The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Sub-sea First Response Toolkit (SFRT)

Graham Marshall - Saturday, July 07, 2012

Twelve of the World's largest oil and gas companies have committed $25.2 million towards an Australian industry program to deal with the potential for uncontrolled oil and gas leaks.

Woodside Petroleum is joined by Royal Dutch Shell, Apache, Chevron, BHP Billiton, ConocoPhillips, Eni, INPEX, Santos, ExxonMobil, PTTP, and BP.  Each partner has committed $2.1 million to the new program.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) will co-ordinate the program and the 12 companies will commit the funds over five years to ensure access to a sub-sea first response toolkit (SFRT).

The SFRT is designed to address the risk of any uncontrolled discharge from offshore sub-sea oil and gas wells.

The specialized equipment will be located in Australia and contracted through the industry-funded Australian Marine Oil Spill Center (AMOSC) for immediate mobilization if there is an sub-sea blow-out.

The SFRT contains all equipment needed to clean the area around the wellhead, enable intervention and prepare for relief well drilling and safe installation of a capping device.

All Australian offshore operators will be able to access the SFRT on an affordable basis.

Speaking at the launch of the program, APPEA chief executive David Byers said "The continued development of offshore oil and gas is essential for Australia's prosperity and energy security, but the industry must ensure we have access to the latest systems, technology and expertise to achieve the highest standards for our environment and safety performance."

Mr Byers said the Montara and Macondo offshore oil spill disasters, and subsequent inquiry recommendations, had highlighted the need for the international offshore petroleum exploration and production industry to create a capability for fast and effective response to uncontrolled hydrocarbons releases.

 

Situational Awareness at Petrol Stations

Graham Marshall - Saturday, December 03, 2011

Emergency situations at petrol filling stations are not so uncommon.  And for that reason, motorists need to maintain their situational awareness using Think 6, Look 6 whenever they stop to refuel.

Below are just four recent examples of fires, explosions or spills which occurred at gasoline stations over the last few weeks.  These nicely make the point that drivers need to be ever-vigilent for danger - particularly where hazardous substances are present.

+   The first example occured on August 19 at a petrol station in St. Augustine, Florida.  A tanker truck was delivering 8,800 gallons of gasoline, when fuel overflowed and spilled to the ground before exploding.  The driver of the tanker truck was seriously burned.

+    The second example happened on the 1st October when a fire broke out at the BP Garage on the A120 in Bradwell (UK) and completely destroyed the petrol station.

+    The third example occurred when a man fleeing from police crashed into a Chevron Petrol Station in Davie, Florida on 6th October.  The crash led to an explosion which destroyed petrol pumps and three vehicles.

+    And in the most recent example, a driver cashed her car into a Route 18 gas station in Bridgewater (MA), severing the pump and causing a small amount of gas to spew from the ground.  According to local police, the driver lost control of her vehicle because of wet conditions.

Professor Andrew Hopkins

Graham Marshall - Sunday, June 26, 2011
I'd encourage you to read and review the excellent paper on the Deepwater Horizon disaster prepared by Professor Andrew Hopkins and available on-line here.

We all need to learn the lessons from the BP disaster.

Best bars in the oil-patch

Graham Marshall - Friday, April 29, 2011
The oil-patch is a Global industry and over the years I've been fortunate to work on health and safety programs for companies around the World.

I've compiled a short list of my favorite bars, restaurants and hotels in some of the places I've been working.

Here they are...but look out for more next Friday...


1.    London, UK - Rooftop bar at the Trafalgar Hotel.  Just a great location right in Trafalgar Square in the heart of London town.  You even get to look Lord Nelson straight in the eye (he only had one)  from the rooftop bar at this Conrad Hotel.  One of my all time favorite experiences.  Handy for Shell or Hess employees just down the Strand.  Check it out by clicking here.

2.    Houston, Texas - The Flying Saucer.  Right on Main Street and so handy for workers from Shell, Eni, Hess, Exon Mobil, Chevron, and every other oil company in town.  A great place to watch the World wander past.  Check it out by clicking here.

