The advent of floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facilities presents others. “We have experience of LNG tankers, which are quite safe,” says Arnold. “But what is different about FLNG is that you have ignition sources sitting above the LNG tanks. This is receiving a lot of concentrated thought and risk analysis.” Arnold says that safety in gas production has improved greatly during his long career, but more remains to be done, especially on building a safety culture in the industry.
“There has Been a Huge Change”
“There has been a huge change,” he says. “For periods of time we make incremental changes, and then something bad happens like Piper Alpha or Macondo (in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010), and all of a sudden we wake up and say, ‘Wait a minute, we have to do better than this.’ And we make a step change. And then after the step change we go along making incremental changes again until the next accident catches us.”
“We have done a very good job of dealing with the kinds of accidents that can injure or kill one or two people. But what we are concentra-ting on now, and trying very hard to improve, is the very rare, very high consequence issues like Macondo or Piper Alpha.”