SIMultaneous OPerationS (SIMOPS)

Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS) is the execution of two or more tasks by two or more functional teams on a similar location at the same time. SIMOPS in Oil & Gas and petrochemical industries occurs when activities related to construction, authorization, start-up and production operations are being allotted work at the same time.

While conducting SIMOPS study, with every hazard having its own risk, additional risks are generated thanks to coincidental execution within the same space. In order to spot potential hazards and to eliminate, minimize or manage the chance related to SIMOPS, dedicated risk assessment method shall be followed in situ involving all stakeholders.

What is a SIMOPS in Risk Assessment?

The Objective of SIMOPS in risk assessment process is to review and evaluate detail in the simultaneous operations of activities ( i.e, construction, commissioning, start-up and operations activities planned), with the purpose of:

  • Identifying the additional hazards while conducting SIMOPS.
  • Identifying the relevant risk level.
  • Ensure the adequacy of the planned control methods.
  • To determine additional risk reduction methods.
  • To grant input for Permit To Work process to develop additional controls.

SIMOPS a hazard ?

SIMOPS is a conflict of activities that could bring an set of undesired event or circumstances. (i.e. safety, environment or financial). SIMOPS reviews play a vital role in performance of (HAZOP) studies

SIMOPS can be offshore, (i.e. subsea oil and gas production), or onshore, (i.e. oil and gas marine terminals) during expansion or critical maintenance work within the process area of existing facility. SIMOPS also refer to measures adopted during Construction, commissioning, start-up and operation of any onshore Oil & Gas Processing Plant.

How do you manage SIMOPS?

The SIMOPS assessment study workshop is the leader event of SIMOPS risk assessment method. The key factor of SIMOPS Workshop is to share necessary info and coordinate the concerned parties. Throughout the workshop the following are going to be mentioned. To identify potential hazards and to reject, minimize or managed the risk associated with SIMOPS, dedicated risk assessment process shall be put in place involving all project representatives, Plant Propprietor, Project Consultant (PMC), Contractor, Sub-Contractors and Sellers.

  • Identification of the SIMOPS situations
  • Identification of the connected hazards
  • Evaluation of the chance of coincidental execution of the activities
  • Identification of control measures and/or operative procedures already planned and consequent assignment of the responsibility for their implementation
  • Evaluation of the residual risk with risk management measures already in situation
  • Identification of further risk management measures, if needed
  • Assignment of accountable person for the implementation of known measure.
The flow chart depicts the SIMOPS procedure from identifying a operation to performing simultaneous operations following PTW

The first step of SIMOPS procedure is the identification of SIMOPS scenario, kinds of activities performed at the same time to be shared by the multi-disciplinary team.

Next to spot the hazards concerned throughout the execution of concurrent activities. In accordance with the HSE management system, a risk matrix will be generated shaping low risk, medium risk and high risk operations.

  • High Risk – this level of risk is unacceptable resulting in intolerable losses of property, asset, people and setting inflicting fatalities and need to be addressed straightaway.
  • Medium Risk – it’s acceptable however got to be managed at ALARP (As Low As fairly Practicable). The answer out there ought to be simply implementable and also the benefits should be greater compared to loss which may be incurred just in case of improper application of safety measures. Recommendations are going to be provided if needed.
  • Low Risk – it is acceptable without any action.

A SIMOPS worksheet and SIMOPS layout will be used to record all the discussions and results. Recommendations and follow up measures will be provided to create the required changes and implementations within the system.

It has to be noted that SIMOPS risk assessment may be a living activity, it shall be updated frequently in line with the standing project and according to the sequence of incoming activities. SIMOPS connected documentation shall be kept updated & mitigation actions shall be reviewed according to work in progress and their implementation on field should be duly monitored.