TOPICS OF INTEREST
COVID-19 Pushes OFS Headcount to Lowest Level in Over a Decade, Revenue Per Employee Set to Decline
Among the top 50 oilfield service firms, downsizing is estimated to land at a headcount of 610,000, down from the 760,000 maintained after the 2016 downturn.
Fugro Conducts First Fully Remote Inspection of Platform
The fully remote inspection was conducted with an ROV to increase worker safety and security and reduce environmental exposure on an offshore platform.
Sercel Invests in Startup AMBPR To Build Robots for Oil and Gas
The partnership will deliver autonomous robots for safe work in adverse land, sea, and downhole environments.
The Buzz About Drones: More Safety, Less Cost To Inspect FPSOs
A recent test proved the feasibility of using LiDAR on remote-controlled drones to create 3D maps of the inside of tanks, increasing the safety and efficiency of inspections.
Future of Suncor Terra Nova FPSO Remains Uncertain After Fire
The fire at the Terra Nova FPSO comes 6 months after C-NLOPB found Suncor noncompliant with regulatory requirements and suspended operations.
Study Finds Most Workers Prefer WFH as Companies Return to Normal From COVID-19
In a survey of 448 workers across the oil and gas industry, UH Energy asked key questions about returning to work during the global pandemic.
OGUK Survey Aims To Find Supply Chain Solutions
Results of the survey will provide support for the UK’s initiatives to help businesses affected by the industry downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aker Solutions Joins Ranks of Service Companies To Reduce Capex and Workforce
Sandvik and SNC-Lavalin made similar announcements in late March and would take further action if necessary.
European Gas Demand and Power Consumption Estimates Revised on COVID-19
Gas demand is expected to grow by just 2 Bcm in 2020, down from previous expectations of 6 Bcm. The Netherlands, UK, Germany, and Spain are expected to see the biggest impact.
Europe's Oilfield Service Companies at Risk of Bankruptcy Amid $5 Billion in Cuts
More than 200 companies could become insolvent in the UK and Norway. This number may be larger when including the rest of Europe.
TechnipFMC Postpones Split Into Two Companies
The company plans to split when the markets recover.
Offshore Industry More Resilient Than Shale Amid COVID-19 Impact
Because offshore project lead times are longer than in shale, production is likely to come on line in 2–5 years when oil prices may be higher. But the number of FPSOs to be sanctioned this year may be cut by half.
Canada’s Safety Board Finds Stress Corrosion Cracks Led to 2018 Pipeline Fire
Westcoast Energy revised its inspection practices following the 2018 incident. Its model used to predict crack growth did not take into account all uncertainties
Coronavirus Forecast To Affect Energy Prices More Than Projects
In a scenario of accelerated international infection rates, the supply impact would quickly become more severe. If ongoing virus containment efforts prove unsuccessful, production operations at more producing assets in Southeast Asia and beyond could be directly affected.
ISO Approves First Safety Standards for Commercial Drone Operation
The organization said the new standard, which focuses on air safety and data protection, is the first step in a wider move to promote the use of drones within a framework of approved regulatory compliance.
North Dakota, Texas Fuel Increase in US Natural Gas Venting and Flaring
According to a new report from the EIA, the volume of natural gas reported as flared reached its highest average annual level in 2018, 1.28 Bcf/D. With production soaring in the Bakken, Permian, and Eagle Ford plays, North Dakota and Texas accounted for more than 80% of that total.
Drones Take Off in the Oil Field, but How High Will They Fly?
Unmanned aerial vehicles are creeping up on ubiquity in the oil and gas industry, but their potential still firmly outweighs the actuality. A panel at the 2019 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition took a close look at the benefits of drones and at the tethers still holding back their use.
SeekOps Secures Venture Funding To Scale Drone-Based Emissions Systems
Equinor Technology Ventures and OGCI Climate Investments have agreed to back the tech developer, which integrates its SeekIR miniature gas sensors onto drones to detect, localize, and quantify carbon emissions.
Natural Language Processing Enables Better Operational Risk Management
Equinor is working on a natural language processing tool that could combine data sources and help planners anticipate the issues that affect onsite operational safety.
