Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

A Method based on Natural Language Processing for Periodically Estimating Variations of Performance of Safety Barriers in Hydrocarbon Production Assets

Dario Valcamonico1,a, Piero Baraldi1,b, Enrico Zio1,2,c, Luca Decarli3, Laura La Rosa3 and Giuseppe Nicotra3

1Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

2MINES Paris-PSL University, Centre de Recherche sur les Risques et les Crises (CRC), Sophia Antipolis, France /EADDRESS/
3Eni NR, Milan, Italy /EADDRESS/


This work develops a methodology for estimating the performance of safety barriers of hydrocarbon production assets using reports of Process Safety Events (PSEs). We address the challenge of dealing with assets that evolve, e.g., due to degradation of components or maintenance interventions, so that also the performances of the safety barriers vary in time. The proposed methodology combines a taxonomy of the words used in the reports, a method of Natural Language Processing (NLP) for the extraction of the keywords, which takes into account the time of occurrence of the PSEs, and a technique for estimating the barrier performance from the number and severity of PSEs involving the barrier. The proposed methodology is validated using a repository of reports of PSEs in hydrocarbon production plants.

Keywords: Process safety events, Natural language processing, Taxonomy, Hydrocarbon production plants.

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