FRAM Approach for Barrier Management in Offshore Drilling
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Accident investigations in offshore oil and gas industry indicate that inadequate barrier management has been one of the main causes of many offshore accidents. Event trees commonly have been used for safety barrier risk analysis; however, this approach mostly focuses on technical barriers. Safety barriers in an offshore installation can be passive, active, physical, technical, human/organizational, or a combination of these. With the introduction of non-traditional school of thought on safety, so called Safety-II, and how to achieve it, methods such as Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM) have been developed to map sociotechnical systems from a different perspective. This paper explores the FRAM potential explicitly in barrier management. While a FRAM barrier model acknowledges the Safety-II advantages and provides the analyst with a more comprehensive decision-making support tool, it may also bring out its limitations. To demonstrate this, the FRAM approach has been applied to an offshore well production based on its designed barrier system regarding the kick incident. The FRAM barrier model has then been compared to a traditional Event Tree representation of the system and the advantages and disadvantages of both methods are discussed.