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Safety 4.0

Providing safety assurance for new subsea technology

The objective of Safety 4.0 is to enable and accelerate the uptake of novel subsea solutions, by providing a new framework for standardized safety demonstration of new technologies and systems.

Simultaneously bringing down costs and adapting to more challenging operating conditions calls for radical solutions, but while Norwegian regulations encourage innovation, prescriptive requirements in existing safety standards used by the industry restrict the envelope of solutions and may impose excessive costs. All-electric and digital technologies are challenging existing safety philosophies, but also providing new opportunities for risk management.

But how can the industry take advantage of these new and upcoming technology opportunities without imposing excessive costs for demonstrating safety? The industry needs a common and simplified approach that enables a faster safety demonstration and enables a cost-effective implementation of new subsea technologies.

“We joined Safety 4.0 to support the development of new safety and control standards and work methods in a systematic manner, which will contribute to cost effective implementation of new subsea technologies.”

  • Gunleiv Skofteland
  • ,
  • Equinor

Risk qualification framework

Safety 4.0 will enable and accelerate the uptake of novel subsea solutions, leveraging a new risk qualification framework based on a generic subsea risk picture with regulations taken as the starting point.

The framework will enable industry players to quicker demonstrate whether a new solution is ‘as good as or better than’ existing, traditional solutions, providing decision makers the confidence needed to choose the novel technology. Safety demonstration will be standardized by reusable, generic safety arguments and, with a modular approach, capturing the effect of changes on any system level, without the need for a full reassessment of the whole system.

The framework will provide practical guidance on applying the new risk model, ‘the consequences of the activities, with associated uncertainty’ – as compared with the previous ‘risk means probability x consequence’. Also, the framework will facilitate the investigation of systemic failures stemming from the interaction between the components in a system. DNV also aims at developing methods to utilize monitoring and data from the operational phases, to allow for potential changes in design and more effective operation.

The project brings together both operators, contractors, academia, and the Petroleum Safety Authority to develop this framework from a set of industry-relevant user cases.

The benefits

In Safety 4.0, DNV is examining the business opportunities presented by “All-electric technology”, allowing operation of safety-critical valves via electric power rather than hydraulic power. This has the potential to reduce CAPEX and OPEX as well as the risk of environmental spills, and enables greater online monitoring capabilities.

Increased integration of technologies - for instance, physically sharing hardware components such as sensors and control elements - also has further potential to reduce cost. Better use of sensors through monitoring and diagnostics can contribute to more effective and cheaper safety validation during operations.

Safety 4.0 is also covering safety demonstration for subsea systems using an American Petroleum Institute (API) recommended practice as a starting point. This will ensure that the developed framework can be used in regulatory regimes also outside Norway.