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Business Continuity planning of Norwegian gas network
L.M. Pedersen
Safetec Nordic AS
B.A. Ravdal
ABSTRACT: The Norwegian gas network is one of the world`s largest integrated gas transports systems. Major
disruptions in the gas transportation system will have serious consequences for gas consumers and producers.
Business continuity plans (BCP’s) have been developed for a selection of scenarios in order to minimise the
capacity loss and duration of major interruptions. This paper describes how Gassco together with Safetec has
planned business continuity after possible major shutdown events in this system.
The Norwegian gas network is one of the world`s
largest integrated gas transports systems. Nearly 8000
kilometers of high-pressure pipelines connects 54
producing fields from the Norwegian continental
shelf (NCS) to end-users in UK and the continental
Europe. The network consist of more than 20 pipelines, 4 riser platforms, 3 processing plants and 6 receiving terminals. See Figure 1. Gassco is the operator of almost this entire asset. This integrated gas
transport network delivers about 100 billion scm gas
per year. This represents approximately 20% of the
total gas consumption in the European Union (EU). It
is essential that consumers who depend on daily gas
deliveries can rely on a stable gas transport from the
third-largest natural gas exporter. This dependency
requires high focus on the production performance of
all NCS installations, and the total deliverability for
the system.
An emergency situation may interrupt the level of
gas deliveries on shorter or longer term. Emergency
plans for handling an emergency situation are normally in place for securing people and the environment, but after the event there is a need for a plan for
how to get the business up and running again. This is
the main focus of the business continuity plans
(BCP’s). One example is that a fire or explosion at a
receiving terminal may damage critical production
equipment with long delivery and/or installation time
resulting in a total or reduced production before the
delivery of gas can be obtained.
Business continuity plans have been established
for all Gassco operated installations (pipelines, riser
platforms, processing plants and receiving terminals).
The main focus has been on production critical incidents for each installation that may lead to more than
30 % loss of the installation capacity for more than 90
Figure 1. Norwegian gas network
The business continuity plans are divided in two
main parts including a general BCP process and one
installation specific scenario plan. The general BCP
process is valid for all installations and describes
roles, responsibilities and how the organisation shall
act in case of a major disruption. The installation specific part includes identification of major critical
events (scenarios) and plans for how to reduce the
downtime or increase the residual capacity so that delivery of gas is possible. The BCP are plan for how to
recover back to a permanent solution, but more important are short term solutions that can improve the
delivery of gas until a permanent solution is established.
This paper will focus on describing the total business continuity plan, including the main general BCP
process and examples of specific installation scenario
plans and how these plans have been prepared. The
paper is organised as follows:
 Section 2: Presentation of the method used to
establish Business Continuity Plans (BCP).
 Section 3: Description of the general business
continuity process.
 Section 4: Description and exemplification of a
specific installation scenario plan.
 Section 5 and 6: Discussions and conclusions.
It is a requirement from the Norwegian Ministry of
Petroleum and Energy that Gassco maintain plans to
ensure they can continue gas delivery in case of a disruptive event. Business continuity plan is a tool to
manage and survive a potential incident and take the
appropriate actions to ensure the organisation’s con-
Figure 2. Business Continuity Process
tinued viability.
The purpose of this business continuity plan is to
ensure that Gassco reduce the volume losses during,
as well as shorten the downtime of disruptions in case
of a major unplanned shutdown in the gas transport
Business continuity relates to having the lowest
possible production loss in case of a major unplanned
shutdown, i.e. when capacity is reduced by at least
30% for more than 90 days. Interested parties and
stakeholders require that organisations proactively
prepare for potential incidents and disruptions in order to avoid suspension of critical operations and services, or if operations and services are disrupted, that
they can resume operations and services as rapidly as
required by those who depend on them.
In case of an event the immediate actions of response are taken care of by the emergency response
organisation based on emergency response plans. The
efficiency of the emergency response may be crucial
to prevent escalation and minimise damage. When the
immediate emergency response has been executed
and risk of further escalation removed, the emergency
response organisation will be demobilised, and further handling will be handed over to a normalisation
team. After the normalisation phase a continuity
phase will focus on re-establishing deliveries (by temporary and permanent solutions) based on continuity
plans. The business continuity process is shown in
Figure 2.
ISO/PAS 22399 – “Guideline for incident preparedness and operational continuity management” is a
guideline for incident preparedness and operational continuity management. The guideline is a tool
to manage and survive a potential incident and take
appropriate actions to ensure the organisation’s continued viability.
ISO 22301 – “Business Continuity Management”
specifies the requirements for a management system
to protect against, reduce the likelihood of, and ensure
your business recovers from disruptive incidents.
These standards, in addition to the ISO standard “ISO
31000 – Risk Management – Principles and guidelines”, have been the basis for establishment of a business continuity plan. In addition, the method has been
tested on two pilots and improvements have been
made taking account of the experience gained for
each installation.
The business continuity plans consist of one general part describing how the Gassco organisation shall
act after a defined BCP event (Section 3). In addition,
there are installation specific BCP for each installation. These plans and how they were established, is
described in Section 4.
