Process Safety/Asset Integrity

Corporate Responsibility

Process Safety/Asset Integrity

Canadian Natural’s Asset Integrity Management System is in place to ensure the safety, compliance and reliability of our pipelines, pressure equipment, tanks, and infrastructure. We own and operate one of the largest inventories of upstream process equipment within Canada; additionally, Canadian Natural Resources International (CNRI) has facilities located in the United Kingdom (UK) sector of the North Sea and Offshore Africa.

We focus on the integrity of our process equipment and structures across all of our operations as an essential part of ensuring safety company-wide. Maintaining the integrity of our process equipment means preventing and minimizing spills, and loss of pressure containment. We manage our operations in a manner that will evaluate, prevent and mitigate impacts to the integrity of our assets to ensure safe, effective and efficient operations.

Asset Integrity programs are developed by specialized and highly qualified teams that conduct proactive, technical reviews of our equipment and how it is operated. We proactively implement programs to help ensure worker safety and reduce environmental incidents by minimizing the exposure to risks. We complete risk-based evaluations and inspections, and implement appropriate monitoring and mitigation strategies to protect people, the environment, and the integrity of our assets.

Process Safety Management

Canadian Natural’s Process Safety Management (PSM) framework provides an integrated and systematic approach to assuring the integrity of our operations. PSM is a management system that focuses on the prevention of unplanned hydrocarbon releases. PSM integrates and aligns technical, maintenance, operational, organizational and human (leadership and competency) aspects of our business to prevent and manage potential risk to personnel, the environment and the facilities we operate.

Our focused approach on the key elements of PSM — greater hazard awareness, competency training, incident investigation and implementation of lessons learned, management of change and technical audits — continues across our operations. Our cross-functional Operations Centered Organization (OCO) teams work together to identify potential threats to the ongoing safety and reliability of our assets, develop recommendations and implement remedial actions.

Learn more about our PSM initiatives and results in our 2015 Stewardship Report to Stakeholders.

International Operations

Our North Sea and Offshore Africa oil and natural gas facilities are subject to intense waves, highly corrosive elements and extreme operating conditions that can present significant challenges to managing infrastructure integrity for mature assets. To maintain asset integrity while safeguarding lives and the environment, CNRI operates a robust Asset Integrity Management System. This system helps us keep current processes and resources fit for purpose over the lifetime of our assets.

At our CNRI operations, our PSM framework addresses regulatory requirements of the UK Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) regulatory body. The United Kingdom's goal-setting legislative regime is one of the most stringent in the world. Our risk management approach incorporates key performance indicators (KPIs) into all aspects of our business to ensure that our performance is measurable and continuously improved upon.

Our efforts have a particular emphasis on ensuring a consistent approach to Operational Risk Management, which includes the Aging and Life Extension (ALE) program. The ALE program was developed to monitor the integrity of our offshore installations and ensure that performance standards of safety critical components continue to be achieved throughout the life extension phase of our facilities.

At CNRI, our framework for successful integrity management follows best practices and lessons learned within the international oil and natural gas industry by adopting the following management model:

  • Clear policies and objectives: to set a clear direction for the company to follow in the improvement of operational reliability, standards for measuring performance and elimination of safety related risk.

  • Organizational structure and responsibilities: effective management structure and integrity management practices are required to deliver the policy and strategy. The establishment of a positive 'integrity culture' means less risk to individuals and less damage to the integrity of a facility.

  • Corrosion risk assessment and planning: using tools such as Risk Based Inspection (RBI) to identify integrity threats and rank the risks they present and then plan appropriately for their effective avoidance or mitigation.

  • Implementation and analyzing: to ensure effective implementation of plans and analysis of data, leading to timely corrective action where necessary.

  • Monitoring and measuring performance: performance measured against agreed standards to reveal when and where improvement is needed.

  • Review system performance: the organization can learn from all relevant experience, apply the lessons and achieve continuous improvement.

  • Independent audit: to provide an independent and objective comparison between the integrity management system requirements and the system as implemented to enable corrective actions and improvement.