HYDROCARBON RELEASES SYSTEM

 

INTERNET HELP FILE

 

CONTENTS

 

The contents list of this HELP file comprises a set of hypertext links, which, if selected, will take the user to the appropriate section of the HELP guidance.

 

Each section may also contain hyperlinks to other subsections of HELP and/or other related locations on the HSE web site as appropriate.

 

Please now select the hyperlink most associated with the guidance being sought:

 

History of the Hydrocarbon Releases (HCR) System

 

Graph

 

Table

 

Severity Classification

 

Logging on

 

Feedback

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Top of the Document  (To escape from this HELP facility just close the HELP window, or use the navigation buttons/links provided on screen).

 

 

 

History

 

 

Offshore releases of hydrocarbons are currently reported to the HSE Offshore Division (OSD) as dangerous occurrences under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) which became effective offshore on 1 April 1996.

 

The Hydrocarbon Releases (HCR) system contains detailed voluntary information on offshore hydrocarbon release incidents supplementary to that provided under RIDDOR (and previous offshore legislation prior to April 1996) and the database contains reports dating from 1 October 1992.

 

The voluntary reporting scheme, based on the OIR/12 reporting form, was set up by HSE in 1992 in consultation with industry in response to one of the recommendations made by Lord Cullen in his report on the Piper Alpha disaster.

 

Cullen Recommendation 39 required that "The regulatory body [HSE-OSD] should be responsible for maintaining a database with regard to hydrocarbon leaks, spills, and ignitions in the Industry and for the benefit of Industry."

 

The original HCR database was built by HSE and became operational in May 1993, with hard copy statistical reports being produced from 1994 onwards.

 

This web-based version of the HCR System was launched in 2003 and allows duty holders and other authorised users access to the system to submit incident reports direct to HSE-OSD as well as to extract hydrocarbon release data/statistics on line.

 

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

 

The remaining contents of this HELP file give guidance on how to operate the many features of the HCR System, plus guidance on what is reportable and when to report/notify incidents and related data on offshore installations.

 

To escape from this HELP facility just close the HELP window, or use the navigation buttons/links provided on screen.

 

 

To return to the HELP CONTENTS list, please select this hyperlink.

 

TOP  (of History)

 

 

 

Trend Graphs

 

This facility gives an overall view, in line graph form, of the annual trends in the reporting of hydrocarbon releases broken down by hydrocarbon type and by severity (i.e. whether major, significant or minor).

 

Clicking on the “GRAPH” button will produce an ANNUAL graph which shows the profile by financial year i.e. April to March, for a fixed number of years, as indicated in the notes on the graph.

 

To obtain a MONTHLY breakdown for any year shown, click on the required year hyperlink (below the main graph) and the graph parameters will alter to suit.

 

A PRINT facility is provided for each graph, and, when the PRINT button is selected, the user can customise the printout (rather than just use the Browser print facility which prints out the whole screen).

 

At any time, selecting the BACK button on your Browser will return you from the GRAPH screen back to the WELCOME page, or you can use the navigation buttons provided on screen.

 

To escape from this HELP facility just close the HELP window, or use the navigation buttons/links provided on screen.

 

 

 

To return to the HELP CONTENTS list, please select this hyperlink.

 

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Trend Tables

 

This facility gives an overall view in tabular form of the annual trends in the reporting of hydrocarbon releases broken down by hydrocarbon type and by severity (i.e. whether major, significant or minor).

 

Clicking on the “TABLE” button will produce an ANNUAL table which shows the profile by financial year i.e. April to March, for a fixed number of years, as indicated in the notes below the table.

 

To obtain a MONTHLY breakdown for any year shown, click on the year hyperlink and the monthly table contents will appear immediately below the annual table.

 

Click on the “Close Monthly Data” hyperlink to return to the main ANNUAL table.

 

A PRINT facility is also provided for each table, and, when the PRINT button is selected, the user can customise the printout (rather than just use the Browser print facility which prints out the whole screen). Note that it may be advisable to alter the page orientation to Landscape prior to printing.

