By Andrew Hobbs

LESSONS learned by classifications society Lloyd’s Register in its work on Shell’s Prelude Floating LNG facility are being brought into the company’s work on other projects, the company’s group energy director John Wishart says.

Speaking with Oil & Gas Australia on the sidelines of AOG 2015, Mr Wishart said the company had become involved on the Prelude project before project suppliers were selected.

“With Prelude we got there a level earlier, which was reviewing all the people that were bidding,” he said.

These suppliers, of items that were critical for safety, critical for operations or critical to the construction and project schedule, were all the ones that could have a big impact, he said.

“Starting earlier really increased the volume of work we had to do upfront, but it has paid dividends going down, and we have looked at the work we have done and I think we have added value and I think we have been able to help eliminate some delays that could have occurred,” he said.

“By getting involved earlier we have been able to identify issues and work with the builder and the contractor and the operator to help resolve issues to ensure that the project progresses in the most efficient way as possible.”

It was a challenge to combine the different existing safety regulations that govern marine facilities, Mr Wishart said.

By definition, marine facilities move and offshore regulations govern structures that don’t.

“It is helping clients get through that process so you can resolve conflict and get the right dispensation – again making sure that the safety levels and the structural integrity is as high as possible,” he said.

“As we learn the lessons we are trying to improve the rules so we have got kind of a living set of rules and trying to capture best practice as we move.”

“We will be looking for further revisions. It is almost a mini-emerging industry as we take our lessons from Prelude we are busy pulling those into our new rules.”

A survey conducted by Lloyd’s Register Energy at AOG 2015 suggested that a skills and knowledge shortage was a critical change issue for the local industry, with more than 36 per cent of respondents saying it was the primary issue.

The company said industry must find a way of striking a balance between safety critical issues and operational pressures; improving the prioritisation of maintenance and ensuring competence through technology and innovation to help deliver on upcoming energy sources.

Mr Wishart said responsibility for ensuring the future of the oil and gas industry laid with business, academics, regulators and government alike.

“By working more collaboratively, more intelligently and with a greater vision, then we will all effectively advance the industry’s success,” he said.