Hydrocarbon Safety Plays Lead Role at Hazards 24 Conference

May 1, 2014
Cost of poor hydrocarbon process safety tops $34 billion.

The hydrocarbon industry is playing a key role at Hazards 24, a leading process safety event for the chemical and process industries. Hazards 24, organized by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), will feature more than 60 technical presentations from process safety experts sharing the latest best practices and research. Speakers from the hydrocarbon sector include representatives from BP, Shell and Oil and Gas UK.

The combined financial loss from the 100 largest accidents in the hydrocarbon industry between 1974 and 2013 is estimated at over $34 billion, according to a new report from insurance provider Marsh, whose energy loss database holds almost 10,000 records of losses spanning a period of more than 40 years. The losses are dominated by the upstream (34%) and refining sectors (29%), with the petrochemical sector accounting for nearly a quarter of losses (23%). Gas processing (9%) and distribution sectors (5%) accounted for over one in six losses.

Marsh reported that eight new losses have entered the 100 largest losses list since 2011, including the Sendai refinery in Japan, the Geismar petrochemical facility in the United States and the La Plata refinery in Argentina. The Piper Alpha Disaster in the North Sea tops the list with estimated losses of $1.8 billion, followed by the Pasadena petrochemical plant explosion in Texas, which incurred losses of $1.4 billion.

“Marsh’s latest report is another stark reminder of the sheer scale of financial loss resulting from process safety incidents,” said Andrew Furlong, IChemE’s director of policy and communication. “However, it is the elimination of loss of life and serious injury that should be the priority of everyone in the chemical and process industries.”

Hazards 24 runs May 7 -9 at Scotland’s Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

For more information, visit www.icheme.org

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