Offshore Terminal Risk Management: How to avoid consequential cost

Whether financial or reputational, consequential costs of unmitigated risks or unexpected events can harm your company. As in most industries, the offshore oil and gas industry holds a great amount of risk. Avoiding risk is not possible, but a holistic offshore terminal risk management plan can make all the difference.  

What is a holistic offshore risk management plan?

Looking at risks in isolation can blind you to their overall consequences and potential for snowball effect. This can cause you to misjudge the likelihood of the risk to occur and the severity of the outcome.

A holistic offshore terminal risk management plan looks at the bigger picture, taking into account fiduciary duties, design, operations and protocols to draw inferences and connections between the risks at hand. Find out more about MARSOL’s holistic approach here.

As every offshore terminal is unique, it stands to reason that every offshore risk mitigation plan must be too.  

The terminal risk management plan is not a stagnant document buried in your ‘what if’ vault. Instead, it acts as a process, integrated with your project lifecycle. 

Offshore terminal risk mitigation within the SPM integrity Management process flow

The goal of a holistic offshore risk management plan

First and foremost, as with any risk mitigation plan, the holistic offshore terminal risk management plan aims to protect the stakeholders’ interests, but it also aims to achieve integrity management through a single point of responsibility or single custodian of the process, while maintaining cost efficiency. 

Finding the root cause

For an offshore risk management plan to work effectively, it must be proactive, not reactive. For this reason, your maintenance team should not be chasing symptoms and effects. Instead, cast your attention to finding the root cause by means of data collection and analysis. 

Some items for your SPM integrity management and risk mitigation plan to consider:

  • Records control/data collection
  • Assets & Spares Management
  • Preservation and Maintenance
  • Compliance to Guidelines

Having this control point or custodian perform the appropriate risk mitigation tasks at regular intervals of your process helps you to identify potential points of failure and to manage them proactively.

Managing Potential points of failure

Adding another dimension to the classic bowtie analysis, MARSOL’s holistic approach uniquely makes room for adjustment and interference before the effect and eventual consequences follow. 

CAUSE → EFFECT (perception snowball) → CONSEQUENCES

In most cases it is lack of maintenance (CAUSE) that causes damage to assets and potentially the environment. (EFFECT). The Consequences, however, may include scenarios like the Tanker making protest letters that could affect how your insurance deals with a claim.

Consider for example these causes, effects and consequences:

Examples of offshore terminal risks and the outcome if unmitigated

In order to effectively integrate your offshore risk mitigation plan into your terminal operations, you can consider an activities layout similar to the MARSOL layout below.

This type of activities layout combined with the integrity management process flow above should provide you ample opportunity to investigate root cause and management potential points of failure before consequences set in, but as every terminal is unique, we suggest booking a consultation to discuss your terminal conditions for best results.

Offshore terminal risk management within the operations and maintenance layout

Isolating consequences to avoid the snowball effect

The snowball effect occurs when a single event triggers a second event and the second event causes further events. 

When a snowball effect occurs, the root cause becomes harder to identify, and many O&M providers may end up treating what they believe is the root cause, but instead, it is merely a second or third effect caused by the initial trigger. 

Such occurrences raise doubt in your company and can escalate the concern to reputational damage such as loss of trust, and financial implications such as work stopping or legal consequences. 


As with all aspects of the offshore terminal, risk must be considered holistically. If you do not understand the bigger picture, unforeseen consequences can creep in and harm your company. Don’t let that happen to you. Get in touch for a consultation about offshore terminal risk management today.

Measure Success and Predict Failure with Terminal Integrity Management

Terminal Integrity Management serves to ascertain asset integrity, reliability and availability (IRA). To ensure that your offshore terminal operates efficiently throughout its service lifespan, you need operational integrity management that is unique to your terminal, your team and your environment – while remaining consistent with applicable standards. This plan should include measurement and analysis that quantifies progress, optimisation and Operational expenditure (OpEx). 

In order to measure progress and predict maintenance requirements, it is important to conduct an As-is analysis first. 

Terminal Integrity Assessment

Whether you are tackling a greenfield or brownfield project, you need to conduct a terminal integrity assessment. At MARSOL we use a proven, phased process to ascertain the client’s current operational efficiency and asset IRA. This data-driven approach serves to maintain assets in a fit-for-service condition and aids in the quantification of its remaining useful life within safety regulations.

The goal of this assessment is to gather and analyse data to arrive at the best possible operational and mechanical design for the site. The perfect design should increase efficiency and safety while lowering OpEx and risk. 

With new insight and consultation, you are empowered to verify the design and re-engineer it to validate design assumptions.

Your terminal operational integrity assessment should include

  • Data Acquisition
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Material Degradation Analysis
  • Modelling
  • Mooring & Hose Analysis

Marine Hose Integrity and Life Extension

Marine hose integrity management is often only performed periodically when required by OEM recommendation or after an emergency. Prevention is better than cure. Consider a complete lifecycle service that interfaces with your overall terminal integrity management strategy, so as to expand the reach of your data acquisition and analysis. This data will aid in the prediction of maintenance requirements and measure performance in real-time. 

