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. The total number of major releases in 2001/2002 continues to show a decrease, down from 8 to 4 (50%) on last year's figure, and the total number of significant releases has also decreased from 117 to 109 (7%) over the same period. The combined total for major and significant releases has therefore shown a reduction of 19% on the baseline target (i.e. 139 to 113).
Last year, 2000/01, saw a 50% increase in the number of reported minor releases, up from 95 to 145. This year's figure of 128, however, represents a 12% decrease on 2000/01. There is some evidence that the increase level of minor releases since 2000/01 (though seeming to decline this year) is due to improved reporting performance by offshore personnel.
There were 12 reported ignitions in 2001/2002 none of which were major releases. Although there have been no ignited major releases since the launch of the HCR database, of the total 143 reported ignitions over the period 1 October 1992 to 31 March 2002, 41 of these (28.7%) have been significant releases (17 gas and 24 liquids).
This latest report also includes an update on last year's analysis of investigated releases (OTO 2001 055) which supplements the information in this report (see Section 4.0).