In July 2010 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched Key Programme 4 (KP4) targeting ageing and life extension (ALE) issues relating to offshore installations. November 2012 sees the publication of the KP4 interim report, which details the progress of the programme to date.

KP4 is a programme of targeted inspections which aim to improve management of ageing offshore assets and to identify best practice. It follows on from the KP3 Programme ran by the HSE in 2009 highlighting issues in asset integrity. The interim report notes that at the present stage in KP4 approximately 65% of the offshore industry has had KP4 inspections.

Key themes and findings amongst the inspections focus on:

  • Organisational factors
  • Process safety
  • Fire and explosion 
  • Mechanical
  • Corrosion
  • Electrical, control and instrumentation
  • Structures
  • Marine integrity management
  • Pipelines

The report also notes that KP4 aims to encourage a culture of sharing and learning of good practices across the industry to deliver improvements in ALE. Part of the KP4 strategy is also to ensure appropriate workforce involvement. The report notes that more needs to be done in terms of both culture and engagement for long term development.

The publication of the report has been welcomed by the industry association, Oil & Gas UK. Bob Lauder, health and safety policy manager for Oil & Gas UK, stated:

This latest report from HSE highlights a number of very positive findings with regards to good practice identified during its inspections. We’re pleased to see highlighted the fact that duty holders are taking ageing and life extension very seriously, with a strong recognition among senior managers of the importance of these issues.”

KP4 will run until December 2013 by which point all dutyholders will have been inspected and should be implementing long term installation plans. Following this, the intention is for the HSE to review the implementation of these plans, focusing particularly on the commitment of senior management personnel to maintaining asset integrity.

To access the report please click here