3    Perth, WA - Rigby's Bar.  Not nearly the best bar in town but a must visit for anyone in the oil patch.  Full of Woodside, Santos, BHP, and Chevron employees after hours - especially on Friday's.  The covered roof over the whole building makes it especially good if you need a beer during inclement weather (i.e., winter).  Check it out by clicking here.

4.    Midland-Odessa, Texas - Dos Amigos Cantina.  As it says on the sign - "Beer, Babes and Bulls".  What more can I say!  Check it out by clicking here.

5.    Sakhalin Island, Russia - Kona Bar.  Anton Chekhov may have described Sakhalin as "hell on earth" but he visited in 1890 before the oil-industry arrived on the scene.  I started to visit Sakhalin back in 2002 and it was still pretty primitive in those early days.  Now you'll find curry-houses, sushi bars and the Kona bar.  No website but it's in the Sakhalin Centre Building in the middle of Yuszhno and close to all the Exxon-Mobil and Sakhalin Energy  project offices.  You can't miss it!

6.    Seminole, West Texas - Charlies Place.  You might be way out in the Permian Basin and be mighty thirsty but you ain't getting a drink in this dry Baptist town.  Check out "Charlies" for the best Steak in this neck of the woods.  You'll be drinking Coke or Dr Pepper though!  Check it out by clicking here.

7.    Aberdeen, Scotland - Peep Peeps.  Spit and sawdust doesn't begin to describe the authenticity of this Scottish Ale House.  Make sure you take someone who is really hard with you.  Check it out by clicking here.

8.    Luba, Equatorial Guinea - Kelly's Bar and Grill.  You'll have to get a private invite but worth it if you make it there.  Check it out by clicking here.  

9.    Karratha, WA - The Icon.  Karratha is the home-town of the energy boom in Western Australia.  Even so, it's not much to look at!  The Icon is a good place for a beer and live music.  Check it out by clicking here.

10.    Moscow, Russia - Golden Ring Hotel.  Not the best bar but certainly the best breakfast I've ever had.  A real luxury hotel and close to Shell's (Salym Petroleum) downtown  offices.  Check it out by clicking here.

Sydney, NSW.  Nothing to recommend it.  A town full of parasites feeding off hard working folks in the oil industry.  Avoid. 


BP Safety Culture Survey

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, April 06, 2011
At the Risk Management Toolbox, our mainstay clients have been bigger organizations like ENI Australia, British Gas, BP and Petronas.

Over the years I've developed numerous hazard awareness tools, JSA or JHA tools, risk assessment tools, behavioural safety tools, Safety Posters, Hazard and Operability (Hazop) Analysis tools, tool box talks and a range of other health and safety and risk management tools for those clients.

To give new customers the confidence to buy the products of the website or to get in touch about some of our HSE services, this week I'm running a series of testimonials that I've received over the years. 

I hope these will give you the confidence that you're buying the best available tools from a reputable Australian business.

As always, feel free to look round the risk management shop, to buy some products or to get in touch about any safety issues that are puzzling you.

The second testimonial letter from BP can be accessed by clicking here.

How to Maximise the Benefit of Senior Management Visits

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The visible presence of members of Senior Management on the “shop floor” is now routinely accepted as a defining characteristic found in organizations with a more mature safety culture.

In fact, the concept of “time-in-field” has become such an established aspect of performance arrangements that Senior Managers are now measured against it and visits are now frequently a HSE key performance indicator. 

The number of site visits completed by Managers has become a de facto HSE “leading indicator” for safety culture in many organizations.  Organizations taking this approach include BHP Billiton, Shell, Rio-Tinto, BP, Woodside Energy, Santos, Chevron and a host of others in high-reliability industries.

The assumption that management visibility is a good measure of safety culture maturity, however, is not wholly unproblematic.

For example, on the 20th April 2010, the day of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, two Senior Managers from BP and two from Transocean were visiting the rig as part of a scheduled management visibility tour.  The four Managers were either experienced drilling engineers or had previously been rig managers. 

On the day of the disaster, the four Senior Managers spent more than seven hours on the rig and during that period they spent time on a range of safety initiatives.

In spite of their presence, however, sub-sea well control was lost leading to a high-pressure release and a series of catastrophic explosions.  Eleven workers lost their lives as the disaster unfolded.