Marine Hose Integrity Management should include

  • Hose Testing
  • Marine Hose Dynamic Analysis
  • Hose Repair
  • Destructive Testing

Integrity Management Consulting

Acquiring data is one thing. Interpreting data for a plan of action is something else altogether. Consider a consultation partner that tells it like it is. At MARSOL we focus on lowering operational expenditure, operability, design and engineering, with particular insight into how each aspect influences the other. 

Risk Management

Understanding the balance of factors at play in your terminal means managing and controlling risk to ensure as little as possible damage and impact to assets and the environment. 

Risk managers should conduct initial feasibility studies, concept definition and high- level risk assessments which have a direct influence on the whole risk management programme.

Engineering Solutions

Whether greenfields or brownfields, the design phase must never be underestimated. As new technologies arise and regulations change, one must always be able and willing to adjust. 

Consider a strategic approach to your requirements and the options at hand to meet them. This type of consultation is particularly important from the Front-end Engineering and Design (FEED) phase through to the Commissioning stage. 

Interface management

To ensure that you have a team of specialised experts focussed on every separate aspect of your terminal, it is likely that you will have various third parties involved. Having a single point of contact in charge of managing these moving parts will not only give you a good overview of progress and budget spend, but also ensures successful completion of the projects, particularly during start-up until the commissioning phase.

Project Management

At MARSOL we firmly believe that strategy streamlines all deliverables. Work with the execution team and experienced consultants to determine start and completion dates, milestones and responsible persons. This style of project management will give clarity to all parties when the project has achieved its goals. 

Asset, Operations and Maintenance Optimisation

This process utilises the right resources such as personnel, equipment and vessels for specific activities which only engage when required, resulting in reduced operational costs applied for standby time.


When it comes to operational expenditure and efficiency, numbers are everything. It is important to plan and execute, but equally so, it is important to measure. It is only through the collection of data and the analysis thereof that deterioration can be understood and optimisation appreciated.

Talk to the team that tells it like it is. 

Stop Pollution with Readiness for Intertidal and Shallow Water Emergency Pipeline Repair

Having an Emergency pipeline repair plan in place not only saves our oceans (and your reputation), but it also protects against unplanned expenses. At Marsol, we have identified a service to prepare and be ready for pipeline emergencies in shallow waters, tackling the challenges that intertidal zones present, such as shifting sands and tides.

List of top 5 pipeline repair emergencies.

Why is emergency pipeline repair important?

In a report in 1993, the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) estimated total oceanic oil pollution at 2.3 million tonnes per year, 24% of which is leaked during transportation and shipping.

As the amount of oil being transported has roughly tripled, it stands to reason that the amount of oil pollution will have tripled as well. Statistics around this, however, are inconclusive, but the issue should not be around just how much oil enters the ocean – the question should be why it ever enters the ocean at all.

In piped transportation of hydrocarbons, pipelines inevitably travel along or through intertidal zones where they face harsher elements and mechanical damage. Such areas are not always easily accessible by typical marine service providers, and as such, extends the time lost and oil spilt before a fix is applied. 

For this reason, Marsol International has launched a specialist Emergency Pipeline Repair Service (EPRS) to safeguard shallow-water intertidal zones.

Man standing in oil spill due to lack of pipeline repair strategy

How does Marsol make Emergency Pipeline Repair Service possible in intertidal areas?

In order to supply emergency pipeline repair, Marsol has worked to develop sophisticated support assets such as Modular HDPE Pontoons and HDPE craft – products that have been tried and tested in hostile and difficult environments.

EPRS has been developed over the last six years to service all types of environmental situations and geotechnical configurations, to address the inherent challenge of accessing delicate areas not normally serviced from sea or shore.

Marsol International has worked with various partners to develop multi-purpose tools and equipment which offer functionality and versatility, resulting from the company’s experience in developing specialist diver-operated equipment, capable of work in dry areas, the intertidal zone and subsea.

Mike Young, director of Marsol International, explains: “Marsol has a strong team of engineers who understand first-hand the real-life scenarios on a busy oil export hub. Should a pipeline require repair, time is of the essence. Safeguarding against environmental damage, minimising the impact on production and ultimately protecting company reputation is vital. EPRS offers an experienced team who can act fast.”

That said, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure, so Marsol also offers a pre-emptive Pipeline Integrity Management service to ensure all bases are covered.

Why is Intertidal pipeline repair different to deepwater repair?

Due to various clients’ requests for a turnkey solution, EPRS has been launched to best service the needs of a niche market in the environmentally delicate intertidal zone. This requires a different but complementary skill set from subsea or deepwater pipeline repair.

Intertidal Pipeline Repair Challenges

  • Shifting sands
  • Powerful tides
  • Safe access in shallow water
Shallow water pipeline running into ocean off the coast

It will utilise the company’s experienced offshore terminal and marine workforce to locate and stabilise the ground to access damaged pipelines in the intertidal zone, and to implement the requisite pipeline repair. Repair scenarios such as pipeline rupture, pin-hole leak, dents and buckles, internal and external pipeline pitting and problems due to corrosion are considered pipeline emergencies.

EPRS will be driven by the nature of the pipeline failure or damage, the pipeline size and specification, as well as the site location, and offers a complete range of specialised equipment required to work in intertidal zones, including multi-purpose amphibious units, amphibious excavators, modular trench shoring systems and all-terrain/amphibious personnel carriers.

Find out more about our Emergency Pipeline Response Service today.