Safety and Pollution Prevention Audit Program
The Commission's Mineral Resources and Management Division conducts comprehensive engineering safety audits of oil and gas producing facilities impacting State tidelands. The Program objectives are to ensure every company has a comprehensive safety and pollution prevention program and every facility is designed, maintained, and operated in a manner compliant with current industry codes, regulations, and best achievable protection standards.
- Modernization of the facility's safety system design.
- Assurance of compliance with safety standards and regulations.
- Verification of maintenance and training programs.
- Assessment of the Operator's safety culture and safety management systems.
- Augmentation of the Division's monthly safety device testing and inspection program.
Since 2000, the Division has completed three rounds and has begun a fourth round of safety audits at offshore state lease oil and gas facilities, which have been repeated on a five year cycle. Upon Commission direction, the Long Beach Unit and Tidelands operations on granted lands were added to the roster of facilities audited in the 2002-2003 time frame. In total, the safety audits have resulted in correction more than 9,000 action items since 2000. This represents a major achievement in improving safety and preventing pollution from offshore oil and gas facilities. Repeat audits have demonstrated the ongoing effectiveness of the program as action item numbers show steady improvements in regulatory compliance, design standard conformance, and safety culture integration.
The Bottom Line
For state offshore oil and gas leases, maintenance and facility safety systems have been steadily upgraded. The number of identified action items has been cut in half. It is evident that all the facilities and platforms are being maintained and upgraded to assure safe operation and achieve best available protection from spills. Action items are predominantly related to deviations from prescriptive type regulations, codes, or other requirements for equipment and engineering items. A smaller portion of the action items pertain to operating manuals, procedures, and other contingency plan documents. All of the action items are tracked to completion, and all are resolved after each Safety Audit. The Safety and Pollution Prevention Audits demonstrate that operators continue to make significant improvements in safety systems, procedures, and equipment reliability. In conjunction with each safety audit, a Safety Assessment of Management Systems procedure is completed that assesses company safety management programs and the degree of safety culture integration in the employee and contractor workforce. These human factor assessments provide lessees with feedback on a wide array of inter-related safety management procedures and programs that directly impact safety and environmental performance.