Safe operation of dynamically positioned (DP) vessels is of vital importance to the global offshore oil and gas industry. Ian Giddings, Technical Advisor at the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) recently outlined at the Marine Technology Society (MTS) Dynamic Positioning Conference, how fundamentally important the guidance, information notes, safety notes and incident reports gathered by IMCA are to the industry.
For many years IMCA (and its predecessor the DP Vessel Owners Association) has produced the guidance, information notes, safety notes and incident reports about DP based on information gathered from its members and the wider industry. Ian Giddings’ presentation in Houston to an international audience looked at the work already done in the area and, even more importantly, at what is to be done in the future, which includes not only updating existing guidance but also providing new guidance on simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) and Well Specific Operating Guidelines (WSOG) and the review of new position measuring equipment.
“Over the past 16 years IMCA has collected data on over 800 DP incidents,” Ian Giddings explained. “I presented to delegates at the MTS conference, over half of whom had travelled from outside the USA, the way in which IMCA collects and analyses these incidents, and the changes to be made so that the lessons learnt can be drawn out more clearly, and the information can be of more benefit to the end users such as companies, DP operators and training centres. We have now shifted the analysis of incidents in-house from outside contractors and believe that not only will this ensure earlier analysis and the more rapid dissemination of safety flashes if appropriate, but also provide anonymity on all reports which should encourage more reporting.”