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Letter from a North Sea Offshore Installation Manager to the RiskPoynt CEO


As one of the early users and converts to RiskPoynt, I wanted to share with you a slide that I put together when I speak to my colleagues regarding my own personal experience with your product and just how effective it was in identifying a potentially dangerous situation that I encountered several years ago on a platform that I was assigned to. The Barrier Model below shows the ‘before’ and ‘after’ comparison (Note: These slides represent the period between July 2015 to September 2016). This was on the “Lomond” gas production platform in the North Sea. She was an old platform, so some of the reasoning may be a bit different or skewed when compared to a newer installation, but the resulting advantages, I suspect, will likely be the same.


Barrier Model Before RiskPoynt


Barrier Model After RiskPoynt

At the time of the original risk assessment, there were multiple inputs and a great deal of data being fed into the BG Barrier Model. Unfortunately, these were far too many and resulted in a blurred view of our actual process risks due to excessive under and over reporting, inaccurate assessments and an overwhelming build-up of information. Examples included a planned maintenance backlog at over 100,000 hrs (simply unmanageable, right?). It was, as the saying goes, the perfect recipe for a disaster. This was due, in part, to the absence of a unified tool to assess and prioritise the risks, controls, actions and mitigations. That is when the RiskPoynt software application came in to clear up the confusion by prioritizing these attributes through use of James Reason’s Barrier Model, which is the heart of the RiskPoynt software. As Offshore Installation Manager (OIM), I am legally responsible for operational safety of the facility. Because the risk situation was unclear, I had to be able to understand the information by having the software interpret and present it in a way that would enable me to ‘triage’ or sort it in an expedited manner to make critical and timely decisions. The whole concept for me is having the ability of my offshore team to see in an instant the state of the installation that we are managing, and living on, in a way that is SMART – Systematic, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. The “Barrier Model” provided me and my team with a single page of valuable information that I/we could reference to visualize our operational risks in real time. In fact, I found it so valuable that I used the RiskPoynt as my screen saver so that every time my PC/Laptop was reopened/refreshed I would view our current risk profile.

You will see from the efforts made, and the use of RiskPoynt’s Barrier Model, there was also an increase in the productivity and operational efficiency of “Lomond,” during the period shown. Our operational efficiency increased from 52 percent to 81 percent in 14 months – simply remarkable!!!

In today’s current difficult and restrictive financial climate, which is certainly more challenging than it was back in 2015-2016, it is all about ‘doing more with less;’ but the Golden Rule still applies – ”Am I safe” to do whatever is planned/required next?  And when I say, “Am I safe,” I mean for all of the people who worked and lived on the installation. That aspect never changes for the men and women who provide the oil and gas for the folks back ashore.

In conjunction with the use of the RiskPoynt on “Lomond” and making the facility a better and safer place to work and live, it was rewarding to see how risk management could be done more effectively with less complexity than what we previously were working with, while actually producing better results.

So, whilst the Barrier Model quite rightly is aimed at reducing or managing known risks, it also improves the communication and focus of the entire organization on operational integrity. When these are noted, recorded and reviewed in a comprehensive manner in a single system, the priorities identified can be dealt with in the right order. This ensures that even the most difficult/high risk activities are dealt with first. In the oil and gas industry we commonly refer to this as, ‘firefighting.’ Once this level of reactive engagement can be managed, a more planned, proactive stance can be implemented. That was where the “Lomond” was when I left. I am a true believer in your product and have seen first-hand just how effective it is!

Best regards,

Neil Rothney, OIM