 

At any time, selecting the BACK button on your Browser will return you from the TABLE screen back to the WELCOME page, or you can use the navigation buttons provided on screen.

 

To escape from this HELP facility just close the HELP window, or use the navigation buttons/links provided on screen.

 

 

 

To return to the HELP CONTENTS list, please select this hyperlink.

 

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Severity Classification

 

Discussions have been held with the offshore industry on a classification system for hydrocarbon releases. The consensus reached was that all reported releases can be classified as minor, significant or major by applying agreed definitions and provisional classification criteria.

 

Definitions            The definitions were agreed as follows:

MAJOR:             "Potential to quickly impact out with the local area e.g. affect the TR, escape routes, escalate to other areas of the installation, causing serious injury or fatalities."

 

A major leak, if ignited, would be likely to cause a "major accident", i.e. it would be of a size capable of causing multiple casualties or rapid escalation affecting TR, escape routes, etc.

 

SIGNIFICANT:            "Potential to cause serious injury or fatality to personnel within the local area and to escalate within that local area e.g. by causing structural damage, secondary leaks or damage to safety systems."

 

A significant leak, if ignited, might have the potential to cause an event severe enough to be viewed as a "major accident" or be of a size leading to significant escalation within the immediate area or module.

 

MINOR:            "Potential to cause serious injury to personnel in the immediate vicinity, but no potential to escalate or cause multiple fatalities."

 

A minor leak, even if ignited, would not be expected to result in a multiple fatality event or significant escalation, but could cause serious injuries or a fatality local to the leak site or within that module only.

 

Any offshore hydrocarbon release reportable under RIDDOR 95 can be classified under one of the above definitions, using criteria reported on the OIR/12 form. It was also decided to group all releases of hydrocarbon liquid under one category of "liquids", since oil, condensate, and non-process liquids (diesel, helifuel, glycol, etc.) share the common characteristics of flammable fluids.

 

Criteria

The simplest criteria for classification is to use inventory released, but this can be further refined by taking into account hole size, duration, pressure, any existing congestion factors and a variety of other mitigation factors. At the time of preparation of this guidance, the preferred provisional criteria were based on quantity released, release rate and duration, though it should be noted that discussions with industry on further refinement of the criteria are still ongoing.  (See ‘Implementation’)

 

MAJOR:        

(i) Gas Releases:

            EITHER              [Quantity released > 300 kg]

            OR                 [Mass release rate>1kg/s AND Duration >5 mins]

This could result in a jet fire of over 10 metres length (>1kg/s) capable of causing significant escalation after 5 minutes duration, or a flash fire/explosion on reaching LFL. Where 300 kg equates to approx. 3000 m3 explosive cloud at NTP, enough to fill an entire module or deck area, and to cause serious escalation if ignited.

 

(ii) Liquid Releases (Oil/Condensate/Non-process):

            EITHER            [Quantity released > 9,000 kg]

            OR                  [Mass release rate>10kg/s  AND Duration >15 mins]

This could result in a pool fire over 10 metres in diameter (>10kg/s) filling a module or cutting off a deck, hindering escape and affecting more than one person directly if lasting for over 15 minutes duration.

 

(iii) 2-Phase Releases:

            EITHER            [Quantity of liquids released > 300 kg]

            OR                 [Liquids mass release rate>1kg/s AND Duration >5 mins]

Combinations of the major gas and liquids scenarios described above are possible, depending on the gas to oil ratio (GOR) involved.

 

MINOR:          

(i) Gas Releases:

            EITHER             [Quantity released < 1 kg]

            OR                  [Mass release rate <0.1 kg/s AND Duration < 2 mins]

This could result in a jet fire of less than 5 metres length (< 0.1 kg/s) which is unstable (< 2 mins duration) and therefore unlikely to cause significant escalation, or a flash fire/explosion on reaching LFL. Where <1 kg equates to <10 m3 explosive cloud at NTP, probably insufficient to cause a significant hazard if ignited.