The process diagram presented in Figure 3 is the general business continuity process for all transport system installations and shall be applied after a major
disruption. The general business continuity process
was developed during internal Gassco workshops
with participants from different Gassco departments
and Safetec. This general process may have individual installation adjustments.
The general business continuity process is established as a formal management process, implemented
in Gassco’s management system and defines all involved parties, activities and responsibilities for the
defined/included activities. The process describes the
interaction between the activities and the different
The process divides the included activities between four different parties; Management, Task
Force, Project teams and Home office.
The definitions, main objectives, responsibilities
and activities for these are:
 Management (The function that coordinates
the efforts of people to accomplish goals and
objectives using available resources efficiently
and effectively):
o Activation of the BCP process based on
predefined criteria’s.
o Establishment of a Task Force after BCP
o Identify stakeholders and establish a communication plan based on the general communication strategy.
o Forward proposed solutions (both temporary and permanent) to top management for
o Establish project teams for temporary and
permanent solutions.
 Task Force (A temporary grouping of individuals and resources for the accomplishment
of a specific or defined objective, activity or
o Has the objective to get a detailed overview
of the damage, develop and recommend
different solutions. The predefined installation scenarios defined in the BCP shall be
used as basis for these solutions.
o The Task Force shall consist of the required expertise and resources both from
the local operating organisation and from
o Engage equipment and service suppliers
and engineering companies to assist in detailed review of damage.
o Develop and recommend repair strategies
to re-establish deliveries (by temporary
and/or permanent solutions) to the Management.
 Project Teams (Group of individuals responsible for planning and execution of a project
to accomplish pre-defined goals and objectives):
o Responsible to develop and establish solutions based on the approvals/decisions by
top management.
 Home Office (The main office including all
departments of a company. In the BCP context, the main office will be defined as Gassco
as a company including all Gassco departments.):
o Shall give necessary support to the Task
Force during development of the proposed
business continuity solutions
o Responsible for the insurance and guarantee process.
Figure 3. General business continuity process for all transport system installations
Activiation Criteria
Activate the BCP
Procedures for
establish Task Force
Establish Task Force
Activiate support
from suppliers for
damage surveillance
Identify interested
Necessary support
from operations,
Gasco home office
Insurance and
guarantee process
Governance process
Fast track
Spare parts, long
lead items etc.
Develop and
different solutions
Scenario specific
Detailed overview
of damage
communication plan
Establish project
Develop and
permanent solution
Develop and
establish temporary
Permanent solution
Temporary solution
Comminication plan
Gassco Led
Communication Director
Director AM-GT/TN/PP
The continuity plan for each installation consists
of a set of defined scenarios leading to disruptions.
For the selected scenarios, the business continuity
plan presents a sum of measures in order to shorten
the period of disruption or reduce the consequences
after an incident. Note that the continuity measures
for each installation do not utilise the flexibility in the
NCS pipeline system, they only include local installation measures.
13 workshops were performed in total for all the
installations (riser platforms, gas processing plants,
gas receiving terminals and pipelines). Participation
in these workshops was from the operational organisation, Gassco home office and BCP project members
(Gassco and Safetec). The objective for these workshops was to identify:
 All technical systems that may have a potential to result in a major disruption.
 Possible causes for each of them.
 The potential incident/event capacity loss in
 Identify the downtime.
If the capacity loss is at least 30 % and the downtime is at least 90 days, the loss of the technical system is defined as a BCP incident. For each installation, 3 to 10 scenarios were selected and continuity
plans were made for these. The selection of scenarios
was made by the local installation personnel to
achieve ownership of the plan.
For each of the selected scenarios, the following
was identified:
 Available spare parts.
Long lead items (including delivery time).
 Supplier agreements.
Estimated restoration time to get the system as
good as it was (as is).
 Potential capacity loss (in %)
 Existing continuity measures.
o Description/documentation of the measure
o Restored capacity (in %).
o Total estimated restoration time.
 New proposed continuity measures.
o Description of the proposed measures.
o Restored capacity (in %)
o Estimated restoration time.
Based on this a schematic has been made for each
scenario. This schematic is presented in Table 1 and
has been used for all installation scenarios. In total
65 scenarios with plans have been established during
the project.
Table 2 is an anonymised example of a specific
BCP scenario. This is a scenario where a gas receiving terminal in Europe receiving gas from the Norwegian pipeline system has lost the function of the inlet
(or outlet) emergency safety valve resulting in loss of
the ESD (Emergency Shut-Down) function. In this
case the terminal must stop the reception of gas from
Norway. The causes may be leakage from the valve,
or that the valve is stucked in open or closed position
and the valve has to be replaced. These are large
valves (up to 42”) and have to be manufactured, and
this will take approximately 18 months. In meantime,
there will be no gas from Norway to this part of Europe, with serious consequences for both Norway and
the affected countries. The installation specific continuity plan provides a description of how to reduce the
downtime in this scenario. It is noted that there are
no existing plans for how to continue the gas delivery
in case of this scenario, but during the workshop,
three solutions were identified and described for what
can be done to restore some of the gas delivery earlier
than 18 months.
