What is Systematic Risk?

From the very beginning of Genesis QMS, many people have asked us why reducing systematic risk is so important.

Systematic (or market) risk refers to risks inherent in the entire market or industry, affecting all companies operating within it. These risks can result from macroeconomic factors, geopolitical events, or energy market fluctuations. Some examples of systematic risks affecting the oil and gas business include the COVID-19 pandemic, political views concerning pipelines, product over-supply, and the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Systematic risks can lead to widespread losses and negative consequences. Many are beyond the control of companies except to protect against incidents if they occur.

Types of Systematic Risk

Commodity Price Fluctuations: Price changes can impact demand for a commodity and related services. Those of us who have worked in the oil and gas industry are very familiar with the impact of this particular systematic risk.

Economic Downturns: During economic recessions or downturns, demand for an offering may drop off. This can lead to reduced investments and equipment utilization.

Geopolitical Tensions: Political instability, conflicts, or sanctions can disrupt the supply chain and affect equipment availability.

Regulatory Changes: Evolving environmental and safety regulations may require costly upgrades or equipment modifications, affecting operational costs.

Technological Advancements: Rapid advancements in technology may render existing equipment obsolete, leading to the need for expensive replacements or upgrades.

Natural Disasters: Events such as forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis can damage infrastructure.

Supply Chain Disruptions: Disruptions in the supply chain due to labour strikes, transportation issues, or raw material shortages can affect the production and maintenance of equipment.

Energy Transition: For traditional energy producers, the increasing focus on renewable energy sources and efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption may lead to decreased demand for oil and gas.

Financial Market Volatility: Fluctuations in financial markets can affect investment decisions and financing options. This can influence the acquisition and maintenance of equipment.

Public Perception and Reputation: Accidents or safety incidents involving equipment can lead to reputational damage and public scrutiny, potentially affecting investment and increasing regulatory scrutiny.

Systematic Risks Associated with Pressure Equipment

Pressure equipment is a big part of many industries, including pulp and paper, natural resources, chemical manufacturing, and oil and gas.

Systematic risks can result in pressure equipment failures, corrosion, structural vulnerabilities, inadequate maintenance, and regulatory non-compliance. Addressing these risks before an incident happens and knowing how to quickly and efficiently respond when something outside your control occurs is essential for optimizing your operations.

Why Is Reducing Systematic Risk Important?

Every business owner and senior executive understands the importance of protecting their business and its investments. Reducing systematic risk is vital to ensuring:

  • The health and safety of your people and the communities in which they work.
  • Protecting the environment.
  • Defending your (and your clients’) bottom line.

An effective asset management program that includes a digital solution is a cost-effective protection method against systematic risk. Your asset and integrity management programs should establish tactics that naturally reduce your risk. One of the most important is regular maintenance and inspection to help with safety and equipment reliability. Ensuring the integrity of critical infrastructure such as pipelines, storage tanks, and pressure tanks is crucial to minimize accidents, operational shutdowns, and financial losses.

7 Steps to Reduce Systematic Risk Associated with Pressure Equipment

  1. Robust Inspection and Maintenance: Asset integrity software coupled with regular and thorough inspections and maintenance of pressure equipment can enhance safety and reliability, reducing the risk of accidents and unexpected failures. Investing in a good asset integrity program will enable you to collect and analyze data through these inspections, allowing a company to gain insights into the degradation mechanisms, failure patterns, and risk patterns associated with your assets. This information enables data-driven decision-making in asset management, such as optimizing maintenance strategies, prioritizing repairs or replacements, effective asset allocation, and helping with future budget decisions. Systematic risks can be better identified and managed by making informed decisions based on inspection data.
  2. Compliance with Standards and Regulations: Adhering to industry standards and regulatory requirements ensures that your pressure equipment is up to par with safety and environmental standards, minimizing the risk of penalties and shutdowns.
  3. Risk Assessments: Conducting comprehensive risk assessments allows you to identify potential vulnerabilities in the pressure equipment and implement mitigation measures.
  4. Technological Upgrades: Investing in modern and advanced technologies can improve the efficiency and safety of pressure equipment, enhancing overall performance and reducing the likelihood of failure.
  5. Contingency Planning: Developing contingency plans and emergency response protocols helps mitigate the impact of any unforeseen incidents and ensures prompt and effective action in emergencies.
  6. Training and Skill Development: Regular training and skill development programs for personnel operating pressure equipment can enhance safety awareness and prevent human error-related risks.
  7. Supply Chain Management: Building strong relationships with reliable suppliers and maintaining an efficient supply chain can ensure the timely availability of necessary parts and components for pressure equipment maintenance.

Reduced Risk = Increased Profits

Reducing systematic risk is critical to any company whose success is tied to profits.  Steps taken to mitigate these risks and protect your assets will not only help you become more efficient and improve safety but will also contribute to and secure your bottom line.

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