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Posts under ‘Hans Bouman’

In Disaster’s Wake, BP Doubles Down on Deepwater Despite Surging Shale

Majors including Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell have maintained Gulf operations but focused expansions on U.S. shale.

THUNDER HORSE OIL PLATFORM, Gulf of Mexico — About 300 BP workers commute 150 miles here by helicopter, from the Louisiana coast to a deep-sea drilling platform that can produce more oil in a day than a West Texas rig can pump in a year.

On the deck of Thunder Horse, they work two-week shifts, drink seawater from a desalination plant, and eat ribs and chicken ferried in by boat. On the ocean floor, robots provide remote eyes and arms as drills extract up to 265,000 barrels per day.

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SpaceShipTwo Explosion: Shell Prelude another pioneering venture fraught with risk

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.07.59The New York Times magazine has published an informative article by Robert Sullivan about Prelude, under the appropriate headline:

“The Biggest Ship in the World (Though It Isn’t Exactly a Ship)”

The dangers associated with innovative  technology, with potentially disastrous consequences, are heightened following the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo rocket ship explosion in the US.

To obtain an overall assessment on risks relating to Prelude, the article by Robert Sullivan is best read in conjunction with a series of articles by experts triggered by a well-placed whistleblower directly involved in the equally pioneering Shell Prelude project. Includes articles by Bill Campbell, the retired distinguished HSE Group Auditor of Shell International and Hans Bouman, another retired Shell guru with a track record of spotting potential pitfalls in major Shell projects.

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Royal Dutch Shell Prelude Project ‘A Step Too Far’

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 17.11.37By John Donovan

I have received a comment about the most recent Bill Campbell Prelude article from another expert, a former Shell executive. 

I refer to Hans Bouman, the retired Groningen Gas Field Asset Manager for NAM, a joint Royal Dutch Shell/ExxonMobil operation.

Mr Bouman is the expert who in 2002 warned Shell/Sakhalin Energy internally of his concerns over the Sakhalin2 project, including an unforgiving schedule, a theme he returned to a number of times. 

Extract from a May 2002 internal email from Hans Bouman to Engel van Spronsen, Technical Director, Sakhalin Energy:

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WHAT CHIEF GLOBAL PETROLEUM ENGINEER IAIN PERCIVAL REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT…

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 09.33.03This article has been deleted at the request of Iain Percival.

RELATED CORRESPONDENCE ON SHELL BLOG

Stuart Posted on Mar 11th, 2014 at 22:33

With unreserved apologies if you HAVE gotten his support: I find it very sad that you would decide to publish old documents from Iain, a man whose integrity and dignity you praise. His career concerns, his job applications etc are not something that should be shown around for cheap amusement, and to keep alive your anti-Shell moaning.

Yes this stuff was already in the public domain, but your explanation for publishing essentially says “it was hard to find, so I’ve made it easy for everyone to gawp at it”.

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Shell Prelude FLNG: loss of containment of hydrocarbons almost inevitable

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 13.18.45The revolutionary concept of offshore LNG installations (FLNG) is said to have economic and environmental advantages. A distinct disadvantage however is that the risks to health and safety of persons employed offshore on the LNG FPSO’s, such as Prelude, will be higher, when compared to onshore LNG plants of similar capacity, specifically the potential for loss of life; …loss of containment of hydrocarbons is likely to occur on Prelude during its operational life, either through flaws in the design, human error or failure to inspect and maintain. It’s almost inevitable.  It’s only to be hoped that the consequences of these losses never reach their full potential. 

By Bill Campbell, Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International

Prelude FLNG turns conventional wisdom on its head

The revolutionary concept of offshore LNG installations (FLNG) is said to have economic and environmental advantages.  A distinct disadvantage however is that the risks to health and safety of persons employed offshore on the LNG FPSO’s, such as  Prelude, will be higher, when compared to onshore LNG plants of similar capacity, specifically the potential for loss of life. 

This article concentrates on the perfect contradiction that exists between managing risks on an onshore LNG plant when compared with floating LNG. Whereas onshore plants, handling hazardous substances reduce risk by physical separation, such separation, although attempted on Prelude would not be accepted onshore because the separation distances are inadequate.  Prelude will store high quantities of cryogenic hydrocarbon liquids on the installation.  The heat energy of the liquids is enormous.  This contradicts the £6 billion or so expenditure in the North Sea, post Piper Alpha, to do as much as reasonably practicable, to reduce the heat energy available so that escalation of hydrocarbon events are limited such that the Temporary refuge (TR), normally the Living quarters, and including escape routes to the TR and evacuation from it, will not be impaired within one hour to allow safe evacuation of the facility.  The frequency of TR impairment should be demonstrated to be no more than once in 1000 yrs.  It’s a high standard to achieve. 

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