Industry Innovation Boosts Local Communities and Spans the Globe

According to Investopedia, in 2015, the oil and gas industry accounted for between 4.6 and 6.5% of the global economy. In a recent discussion I had with a friend, we spoke about the effect this industry has on the lives of so many people. Many of the effects are positive, and, as we see in the current discussions of climate change, some are potentially negative. As Janeen Judah, 2017 SPE president, stated in her April 2017 JPT column, we have the power to build sustainable communities and improve the lives of people where we operate. Our innovation across all aspects of health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility not only helps our industry reduce the chances, or consequences, of unplanned events but also may help develop the capacity of a country or village to take care of its own citizens.

Some of these recent improvements can be seen in the papers that follow, from understanding well control and human factors better to using robotics to remove people from hazardous environments. We also see increasing interest in effects on the environment from our activities in the form of publicly funded studies on the potential for groundwater contamination. At the 2017 SPE Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility Conference—North America, held in April in New Orleans, we held a series of plenary discussions on the science of the human brain, on social interactions, and on how to apply this knowledge to improve our performance. Our industry is conducting some amazing research and development, and the tools and processes we develop will help us, and the world, to better develop and use the natural resources we need now and in the future.

This Month’s Technical Papers
Company Integrates Human Factors Into Corporate Well-Control Manual

Integrated Simulation Increases Efficiency of Deepwater Risk Management

Company’s Integrated Approach Tackles Fatigue Management

Robot Removes Operators From Extreme Environments

Risk Assessment of Fluid Migration Into Freshwater Aquifers in Colorado Basins

Building Relationships With a Marginalized Community in Iraq

Recommended Additional Reading
SPE 181109 Monitoring of Nontechnical Barriers by S. Næss, Statoil, et al.

SPE 183117 iRisk: A New Practical Guide to Cross-Functional Risk Leadership in Oil and Gas Megaprojects by Zarina Kenzhetayeva, Maersk Oil Kazakhstan, et al.

SPE 183595 Whole Systems Analysis of a High-Reliability Organization by C.O. Chukwunta, Imperial College London

SPE 185188 Developing Regulations Concerning Dispersant Use—A Recommended Good-Practice Approach by T.S. Coolbaugh, ExxonMobil, et al.

IPTC 18827 The Survey for Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Workers Performing Manual Material-Handling Work by A. Thongpradit, PTT Exploration and Production, et al.

SPE 180365 Dynamic Considerations for Induced Seismicity by Robert L. Walker, University of Southern California, et al.

OTC 27750 Use of a Cybersecurity Laboratory in Support of the Virtual-Vessel Concept To Increase Safety Onboard Marine and Offshore Assets by Naveen Selvam, ABS, et al.

Tom Knode, SPE, is the director of health, safety, and envi­ronment (HSE) for Athlon Solutions. He previously worked on contract for Statoil, with Contek Solutions, and with Halliburton for 25 years. Knode has had regional and global responsibilities for the oversight of HSE with an interest in HSE leadership and improving efficiencies and performance. He was the Technical Director of Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility for SPE from 2008 to 2011, has been cochairperson of five SPE HSE conferences, and has coauthored nearly 20 technical papers and articles, including for JPT. Knode holds a BS degree in geology from Texas Christian University and an MS degree in geology from The University of Texas at Arlington. He is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee and can be reached at


Originally published in Journal of Petroleum Technology



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