ANP Approves New Norms for Offshore Evacuation Procedures

The board of Brazil’s National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (ANP) approved a critical measure concerning the minimum number of lifeboat seats required on offshore production and drilling installations. Lifeboats are essential emergency evacuation vessels for personnel aboard oil and gas exploration and production units. This new understanding aims to standardize safety measures across all maritime installations, ensuring a consistent and reliable offshore evacuation process in emergencies.

Key Aspects of the New Measure

Minimum Lifeboat Seats Requirement:
The measure specifies that each E&P maritime installation must have a minimum number of lifeboat seats available, which is contingent on the type of platform and the number of personnel on board. This requirement ensures that all individuals can be evacuated safely and promptly in an emergency.

Inclusion in Safety Philosophy:
When operators design an E&P unit, they must incorporate this minimum seat requirement into the safety philosophy, which is then submitted for ANP approval. This integration ensures that safety measures are considered from the project’s inception, providing a robust framework for operational safety.

ANP Audits and Compliance:
The ANP conducts regular audits on these platforms to verify compliance with the seat requirements. Platforms failing to meet these standards may face shutdowns and mandatory personnel disembarkation until compliance is achieved. Operators may also be fined and subjected to administrative proceedings, reinforcing the importance of adhering to these safety norms.

Legal Framework and Enforcement:
The board’s understanding will be formalized in a statement, which will be published on the ANP’s website soon. This statement, as per Law No. 13,655 of April 25, 2018, serves to solidify the ANP’s position on aspects of its resolutions, minimizing the risk of varied interpretations and ensuring uniform application of the rules.

Alignment with NR-37 Standards:
The new measure aligns with NR-37, a regulatory standard in Brazil that governs the safety and health conditions on offshore platforms. NR-37 sets comprehensive safety guidelines for maritime operations, including emergency response procedures.

Implications of the New Measure

The decision not only enhances legal certainty but also boosts the efficiency of ANP’s regulations. It ensures that all economic agents operating in similar circumstances receive equal treatment, thereby promoting fairness in the industry. The formalization of these requirements in the safety protocols of E&P units underscores the agency’s commitment to protecting personnel and maintaining offshore evacuation procedures in the Brazilian oil and gas sector.