UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Mohammed Aldhafeeri


Having performed a full experimentation on the steam flooded heavy oil recovery in Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the two Gulf Cooperation Council states have been working on the revival of the Wafra heavy oil field along their mutual border. A large-scale steam flooding heavy oil recovery project would require, among other things, the integration of risk assessment systems – be they quantitatively or qualitatively centric. Historically, calm times in the oil and gas sector may not necessarily be the most profitable; however, when accidents materialise everything changes. Even though the design of the machines and equipment used in the sector can be reliable, resilient, tough and full of safety assurance, incidents that have taken place could be linked to the inadequacy of risk assessments that could predict weaknesses and reliability vulnerabilities. Over the years, the oil and gas industries of the world have been resolving risk vulnerabilities of their facilities by integrating a myriad of risk assessment techniques such as Checklist, What-If Analysis, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) and Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) in a bid to promote transparent Process Hazard Analysis (PHA). These techniques have been useful in addressing risks associated with other complex oil and gas projects or indeed major projects from any high-risk industry. However, for some of these techniques to work, the processes would have to be a closed system where the controls are monitored and data can be collected so that decisions could be made about the safety of the processes. This research aimed to evaluate the decision- making techniques used in the selection of risk assessment methods for safety assurance in oil and gas projects against the gloomy international market. The research presupposes that adopting an integrated approach to risk assessment on heavy oil and gas projects could positively improve safety assurance now and in the future. It uses a questionnaire survey to test this presupposition, and adopts an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) model to contribute to the body of knowledge on how to engage practitioners in the selection of a safety risk assessment technique. The research used a validation exercise to model the perception of the participants on the AHP model for selecting risk assessment techniques and found that there is a high level of dynamism in the decision making process. The research recommends the adoption of a transparent and systematic means of adopting and integrating safety risk assessments in the heavy oil recovery industry. Key words: AHP, Heavy oil recovery, Risk assessment techniques; Safety Assurance; Market uncertainty


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2018