DNV GL now offers the only global, third-party verification service with comprehensive coverage of shale gas operational risks. The company has launched a comprehensive, tailor-made independent verification service based on the provisions of its Recommended Practice for Risk Management of Shale Gas Developments and Operations (RP), regulatory requirements and other publicly available standards.
The new service will be used as a tool to help assure stakeholders that an independent assessment can assist in preventing incidents, reducing operational costs and limiting the environmental footprint of shale gas developments. Best practices measured in the assessment process include environmental, occupational and process safety, human factors, well integrity and other elements that may help address the low probability, high consequence incidents under review.
The verification process determines whether a comprehensive, transparent risk management approach related to risk identification and mitigation has been implemented to allow sustainable shale gas project development or expansion.
The verification service may be used by operators, regulators, insurance companies, banks and other oil and gas stakeholders to frame the risk dialogue, based on international approaches to risk identification, mitigation and monitoring best practices.
DNV GL’s verification protocol will issue a conformance statement for all or part of the RP provisions and applicable publicly available standards and regulations. While various industry groups have introduced initiatives to assure stakeholders, DNV GL’s verification service is the most comprehensive, risk-based strategy for exploration and production of shale gas and liquids.
“As shale gas and liquids development are experiencing exponential growth in North America, a wide range of operational risks have been realized, including gas flaring, fugitive emissions, rail transport incidents, water management, fracking chemicals, explosions, fires, infrastructure limitations, occupational risks and asset integrity issues,” said Elisabeth Torstad, CEO of DNV GL Maritime and Oil & Gas. “Industry can gain stakeholder acceptance only by implementing best practices and proactive risk management. They need to demonstrate that their development activities can be executed in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.”
Background: Risk Management of Shale Gas Projects and Developments
In early 2013, DNV GL released the recommended practice for risk management of shale gas projects and developments to provide stakeholders a comprehensive understanding of potential risks and best practices to mitigate them. The RP was originally shaped as a risk primer for gaining a license to operate for new shale gas developments and to assure existing unconventional shale gas projects, especially in North America, could be sustainably operated. The RP is the foundation for DNV GL’s newly launched verification service.
The verification process identifies and recommends technical and non-technical best practices related to risk management, safety, health and the environment, well integrity, water and energy management, infrastructure and logistics, community engagement and communication, as well as permitting.