International Regulators' Forum Global Offshore Safety


IRF Country Members

International Regulators' Forum member logos and websites.
HSE UK BSEE USA Petroleum Safety Authority Norway NOPSEMA Australia New Zealand Department of Labour Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board Netherlands State Supervision of Mines Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board ANP Brazil CNH Mexico Danish Energy Agency


Annual Meetings

15th Annual IRF Meeting December 2008, Sydney

1. Minutes/Action points – 14th Annual Meeting, Miami

The minutes were reviewed and agreed

2. Performance Measures Project

The goal of this project is to measure and compare offshore safety performance among IRF
participants by collecting and comparing incident data based on a common set of criteria.

  • The Overview and Guidelines document is ready to be released

3. KP3 Asset Integrity Progress Report

An update was provided of what has occurred since the report was published.

  • A workgroup has been set up with Step Change in the UK, which is undertaking work on issues raised by KP3.
  • An agreement was made to set up a programme for senior management to receive training on the concept of barriers and control of major accident hazards. This has been well received and addresses the gap in management competence.
  • The KP3 report has created more impact than any single inspection that took place over these three years, and created industry and political awareness of the problem. Installation integrity is currently the number-one topic for all oil companies.

4. Health & Safety trends, in particular ‘integrity management’

Presentations from members focused on the following priorities for the coming year:

  1. Technical and operational integrity, including life extension of facilities
  2. Seeking opportunities for the use of new technology improving the HSE performance.
  3. Looking at specific groups that are exposed to specific risks
  4. Intensifying efforts in working with industry in preventing environmental harm

5. Accident Investigation Procedures

Members discussed and compared the following:

  • Definition of “an incident”
  • Circumstances which might trigger an investigation including criteria and overall approach
  • Reporting of incidents to Boards
  • Compliance/enforcement tools and the criteria for their use
  • Differences in legislation in other countries
  • Training and investigation policies

6. Lessons learned from incidents

Members discussed this topic in detail, including “lessons learned from a prosecution
perspective” and “what investigation reports tell us”. The following lessons learned were

  • Time consuming to review incidents and extract meaningful data
  • Unfamiliarity of inspectors with criminal law
  • Requirement for dedicated resource
  • Challenges with different Courts
  • Interfaces relating to responsibility unclear
  • Unclear definitions of safety critical systems
  • Lack of competence in investigation techniques
  • Insufficient transfer of experience between shifts and between offshore and onshore
  • Corporate knowledge learning is missing or totally absent

7. How to handle a “new” reality

The broad picture of increasing numbers of operating oil companies introduced a debate on the issues involved.


  • Competence capacity
  • New operators with no experience
  • Changes in the relationship between operators and contractors
  • Tripartite cooperation suffers


  • Review work methods and instruments of enforcement
  • Define roles and lines of responsibilities

8. Safety Zones

This discussion related to concerns that zones are running close to shipping lanes causing issues with legislation, safety etc. Information provided by various country members included

  • Advantages of specifying safety zones
  • Operator interest in establishing safety zones
  • The regulations under which zones are set, and the difference in administering these in each country.

9. Safety concerns/challenges re the issue of Carbon Capture Storage (CCS)

Presentations updated the meeting on approaches to this topic by various countries. These

  • Working with industry and industry associations to review all issues involved
  • Australian Government initiative in setting up an institute to assist in driving viable projects around the world
  • Reviewing the knowledge gaps and their assessment, including storage potential
  • Managing long term liability issues; environmental effects; reduce emissions and account for emissions avoided.

10. Independent Review of NOPSA’s Operational Activities

The legislation, under which NOPSA administers the Health and Safety provisions, requires that an independent review of the effectiveness of its operations is conducted every three years.

  • The first review occurred early in 2008.
  • It was concluded that NOPSA has made good progress in building a safety regulatory regime and authority of world class calibre.
  • A copy of the report is on the NOPSA website

11. IRF Review of the Draft MOU with International Standards Organisation (ISO)

It was noted that it was not possible to proceed with an IRF/ISO MOU due to the informal
standing of IRF.

12. Dealing with “idle iron”

Idle infrastructure is a financial liability to operators and possibly governments, and may also
pose potential environmental and navigational risks. Discussions related to wells, platforms and facilities which have not been producing for some time.


  • Develop a regional plan which sets milestones for idle iron removal and clarifies

13. NSOAF CEOs Conference)

This conference was set up because it was felt that the 20th anniversary of Piper Alpha and the focus on leadership in the North Sea countries was an opportunity to bring the two together. The theme of the day was leadership, and presentations focused on:

  • Installation integrity
  • Management of competence
  • Impact of new technologies and consequent challenges
  • Benefits of regulators and industry working together

14. Other presentations

A number of presentations were provided, including the following:

  • The use of KPIs
  • Lifting operations
  • Learnings and perceptions from the Piper Alpha disaster
  • Working with industry trade associations
  • Update on progress on the development of the regulatory framework for offshore safety in Brazil
  • Update on C-NLOPB’s work to streamline their regulatory regime and corresponding organisational development
  • Update on the New Zealand offshore regime
  • Proposal for offshore alternative energy and alternate use regulations
  • Proposed Norwegian regulations for petroleum activities offshore and at land facilities

15. 2010 IRF Conference


  • Host: Canada
  • Location: Vancouver
  • When: - October 2010.

16. IRF Membership

Membership of IRF was discussed and current arrangements were confirmed, with a possibility of some limited expansion.

17. 2009 Annual Meeting

It was agreed that New Zealand will host the next meeting, with Auckland suggested as a venue. Possible date October 2009.


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