Operators Build the Business Case for Drones
Drones are becoming an important tool for energy companies looking to improve on-site safety and operational efficiencies, and the industry is looking for the best way to maximize their value. What are some the challenges in getting these programs off the ground?
Can Robots Improve Above-Water Riser Inspections?
The criticality of above-water riser hull piping requires frequent inspections. Traditional manual inspection methods present safety and efficiency concerns, but work is being done to see if robotic technologies—such as drones and crawlers—can do the job as good as, or even better than, humans.
API Releases Guide for Drones in Oil and Gas
As drones become a more significant part of energy projects, the guide outlines the steps operators should take in assessing their capabilities to run a drone program and the elements such programs should consider, including safety and regulatory concerns.
Safety Campaign Reduces Dropped-Object Incidents
The emotional involvement of participants during the initial phase of a safety campaign increases implementation effectiveness significantly. In this case, a film guides the audience to make positive, personal choices whenever planning and operating a work at height.
Stopping the Blame Game in Safety Incidents
For employees to report on safety incidents, there must be a ‘just culture,’ where issues can be discussed freely and underlying causes investigated and corrected without fear of punitive actions.
Managing Fatigue To Reduce Risk and Improve Work Culture
Companies in the petroleum industry, from exploration and production, to transportation, refining, and distribution, operate around the clock. This paper intends to raise awareness on the impact of fatigue in the petroleum industry and recommend a framework for fatigue risk management.
Integrating Human Factor Engineering in Construction and Fabrication
This paper describes an operator’s experience with HFE during the construction and fabrication/installation phase of projects, including welding during the fabrication of buoyancy tanks, emergency preparedness, and the use of 3D model walk-throughs.
My Picks for Read and Learn: The Role of Culture, Choices, Human Factors, and Fatigue in Safety
Safety depends on developing a dedicated culture mind-set and mitigation of risks, from the planning and engineering phases to the work site. These papers selected by OGF technical paper editor Gerald Verbeek present various practices for reducing and eliminating the number of incidents.
AI Aims To Predict Operational Behaviors, Alert of Potential Hazards
Unstructured data, such as process logs, safety reports, and public records, make up the bulk of data produced from the oil field. Emerging NLP technology has been designed to help make sense of this data, enabling better insights into near-accidents.
BSEE Safety Alert: Improper Compressor Purging Leads To Explosions
Two Gulf of Mexico incidents occurred that were related to compressors not being purged properly prior to startup. BSEE issued a Safety Alert outlining the circumstances and made recommendations for prevention.
SwRI Develops Autonomous Leak Detection System for Chemical Spills
Southwest Research Institute has developed a leak detection system to autonomously monitor pipelines for hazardous chemical spills. R&D Magazine recently recognized the system as one of the 100 most significant innovations of 2017.
New IOGP Standard Aims To Improve Fabrication Site Safety
A recently published standard addresses the need for a comprehensive set of common requirements for operators and contracting companies at fabrication yards.
Texas and Gulf of Mexico Production Continues Comeback After Harvey
Onshore and offshore production in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico continues to recover to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels as inspections and assessments of damages are done. Operators have not reported major damages resulting in extended shut-ins.
Drones Utilized to Assess Facility Damage After Harvey
As companies begin examining facilities in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, commercial drones have become a valuable asset in reaching flooded areas too dangerous for people to reach.
BSEE Update 9/1: Offshore Oil and Gas Production Up 10% in Gulf of Mexico
Oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico have each gone up 10% since yesterday as Harvey continues to weaken and move northeast toward the Ohio Valley. Widespread flooding is expected to continue in Texas and toward the Louisiana border through the weekend.
BSEE Update 8/30: Gulf of Mexico Production Shut-Ins Show Fluctuating Recovery
The effects of Harvey are lingering for the operators in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil and gas shut-ins are fluctuating, but overall show slow improvement, according to the BSEE. As Harvey moves over the Ohio Valley in the next 72 hours, the cyclone aspect will diminish.
BSEE Update 8/29: Oil Production Shut-In of 18% in Gulf of Mexico
The BSEE report shows that since yesterday, oil production has improved slightly, while gas production has decreased slightly in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey’s ongoing effects.
