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1999 Annual Report

Operations & Technical Issues & Activities

Throughout the year specialist technical committees have been working on a variety of projects to improve safety, environment and industry reputation, and, where appropriate, reduce costs.

It is not possible in the scope of this report to describe all projects, but those included below demonstrate significant value addition to the industry over the past year.

Fishing

In close co-operation with the English and Scottish Fishing Federation, the electronic charting of all subsea structures including pipeline spans has continued. This is a continuation of the commitment that was made between the oil and fishing industries to improve safety of fishing vessels in the wake of the sinking of the Westhaven. UKOOA has also funded the development and successful trials of a warning device known as Fishsafe which will work in conjunction with the electronic charting. Financial agreements are now in place to have this device installed on 300 fishing vessels by the end of the first quarter of 2000. All of these activities have done much to improve the relationship between the two industries.

Environment

Environmental issues were dominated by the introduction of the IPPC regulations and the consultation process with the DTI to develop appropriate guidelines. This work is still proceeding with the first draft of these guidelines issued at year end. Work has also continued on the improvements to SCOPEC, the industry database for reporting of environmental information. This, in turn, has been the source of information for the UKOOA 1999 Environmental Report.

Other Key Issues

The introduction of regulations for the charging of the services of the HSE gave rise to intensive consultation between UKOOA and the HSE. This resulted in a more defined scope of charging which has reduced the overall cost to the Industry. Forums have been established to ensure that costs are equitable and fair across the Industry.

The cost of exploration wells has been reduced by the agreement of the concept of Finder Wells with the DTI to reduce well design and information gathering costs. FishSAFE, the new electronic safety device for fishermen.

Work has also commenced on the introduction of the SEANET System which will provide operators with all the geographical, environmental, fisheries and subsea obstructions information required for the positioning of drilling rigs and structures.

The OTC also maintained links with Action 2000 to represent the offshore industry in demonstration of Y2K compliance, enabling the Industry to declare blue status well within the year end time limit.

Workshops were held during the year on Suspended Wellheads, Seismic and Fishing Activities and Verification.

In view of the continuing reduction in committee resources, many of the standing committees have reviewed and optimised their activities and structure. The Atlantic Margin Joint Interest Group (AMJIG) have also now developed stronger links with the OTC as have a number of other committees working in the Southern North Sea area.

Guidelines

A number of key guidelines were also developed and published during the year as follows:

      * Framework for Risk Related Decision Support

        * Survey of Vessels Standing By Offshore Installations

          * The Safe Management and Operation of Vessels Standing By Offshore Installations

            * Audit of Marine Vessels

              * Deep Water Rig Site Location
              * Instrument-Based Protective Systems

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