Report: Nearly Half of Senior Oil and Gas Professionals Say Investment in Inspection and Maintenance Is Too Low

New research from DNV GL reveals that 46% of senior professionals in the oil and gas sector believe there has been underinvestment in inspection and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment in recent years. Just a quarter (28%) said that they expect to increase spending on safety in 2018. 61% will maintain current budgets, and 5% plan to cut investment.

The findings appear in The State of Safety, a report from DNV GL’s research on the outlook for the oil and gas industry in 2018. Based on a survey of 813 senior sector players, the report also affirms expectations for digital technologies to bridge the gap between long-term cost efficiency and enhanced safety in projects and operations.

While cost efficiency has been a high priority for more than 82% of senior industry professionals since 2015, 40% of respondents said they believe digital tools and technologies have already improved safety over the past 3 years.


“The industry’s strong focus on cost control must continue in the long term for oil and gas to remain competitive and play an increasingly important role in the energy transition. However, our research confirms the sector’s clear belief that cost control must never come at the expense of safety,” said Liv Hovem, chief executive officer of DNV GL Oil and Gas.

“At DNV GL, we believe that digital technologies will be crucial to enhancing safety practices and improving hazard management,” she said. “These will enable more effective and transparent risk communication across all levels of an organization as well as between multiple parties involved in projects and operations. We are investing in this field.”

Many new investments in safety will be aimed at digitalizing safety monitoring, processes, and responses this year. For example, DNV GL’s MyQRA service draws on data from quantitative risk assessment reports to create a single source of safety data that can help all stakeholders better understand important safety signals, make decisions, and predict future outcomes.

DNV GL’s The State of Safety report also highlights the risks that implementing digital technologies can have on operations, particularly around cybersecurity. It concludes that existing guidelines and standards may not be sufficient to demonstrate the safety of new concepts.

The company is leading a joint industry project with a consortium of eight companies and two Norwegian universities to tackle the issue. Safety 4.0, set to begin this year, aims to develop a best-practice framework to safely and securely introduce new technology solutions to the subsea sector.

Other Key Findings From The State of Safety

  • Twice as many engineers and technical specialists (28%) as business leaders (15%) believe that stringent cost control has affected safety levels in the sector
  • More than a third (38%) of those questioned stated that safety management is effective and does not need to change. Just 26% of those questioned disagreed
  • 47% of Chinese respondents say their organization will be increasing spending on safety in 2018, compared with 27% in the US, 19% in Norway, and just 14% in Australia
  • Downstream respondents currently expect the highest increase in safety spending (41%), compared with other parts of the industry.

Download The State of Safety here.



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