Given the generally positive assumptions surrounding time-in-field safety initiatives, this week’s blog takes a reality check and questions these assumptions. 

The enclosed slideshow (click here) provides more detail about the Management visit to Deepwater Horizon and addresses the key lessons that HSE Leaders can learn when initiating their own time-in-field visits. 

In summary, the slideshow highlights:

  • Senior Management visits often spend far too much time on lower-risk occupational safety issues;

  • As such, Senior Managers are not addressing the real HSE risk facing high-reliability organizations;

  • In response, we argue that Senior Managers need to spend far more time addressing higher-risk Process Safety Management (PSM) issues when visiting operational facilities.

  • Information about Major Accident Hazards and the events associated with them are readily available (usually in the Project Safety Case) and should be reviewed by Senior Managers prior to visits.

  • Process hazards and catastrophic-consequence incidents should always be the top priority focus area of Senior Managers making visits to high-reliability facilities.

  • Senior Managers making site-visits should always check and verify that the process hazards are being managed in appropriate ways.  This could involve reviewing a procedure (in real time) or undertaking a formal HSE Observation during a walk-round.

Deepwater Horizon was a disaster because eleven men lost their lives.  It will be still more tragic if lessons are not learned that make workers safer in the future.

To review a copy of the presentation, please click here.

My Safety Journey

Graham Marshall - Saturday, March 19, 2011
I was looking through an old computer folder the other day when I suddenly realized how fortunate I've been to work with some great people, in great companies and often in fantastic locations.

Below is a list of some of the organizations and locations that have kept me busy over the last dozen or so years.

I'd like to thank them all for the opportunities to learn they've each provided in thier own special ways.

APPEA (Perth).  Find them online here.
Aveling (Perth).  Find them online here.
BHP Billiton (Perth and NW Shelf).  Find them online here.
Bluescope Steel (Wollongong, NSW).  Find them online here.
BP (Aberdeen and Teeside).  Find them online here.
British Gas (Thailand, Dubai and KL).  Find them online here.
Eni (Perth and Darwin).  Find them online here.
Hess Corporation (Houston, London, Aberdeen, Aarlborg, Copenhagen, Lousiana, North Dakota, West Texas, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Surabaya, Jakarta, KL, Perth).  Find them online here.
IFAP (Perth).  Find them online here.
Monodelphous (Barrow Island).  Find them online here.
Nautronix (Fremantle).  Find them online here.
Newfield (NW Shelf). 
Ngarda (Perth and the Pilbara).  Find them online here.
Petronas (MLNG, KL and Sarawak).  Find them online here.
Powertech (Perth).  Find them online here.
PSN Water (Perth).  Find them online here.
Rio Tinto (Perth).  Find them online here.
Sandvik (Perth, Kalgoorlie, the Pilbara, Olympic Dam, Ravensthorpe Nickel Mine).  Find them online here.
Santos (Adelaide, Cooper Basin, Amadeus Basin, Surat Basin, Brisbane).  Find them online here.
Shell (Malanpaya Project, Philippines).  Find them online here.
Shell (Sakhalin Energy, Russia).  Find them online here.
Shell (Salym Petroleum, Moscow).  Find them online here.
Shell (SMDS, Bintulu, Malaysia).  Find them online here.
Shell (STOS, NZ).  Find them online here.
Shell Global Solutions (The Hague).  Find them online here.
Shell Trading and Shipping (London).  Find them online here.
Teekay Shipping (Australian Waters, Sydney and Vancouver).  Find them online here.
Tiwest (Kwinana).  Find them online here.
Transfield-Worley (Perth and NW Shelf).  Find them online here.
WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Perth)
Western Power (Perth).  Find them online here.
WMC Resources (Perth, Kalgoorlie and Olympic Dam)
Woodside (Perth and NW Shelf).  Find them online here.
Worley Parsons (Sydney).  Find them online here.

Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Graham Marshall - Monday, January 10, 2011

The National Academy of Engineering and the US National Research Council have released the interim report of the Committee on the Analysis of Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Fire and Oil Spill.

The report includes preliminary findings and observations on various actions and decisions including well design, cementing operations, well monitoring and control actions, management oversight and general regulation.

The interim report is available by clicking here.

The commitee's final report is due for publication in June 2011.


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