Hydrocarbon releases (HCR) are in simple terms oil and gas leaks. They are a key hazard management issue for the UK offshore oil and gas industry and robust measures are in place to prevent, detect, control or mitigate such releases.

It is essential that where HCR do occur, they are responded to effectively, reported appropriately and consistently, investigated to identify causal factors, and that remedial and improvement measures are implemented to prevent recurrence.

Duty holders are responsible for reporting certain HCR to the Offshore Safety Directive Regulator – OSDR – as Dangerous Occurences in accordance with Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, SI 2013 No. 1471, – usually referred to as RIDDOR – and Events in accordance with EU Implementing Regulation No 1112/2014.

Duty holders of offshore installations supply the data contained on the HSE HCR system voluntarily and they are classified as major, significant or minor HCR based on their potential to cause a major accident if ignited. The HSE HCR database and more information can be found here

Guidelines

There is a suite of guidance relating to HCR which include:

  • Oil & Gas UK, Supplementary Guidance on the Reporting of Hydrocarbon Releases Issue 3 Aids the industry in reporting HCRs. Reporting hydrocarbon releases accompanying documents can be found here.
  • EU, Guidance Document on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No.1112/2014,  and
  • OSDR, Revised Guidance on reporting offshore hydrocarbon releases, version 7.2 (Guidance on how to complete the reporting form) are available here
  • HSE, Dangerous occurrences
  • HSE, Guidance on RIDDOR reporting, Operations Notice 30

Industry HCR Data

In 2011 the industry decided on more HCR transparency by agreeing for Oil & Gas UK to publish quarterly attributable HCR data.

The industry HCR data is available at the links below: starting with Q2 2011 verified data. Data is updated on a quarterly basis – one quarter in arrears – to allow adequate time for reporting, investigation and verification of data.

The data published in this report is provided by the HSE and remains provisional until HSE publish it as part of their offshore annual statistical report. Any queries relating to the data should be directed to the HSE.

Since 2015 the reporting requirements have changed due to the implementation of the Offshore Safety Directive resulting in the reporting of releases that previously would have been considered to have an environmental consequence only had they gone to sea rather than the potential for a Major Accident Hazard. Comparison with previous years’ data may therefore not be valid.