Development of an integrated process safety management and climate change model for the oil and gas industry

  • Chizaram Dagogo Nwankwo

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Globally, process accidents have been on the increase in oil and gas facilities and the role of external factors such as climate change on accident causation remain elusive. The Integrated Process Safety Management System (IPSMS) model offers a lot of promise because it integrates all the current PSM systems into a holistic model. However, there is little empirical research about integrated process safety management and climate change modelling that addresses emerging risks posed by climate change. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop an integrated process safety management and climate change model for the oil and gas industry. A “concurrent triangulation” mixed methods design strategy was selected for this study, where data was collected, analysed and validated using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The main data collection sources for this study included the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) accident database, questionnaires, interviews and archive data from peer-reviewed academic literature. Data analysis techniques for this study included trend analysis, descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation, Cronbach’s alpha reliability analysis, content analysis and comparative analysis. Trend analysis results showed that 2013 recorded the highest number of 43 accidents and the most fatalities of 80 deaths. With regard to geographical regions, Asia had the highest number of 59 accidents. Contractors were mostly affected in 86% of accidents, while company workers were involved in 14% of accidents. 69% of accidents were witnessed in onshore regions, while 31% occurred in offshore locations. After case study analysis, hurricanes were highlighted as the most fatal and expensive climatic events with an average of 1,092 fatalities and $68.68 billion in damages per event, followed by flooding events and wildfires. Questionnaire and interview findings reveal that 86% of the study’s participants suggested that climate change was an important factor that could affect oil and gas industry operations. Pearson’s correlation results also showed that climatic events such as flooding, temperature variations and CO2 concentration showed significant correlations with oil and gas operations. However, there were a few dissenting voices who believed that operations would naturally be disrupted with or without climate change. Based on quantitative and qualitative findings, management of harsh weather condition was incorporated as an external factor in developing the Integrated Process Safety Management and Climate Change Model. This model tends to address process risks posed to oil and gas operations emanating from personnel, procedure, equipment, as well as external factors such as climate change.
    Date of AwardOct 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorAndrew Arewa (Supervisor) & Stephen Theophilus (Supervisor)

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