this area.

Energy Division inspection programme of ageing and life extension, known as KP4, was launched to the offshore industry on 28 July 2010. KP4 will run to December 2013 and involves both onshore and offshore inspection of duty holders’ management systems.

The KP4 Report

HSE has published its report into the findings of the KP4 programme. It has identified areas of industry strengths, and areas for additional focus, which will deliver improvements for the long-term management and assurance of workforce safety on offshore installations on the UKCS through to cessation of production and into decommissioning.

Working with industry has brought a high level of positive engagement, resulting in the development of industry-leading ALE practices. Further work is required by industry to continue to improve these practices, and hence offshore safety.

KP4 Programme

The Ageing and Life Extension Inspection Programme (KP4) is a key element of HSE’s Energy Division’s (Offshore) 2011/2012 major hazard work priorities, with the aim of the programme being to promote awareness and management of the risks associated with ageing plant in the offshore oil and gas industry.

KP4 Technical Policy

The K,P4 Technical Policy describes the principles of asset integrity management of offshore installations to ensure that the risks from major hazards associated with ageing and life extension are properly controlled.

KP4 Strategy

The KP4 Strategy presents the basis of KP4, the methodology to be applied, ageing and life extension issues, the activities to be undertaken, the approach to stakeholder engagement, and the management of the programme.

KP4 Interim report

The KP4 Interim Report describes progress at the halfway stage of the inspection programme:

Key guidance

Industry engagement

HSE’s Energy Division is working with the offshore oil and gas industry to achieve the aims of the Ageing and Life Extension programme. In particular HSE is working closely with Oil and Gas UK [hyperlink] to develop guidelines which will be useful to the offshore industry for a wide range of technical and human factors issues. O&GUK have set up an ALE steering group forum to assess the knowledge gaps and create expert groups to develop necessary guidance.

The Energy Institute [hyperlink] has created an ALE forum to address a variety of issues.

HSE’s Energy Division has a long history of collaboration with Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority and The Netherlands’ State Supervision of Mines, which is continuing with the ALE programme.

Information on HSE’s research initiatives on ageing has been published on the website of the International Committee on Regulatory Authority Research and Development.

Energy Division is working with the onshore Hazardous Installations Directorate; particularly the Chemicals, Explosives and Microbiological Hazards Division, and also the office for Nuclear Regulation to ensure shared knowledge including good practices.

Updated 2015-11-05