DNV is carrying out a study to identify the repercussions of Hurricane Ivan and to determine how to be better prepared to reduce hurricane damage in the Gulf of Mexico.
In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan, a category-4 storm, moved through the GoM producing extreme winds and large waves that in some cases exceeded the 100-yr design criteria of the facilities in its path. Of the 4,000 offshore oil and gas facilities and 50,000 km of pipeline in federal GoM waters, 150 facilities and 15,000 km of pipeline were directly in the hurricane's path.
By the end of this year, DNV will submit recommendations to the authorities that identify best practices and potential changes to codes to better protect pipelines during major hurricanes.
DNV will draw from its experience and from the existing pipeline code to compare GoM engineering practice for pipelines with the practices in other parts of the world. The scope involves:
• Investigating the GoM pipeline infrastructure damage caused by Hurricane Ivan with a primary focus of identifying and managing root causes of key damage areas
• Investigating how operators deal with GoM hurricanes and what the best early warning, emergency response, shutdown, and start-up practices are
• Investigating the current design and installation practices for GoM pipelines and comparing them with design and installation practices in other areas of the world
• Investigating both new and proven techniques and technologies that could help to mitigate pipeline damage.
As a result of the investigations and a review of current practices and issues, DNV will recommend changes that could potentially improve the level of safety and reduce the possibility of a catastrophic failure in the future.
The review will include an expanded appraisal of the historical performance and critical issues for consideration. This will include an evaluation of the effects of Ivan and aspects that could increase or decrease integrity, ranging from possible standard changes to the evolution of operations.