Seven Steps to Safer Operations
These steps can help companies that are looking to digitize their paper-based safety audit programs, inspections, observations, work permit procedures, or other operational processes.
Guidelines for Community Input in Unconventional Development
The effectiveness of delivering information about a new energy project to community stakeholders varies based on the method used; how a message is framed can affect individual opinions.
Human Error: The Big Hurdle to Safer Facilities
Why is designing with human error in mind so critical? Consider that nearly 80% of all offshore facility accidents are caused by human errors, and 64% of these accidents happen during operations.
New Frontiers Identified in Human-Factors Research
A research fellow at the Ocean Energy Safety Institute argued that incident prevention methods will be ineffective unless industry generates facility, equipment, and system designs that consider potential human-factors issues.
Curiosity Saves Lives
If an organization has a culture that implicitly or explicitly rewards short-term productivity, what happens to safety numbers? Up or down? And why is that?
How Do Process and Occupational Safety Differ?
The SPE technical director of Production and Facilities discusses the role process and occupational safety play in oil and gas operations.
The Impact of Styles of Thinking and Cognitive Bias on How People Assess Risk and Make Real-World Decisions in Oil and Gas Operations
Awareness of the different styles of thinking can provide an understanding of the choices people make when assessing risk and making decisions. The purpose of this paper is to show how such knowledge can be operationalized and applied to real-world oil and gas operations.
Application of Plume-Cooling Technology To Solve a GTG Impingement Problem: A Case Study
The compact nature of offshore platforms makes the management of the exhaust from engines a concern from a health and safety standpoint. In this paper, the authors present a typical plume-impingement problem aboard an offshore platform and discuss the application of plume-cooling technology.
Safety for a Helicopter Load/Unload Operation on an Offshore Platform: Optimization From Several Viewpoints and the Psychological Aspects of the Marshaller
Helicopter operations are important in the offshore industry but accidents involving them can have fatal consequences. This paper focuses on risk mitigation during the loading/unloading task of a slickline/wireline job from various viewpoints, including the psychological aspects of the crew.
DNV GL Opens Hazard Awareness Training Center
DNV’s new training center will run full-scale experiments for a joint industry project aimed at investigating cost-efficient explosion load descriptions for process areas.
Underground Bacteria Generates H2S and Trips Control Panels
When panels in an instrument equipment shelter kept tripping and the occasional smell of H2S led to an investigation of the rationale. Although a rare occurrence, this paper presents a strategy for prevention through careful site selection.
A "Normal" Accident -- The Loss of the RAF Nimrod XV230: A Failure of Leadership, Culture, and Priorities
Analyzing accidents can demonstrate how much they have in common with everyday operations. Business principles and sound engineering practices can be at odds.
Risk-Based Analysis and Engineering of Safe Distances Between Occupied Structures and Processing Equipment
This paper presents a technique that results in an occupied structure being located properly and constructed to reduce the risk of harm to the occupants to a tolerable level.
A Review of Engineering and Safety Considerations for Hybrid-Power (Lithium-Ion) Systems in Offshore Applications
Hybridization of power systems is known to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions, with lower fuel consumption. This paper reviews available technologies to serve as a selection guide for planning such systems.
Work-site Assessment Required for Effective Fatigue Risk Management
Companies have developed a greater understanding of the causes and effects of long-term fatigue on workers by adapting risk-based approaches to fatigue management. But it is important to incorporate work-site causes of fatigue.
Proper Handling of Noncompliant Behaviors is Essential Toward Promoting Safety Culture
SPE Distinguished Lecturer Patrick Hudson discussed the types of safety culture found in organizations and the ways in which companies can improve their handling of noncompliant behaviors by employees.
Industry Can Do More To Raise Awareness of Operational Safety
Gone are the days when missing a few fingers is a badge of honor in the oilpatch. Author, Distinguished Lecturer and Consultant Ken Arnold discusses how far the the industry has come in prioritizing safety, and what more can be done to improve it.
Sleep, Lighting Measurements Quantify Fatigue Risk
A lack of sleep and excessive lighting in the workplace can have negative long-term health effects for industrial shift workers.
Effective Safety Culture Necessary To Understand Accident Causation
While there is no one way to prevent all accidents from occurring, organizations can develop an effective safety culture that allows them to learn from their mistakes.