Table 1. Description of terms used in the BCP scenarios
BCP Scenario 0X
Scenario name
System description
A brief description of the system applicable for the BCP scenario.
Scenario Description
A description of the BCP scenario including initiating event, cause and consequence of this event.
Spare parts
Available spare parts for the affected equipment (main components), stored either on plant or in stock to be
delivered quickly in the event of an outage.
Long lead items
Delivery time
Supplier frame agreement
Those items of the affected system or piece of
equipment for which the time to design and
fabricate are long.
Delivery time of the long
lead items.
Reference to a supplier frame
agreement for delivery of long
lead items.
Permanent solution
Potential loss (per day)
Estimated restoration time
Description of actions necessary to restore the
affected system to As Is design.
Potential loss of production
capacity per day as a consequence of scenario (%)
Time needed to restore to As Is
Business Continuity Measure – Short term solutions
Steps or solutions that can minimize production loss by reducing downtime and/or increasing residual capacity.
There can be identified several measures for each category.
Restored capacity
Estimated restoration time
An existing Business Continuity Measure
which is documented and can be executed for
the affected system in the identified scenario
Restored production capacity of the system when the
Business Continuity Measure has been executed. (%)
Estimated duration of executing the Business Continuity
Restored capacity
Estimated restoration time
Proposed Business Continuity Measure
which is not already documented for the affected system in the identified scenario
Restored production capacity of the system when
the Business Continuity
Measure has been executed.
Estimated duration of executing the Business Continuity
Table 2. Example of BCP scenario: Damage of inlet and/or outlet ESV – Loss of ESD function
BCP scenario 01:
Damage of inlet and/or outlet ESV – Loss of ESD function
Inlet/outlet area
from the first ESV
(Emergency ShutDown Valve) to
the train ESVs including the pig
trap area
System description
Installation X takes gas from the Y pipeline and conditions it prior to distribution into the transportation system
(NTS). The inlet facilities provide the means of isolation between the offshore sea pipe and the onshore facility.
Provision is also made for receiving pigs.
Scenario description
This scenario relates to damage of inlet and/or outlet ESV giving loss of ESD (Emergency Shut-Down) safety
functionality due to fire and explosion, plane crash or technical failure. Integrity issues related to valve body,
common internals or actuator mechanism may cause external leakage or fail to open/close. It is assumed that
valve replacement is required.
Spare parts
No relevant spare parts
Long lead items
Delivery time
Supplier frame agreement
ESV, actuator and hydraulic power unit
18 months
YES (Use of original equipment manufacturer – OEM)
Permanent solution
Potential daily loss
Estimated restoration time
Reconstruction to As Is design
100 %
Approx. 18 months
Business Continuity Measure – Short term solutions
Restored capacity
Estimated restoration time
Restored capacity
Estimated restoration time
1) Similar design rated valve (temperature and
pressure) from valve community (possible
smaller diameter)
80-90 %
Less than 18 months (uncertainty due to availability of
2) Replace ESV A with ESV B and replace
ESV B with piping. Safety function will be
maintained. Pigging may not be possible (side
effect) until the new valve is installed.
100 %
1-3 months (uncertainty related to plugging of the Y
3) Use of spare ESV (24 ”) from process train.
80-90 %
3 months (uncertainty related
to Y pipeline plugging and
sizing of the plug)
There are no existing continuity measures for
this specific scenario.
The general feedback from oil and gas companies and
participants involved in the project is that the methodology is innovative, understandable, has sufficient
level of details and are adaptable for most installations. This may imply that the methodology in the
plans can be presidential in the oil and gas industry
for how business continuity plans can be made in the
It has been important for Gassco to involve the operator of each installation in the establishment process
of the plans. This is due to the ownership of the plan
and the fact that the local operator is the expert of the
specific installation. Consistency between the plans
has also been essential. Some of the installations has
different operation companies, but use of same methodology for all installations has provided consistency
between the BCP’s. However, this could have been a
threat to local ownership of the product (reduced local
influence). Gassco and Safetec facilitated the workshops locally on the installation sites, and made sure
that the pre-defined method was followed. The local
operator decided which scenarios to select for the specific plan and then got the ownership of the results.
One aspect that has been discussed is that only 310 scenarios for each installation was selected and
matured into the plan. “If a major disruption occurs,
it may be something else and these scenario plans will
be of no use.” Plans for 65 scenarios have been established, and it is probable that a major disruption will
be covered by one of these, in at least some aspects.
Another issue that has been discussed is the level
of details in the scenarios and if the scenarios has sufficient information. However, it has been important
not to make these very detailed. This is both due to
the time consumption and due to the uncertainty in
the chosen scenarios. Since these scenarios are
coarse, it is more probable that a major disruption will
be covered by one of these plans.
There are several links between the risk analysis,
reliability analysis, emergency assessments and this
BPC. The risk analysis and reliability analysis has
been used as input to the workshop for identifying
events and causes, …
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