Abstract

While a significant amount of attention surrounding climate change has focused on mitigation of the causes, there is growing interest and need to adapt to physical climate change impacts which are already being experienced and in anticipation of future changes. Changes in climate have the potential to create hazards in the oil and gas sector although vulnerabilities to these changes are often specific to asset types. Preparedness for climate change can help to reduce damaging effects from acute as well as chronic climate changes. This paper focuses on a simple approach developed to ensure that climate change is included in engineering design, by considering climate change risk and the uncertainty inherent in future projections of climate change into design requirements. It involves using the best available climate change data and an understanding of the relationships between asset performance and environmental (climate-related) conditions. The risk level associated with climate change for a specific asset is determined by consideration of the severity and confidence level of the climate change hazard, the exposure of the asset to the hazard, the vulnerability of the exposed asset to the hazard and the capacity of the asset to adapt to the hazard. The method considers the risk levels, the selection of climate model data, the ‘natural variability’ baseline period to be applied to the climate change data, the climate change model validation, the asset life time and specifically how to modify metocean design criteria to account for climate change to ensure both the ‘start of life’ criteria (typically derived from observed and hindcast data) and ‘end of life’ criteria (including an estimate for the impact of climate change at the end of the asset life) meet the required annual probability of exceedance.

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