 

(ii) Liquid Releases (Oil/Condensate/Non-process):

           

EITHER             [Quantity released < 60 kg]

            OR                  [Mass release rate <0.2 kg/s AND Duration < 5 mins]

This could result in a pool fire smaller than 2 metres in diameter (< 0.2 kg/s) unlikely to last long enough to hinder escape (< 5 mins), but could cause serious injury to persons nearby.

 

 

 

(iii) 2-Phase Releases:

            EITHER             [Quantity released < 1kg]

            OR                  [Liquids release rate <0.1 kg/s AND Duration < 2 mins]

Combinations of the gas and liquids scenarios described above are possible, depending on GOR involved.

 

SIGNIFICANT: (Those between major and minor.)

(i) Gas Releases:

Capable of jet fires of 5 to 10 metres lasting for between 2-5 minutes, or release rates between 0.1 to 1.0 kg/s lasting 2-5 minutes giving explosive clouds of between 10 and 3000 m3 in size.

 

(ii) Liquids Releases (Oil/Condensate/Non-process):

Pool fires between 2 and 10 metres in diameter, lasting for between 5 and 15 minutes.

 

(iii) 2-Phase Releases:

Combinations of the gas and liquids scenarios described above are possible.

Implementation

 

All current and future hydrocarbon releases will be classified according to the above agreed criteria for the types of hydrocarbons involved, and the results used in HCR statistics reports, and “raw” data downloads on diskette.

 

It is important to note, however, that those releases with a hole size labelled N/A are special cases where the release rate is not applicable to the mode of release (e.g. open topped vessels such as shale shakers, or where carry-over of hydrocarbons from one system to another was involved). All such releases were classified by inspection of the amount released only.

 

 

To escape from this HELP facility just close the HELP window, or use the navigation buttons/links provided on screen.

 

 

 

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Logging On

 

Authorised users in the UK Offshore Oil & Gas industry and in HSE can log on to the Hydrocarbon Releases System to enable search and other reporting facilities.  For duty holders, the facilities include notification of hydrocarbon release incident details (on form OIR/12) and details of related offshore installations, systems and equipment population operating on the UK Continental Shelf.

 

To Log on:

 

1. Click on the LOG ON button at the top of the WELCOME [HOME] screen, and this will take you to the LOG ON screen.

2. Type your authorised user name into the “Username” box, tab to the “Password” box and type in your password. Note that both are case-sensitive.

3. Click on the LOG ON button.

4. If successful, all users are presented with a MAIN MENU, from which they can select particular modules to work with, depending on their allocated access level. Details of how to use these modules are contained elsewhere in this HELP file as appropriate.

5. If unsuccessful, you will receive an appropriate error message. After 5 unsuccessful attempts, you will be locked out of the system. Contact the HCR System Administrator* to be re-established (see WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details).

 

If you are unable to log on, but feel that you may benefit from such additional access, please contact the HCR system administrator* (see WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details) stating your interest/position in the UK Offshore Oil & Gas Industry and giving brief details of your requirements.

 

On acceptance, a username and password will be issued, together with an appropriate level of access to the HCR system.

 

Should you forget your username or password, the HCR system administrator can re-instate your access to the system by re-setting your details. Please see WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

 

*If, when trying to send an e-mail via the link on the HOME page, your e-mail system does not launch you should check that the correct entry has been made to run your e-mail system within your browser. This can be checked in Internet Explorer under the Tools menu. Click on Internet Options and then select the Programs tab. If the entry for e-mail is blank or incorrectly stated for the system installed, select the correct entry from the drop-down list and click either OK or Apply.  If you continue to experience difficulties with loading e-mail via the link then please contact your I.T. supplier.

 

To return to the HELP CONTENTS list, please select this hyperlink.

 

TOP  (of Logging on)

 

 

 

 

Feedback

 

The HCR Administration Team is keen to receive comments and suggestions on issues including the usability and functionality of this HCR System Website.

 

It is recommended that all comments or queries regarding the site be directed to the HCR Administration Team via the e-mail link* on the WELCOME [Home] page.

