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Introduction

The purpose of this report is to provide the offshore industry with data from the Hydrocarbon Releases (HCR) Database for their use in connection with the preparation and revision of offshore safety cases, particularly in quantified risk assessment (QRA), as recommended by Lord Cullen in his report on the Piper Alpha disaster (Cullen Recommendation 39).

The HCR Database contains data on offshore hydrocarbon release incidents, supplementary details of which are reported voluntarily to the Health and Safety Executive, Hazardous Industries Directorate, on form OIR/12. These data have been technically checked against the 'parent' RIDDOR (OIR/9B) details, and then entered into the database by OSD since database start-up on 1 October 1992.

This report, HSR 2002 002, covers the period 1 October 1992 to 31 March 2002. It is the seventh report on statistics obtained from the HCR Database, and is the fifth since the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR 95) came into force offshore on 1 April 1996.

Criteria for severity classification (i.e. major, significant, minor), first introduced in 1997, were refined in 1999 to include release rates (see Appendix 2). The limited accuracy of the systems and equipment population data estimates, and the voluntary nature of the information supplied on form OIR/12, should all be taken into consideration when drawing conclusions from the statistics contained in this report.

The main thrust of this report is to advise industry of the bare statistics. Nevertheless, some discussion has been added where appropriate. This report also contains statistics on detection modes, emergency actions, and causation, but offers no root cause analysis at this stage. However, Section 4.0 does contain some analysis on a limited number of investigated incidents from the 2001/02 period.

A target sought by the UK Offshore Oil and Gas industry and HSC/E is to reduce the number of reported major and significant releases by 50% over the three years to March 2004, with 1999/2000 figures (139) as baseline data. . This report includes comment on progress made to date against that target.

Detailed failure rate tables are published in alternate years, and the latest versions of (a) System Failure Rates & Severity/Hole Size Distribution; and (b) Equipment Failure Rates & Severity/Hole Size Distribution can be found in the 2001 Hydrocarbon Statistics Report, HSR 2001 002.

A project jointly funded by HSE and UKOOA, is underway to develop a web-based version of the HCR System which will be launched in 2003. It will be accessible via the HSE Home Page on the internet, and will allow dutyholders and other authorised users access to the system to submit incident reports direct to HSE as well as to extract hydrocarbon release data/statistics on line.

Statistical information will be made available in the form of standard reports which generate graphs and/or tables as required, and the facility to download data will also be provided.

Dutyholders will be able to register free of charge as users of the HCR web-based system prior to launch by contacting the HCR System Administration Team at HCR.Admin@hse.gov.uk , and giving details of the prospective users in their organisation.

Other prospective users of offshore hydrocarbon release data, such as consultants and academia, may also be accepted as registered users on a 'read only' basis i.e. with access to standard reports and Data Download only. However, this may be subject to an annual registration fee which has yet to be decided.

Updated 2009-09-06