Oilfield Lighting Threatens the Dark Skies of Night
The term “bright skies” generally connotes optimism, except when used to describe the skies at night. Finding a naturally dark sky has become increasing difficult as the global population and development grows.
Project Safety is Critical in Construction and Commissioning
With events such as the BP Macondo blowout in the US Gulf of Mexico (2010) and the Pemex Ayatsil-C platform accident (June), the safety risks inherent in oil and gas projects are evident.
Clear, Effective Standard Operating Procedures Needed to Improve Safety
Industrial accidents rarely occur because of failures in design. More often, they occur because operators make faulty decisions while under stress or because they do not follow sensible maintenance procedures.
Improving Human Performance: Tackling the Challenges To Develop Effective Safety Cultures
Human error is identified as a root cause of accidents and incidents in 60% to 80% of the cases and a causal factor in another 50% to 60% of all mishaps across many industries.
Changing Personal and Organizational Habits to Improve Safety Performance
Human factors may be a trendy term, but human habits are the targets in effecting change in behaviors related to performing work safely. Recent research around what habits are, how they are formed and changed and how they affect our lives has important implications for creating a safety culture.
Risk-Based Passive Fire-Protection Optimization
Passive fire protection (PFP) has been used as a method to avoid/delay global collapse of offshore installations. Location of PFP is often based on simplistic assumptions, standards, guidance, and methods that do not always consider the real response of the structure to fire.
OTC Recognizes Contributions of Key Facilities Engineers
OTC recognized three figures who have contributed to facilities engineering: Dendy Sloan, Jim Brill, and Ken Arnold. They were recognized with the Distinguished Achievement Awards for their technical and leadership contributions to the industry.
Rapid Rise Hydrocarbon Fires – An Engineering Perspective
The energy contained in oil and gas makes them immensely useful—and dangerous. A fire fueled by hydrocarbons can quickly threaten anything exposed to it. Building in passive fire protection when constructing facilities is wise practice.
How Can We Improve Our Safety Culture?
There is little doubt that the industry is committed to improving its safety performance—and most agree that improving the collective culture around safety is an effective approach to achieving this goal. But the specifics of how to achieve lasting change are more difficult.
Human Factors Getting to the Future Faster
SPE has formed a new technical section focusing on human factors engineering, which seeks to bring in knowledge from other industries, thereby ensuring safe operations and fostering a coordinated safety culture from top-level executives to workers on the ground.
Focus on Professional Engineering
Engineering culture is largely a safety culture. We have to assume that people will make a mistake and protect them from themselves through the way we design facilities.
Safe Operations Require Fluency in Personal and Process Safety
Process safety is attaining a higher profile in the energy business. I think we are continuing our safety journey and improving our practices and fluency, moving beyond personal safety into integration as a core part of the project, facilities, and construction (PFC) landscape.
Twelve Steps to Engineering Safe Onshore Oil and Gas Facilities
This paper reviews the key areas for facility designers and engineers to include when designing facilities to ensure safe facilities. Use and incorporation of the principles outlined in this paper should enable engineers and designers to build safe facilities that reduce the risk of major incidents.
Cultural Disasters: Learning From Yesterday’s Failures To Be Safe Tomorrow
Although offshore disasters are rare, they have resulted in significant loss of human life, environmental damage, and negative impacts on the larger society. We vow to learn from them, and address the technical challenges, but less often explore the role of culture, such as safety culture.
Minimizing HSE Impacts During Design and Construction of a Major Gas Pipeline Through the Baltic Sea
During the design of two parallel gas pipelines from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, major design changes were made to minimize project impacts, resulting in rapid approval by all five affected countries.
What is Normal Behavoir at Your Work Sites?
Recent accidents in the oil and gas industry have renewed interest in whether behavioral sciences can provide insights that can be translated into safety interventions.
Design and Implementation of Comprehensive Tank Overfill Protection Program
This paper addresses a “conceptual model” for an overfill-protection program, based on a recent industry example. Key portions of the programmatic and overfill-equipment aspects will be addressed.
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09 November 2020
06 November 2020
ITEMS OF NOTE
07 August 2018
20 July 2018
16 February 2018
18 December 2017
28 November 2017