 

Should you have more general comments or enquiries regarding the HSE web site, then please use the HSE links at the top right of the HCR System screens.

 

Note that clicking on the HSE logo at the top left of the HCR System screens will take you to the HSE Home Page.

 

*If, when trying to send an e-mail via the link on the HOME page, your e-mail system does not launch you should check that the correct entry has been made to run your e-mail system within your browser. This can be checked in Internet Explorer under the Tools menu. Click on Internet Options and then select the Programs tab. If the entry for e-mail is blank or incorrectly stated for the system installed, select the correct entry from the drop-down list and click either OK or Apply.  If you continue to experience difficulties with loading e-mail via the link then please contact your I.T. supplier.

 

To return to the CONTENTS list, please select this hyperlink.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

The questions contained in this section deal specifically with the reporting of offshore hydrocarbon releases, and with the operation of the HCR System itself.

 

Any questions regarding the operation of the HSE web site and its contents, including technical issues, should be directed via the HSE Feedback links at the top right of the HCR screens.

 

Q.        Can I report a hydrocarbon release using the HCR System (OIR/12 form) without sending in a RIDDOR (OIR/9b) report?

A.        No. The release must be reportable under RIDDOR, and the incident reported to HSE before using the HCR System to report the extra OIR/12 details.  See HCR HELP for WHAT is reportable (only available after logging on).

 

Q.        How long have I got after the time of the release to send in a report to the HSE?

A.        You have 10 days after the incident in which to send in a RIDDOR report. It may take longer to obtain sufficient information to complete the OIR/12 form, but this should be sent in within 4 weeks of the incident.

 

Q.        I need to report a hydrocarbon release via the HCR System but I don’t have a username or password?

A.        You must work for a duty holder to be able to report hydrocarbon releases via the HCR System. If your company are duty holders, and don’t already have username or password access to the HCR System, please contact the HCR Administration team, who can add you to the system given sufficient details of your occupational role. See WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

 

Q.        What if I can’t access the system even though I have a user name and password?

A.        You may need to have your name/password re-set. Contact the HCR Administration team. See WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

 

Q.        What do I do if I cannot access a particular module or experience any other technical problem?

A.        You may need to change your access level. Contact the HCR Administration team. See WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

 

Q.        What if I forget my password?

A.            Contactthe HCR Administration team to have your password re-set. See WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

 

 

Q.        How can I change my access level?

A.            Contact the HCR Administration team. See WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

 

 

Q.        What if I need to add another user?

A.            Contact the HCR Administration team who can add a user given sufficient details of their occupational role. See WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

 

Q.        What if the installation does not appear on the list for my organisation?

A.1      You can add a new installation via the Population Data module if you have the required access level. Otherwise, contact the HCR Administration team. See WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

A.2      This may be because the installation has changed hands, and has either not yet been transferred to your company or HSE has not yet been notified of the change.  NB: Under the Management and Administration Regulations (MAR), HSE must be notified of such transactions including change of Installation Name.

 

Q.        How do I report a hydrocarbon release incident which occurs before first Oil/Gas e.g. during commissioning ?

A.        The Installation must be added to your list on or before the date hydrocarbons are first used on board, i.e. the start-up date for the installation.

 

Q.        Can I have access to the HCR System even though I don’t work for a duty holder?

 

A.        Yes.  Bona-fide applicants from Offshore Consultancies, Academia, etc. may be given read only access to the HCR System, given sufficient details of their occupational role. There may be an annual charge for this service. Contact the HCR Administration team for more information. See WELCOME [HOME] page for contact details*.

 

 

*If, when trying to send an e-mail via the link on the HOME page, your e-mail system does not launch, you should check that the correct entry has been made to run your e-mail system within your browser. This can be checked in Internet Explorer under the Tools menu. Click on Internet Options and then select the Programs tab. If the entry for e-mail is blank or incorrectly stated for the system installed, select the correct entry from the drop-down list and click either OK or Apply.  If you continue to experience difficulties with loading e-mail via the link then please contact your I.T. supplier.

 

 

To return to the CONTENTS list, please select this hyperlink.

 

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