Contractors Unlimited

PSN Invention Honours Piper Alpha Anniversary

Production Services NetworkPSN's principal structural engineer, Dr Farzin Keshmiri, has invented a technique that significantly improves the safety of offshore platform 'blast walls'. This innovation offers a dramatic improvement to offshore safety and builds on key findings detailed in The Cullen Enquiry, set up to establish the cause of the Piper Alpha disaster that occurred 21 years ago today (Monday 6th July 2009).

Producing and processing high pressure oil and gas is a safety challenge. Consequently, high risk areas of an offshore platform are protected by strong steel walls to absorb any potential blast impact and protect people living and working offshore. As a result of The Cullen Enquiry, the safety standards and design codes of these blast walls were revised. Replacing blast walls to maintain these standards is very expensive as the platform has to be shut down and difficult construction strengthening work has to be completed. Dr Keshmiri has invented a process by which the Operators can identify weaknesses in the strength of their blast walls using computer simulation. When a problem is identified, PSN's structural engineering team can then design bespoke reinforcements which can be installed without removing the original wall.

PSN's technical director John Kearney said: "At PSN, we constantly look for better ways of doing things and encourage our people to develop bold ideas. We are exceptionally proud of Dr Keshmiri's invention. It's most important feature is the dramatic improvement it makes to the health and safety of men and women living and working offshore. This innovation also saves PSN's customers money and time by avoiding the need to shut down the platform and replace the whole wall. Our people have the skills, attitude and support to continually improve engineering tools, processes and systems. This makes our work better value and safer for our customers, but also more stimulating and satisfying for our employees."

Dr Keshmiri has applied his experience from working in a variety of different industries on various global structural and civil engineering projects. He was previously chief designer of the Chelogohre dam and led the design of the Bandar Abbas ship fabrication and repair complex in Iran.

Posted 06/07/09

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