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Application of Bayesian Networks in Quantitative Risk Assessment of Subsea Blowout Preventer Operations


Address correspondence to Yonghong Liu, College of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, China University of Petroleum, Dongying, Shandong 257061, China. Tel.: +86-0546-8392303; fax: +86-0546-8393620;;


This article proposes a methodology for the application of Bayesian networks in conducting quantitative risk assessment of operations in offshore oil and gas industry. The method involves translating a flow chart of operations into the Bayesian network directly. The proposed methodology consists of five steps. First, the flow chart is translated into a Bayesian network. Second, the influencing factors of the network nodes are classified. Third, the Bayesian network for each factor is established. Fourth, the entire Bayesian network model is established. Lastly, the Bayesian network model is analyzed. Subsequently, five categories of influencing factors, namely, human, hardware, software, mechanical, and hydraulic, are modeled and then added to the main Bayesian network. The methodology is demonstrated through the evaluation of a case study that shows the probability of failure on demand in closing subsea ram blowout preventer operations. The results show that mechanical and hydraulic factors have the most important effects on operation safety. Software and hardware factors have almost no influence, whereas human factors are in between. The results of the sensitivity analysis agree with the findings of the quantitative analysis. The three-axiom-based analysis partially validates the correctness and rationality of the proposed Bayesian network model.

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