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HSE must not be compromised when striving for efficiency.

Global oil and gas experts explore how the industry can avoid the long-term damage caused by short-term cost-cutting measures through strategies that increase efficiency without putting people or the environment at risk

Global oil and gas experts have called on the oil and gas industry not to cut corners on safety training and competence in the face of a much lower oil price.

"Safety must not be compromised when striving for cost efficiency," Ibrahim Fahmy, Marine Advisor at the Zakum Development Company (Zadco) and chairman of the Adipec 2015 Offshore and Marine Conference urges.

Companies must not compromise critical industry assets in their endeavour to reduce costs, said experts at the recently held Adipec Offshore and Marine conference.

Experts also emphasised during Adipec's inaugural Offshore and Marine Conference that companies and contractors who choose to cut health, safety, and environment (HSE) funds risk suffering serious consequences and even greater cost implications.

Fahmy urged that companies maintain their important assets and not compromise health and safety procedures, as "safety should always come first."

In addition, oil and gas stakeholders in the offshore and marine sector should have a strategy to managing their business and ensure that these assets are operated by professionals with the right expertise. Retaining highly qualified staff through continuous education and training programmes is essential for the progress of the industry, and for a company's long-term development, explained Fahmy.

"Organisations should continue to develop social and educational programmes, which feed the industry with qualified people who form the backbone of the industry's success," Fahmy said.

"With a rebound in oil prices expected, now is the right time to invest. In the last couple of months there have been a number of major projects that have been announced in the region, confirming the need for major oil companies to make the right investments towards securing market demand," Fahmy said.

Taking place in a dedicated waterfront theatre at Adipec's new Offshore, Marine and Heavy Equipment Zone, more than 40 industry leaders from the UAE and around the world offered a global outlook on maritime security and safety.

Khamis Juma Buamim, chairman of the Dubai Council for Marine and Maritime Industries (DCMMI), gave insights on the fundamentals to building national, regional, and global strength in offshore oil and gas.

Conference speakers also included Omar Abu Omar, COO of Tasneef, Hamad Al Maghrabi, general manager- Marine Services at the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), Captain Saif Al Hebsi, senior vice president of the Abu Dhabi offshore services company Esnaad, as well as Steve Kelly, president and general manager of Occidental Petroleum Qatar, Jean-Baptiste Faget, assets general manager for Total EP UAE, Christopher Bush, vice president -- offshore at Technip, Joe Brincat, vice president -- Middle East region at the American Bureau of Shipping, and Nagi Alyami, marine manager at Qatar Petroleum.

Abu Dhabi recently announced plans to increase its offshore production capacity so that it accounts for 50 per cent of oil output in the emirate by 2018. And with $25 billion worth of investments in offshore oil projects planned by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) over the next five years, industry professionals are zeroing in on research and development.

Only 150 metres away from the main exhibition floor, the new Offshore, Marine and Heavy Equipment Zone covered 8,000 gross sq m of space, with a jetty that extends 500 m long.

A purpose-built zone that provides water access, mooring, and quayside exhibition space allowed more than 80 exhibitors to showcase a host of offshore products and services, including ships, rigs, and vessels, subsea drilling equipment, oceanography and mapping equipment, pipelines and piping components, and tools for reservoir production and monitoring.

Fahmy ... 'safety should always come first'

"The offshore sector is playing an increasingly important role in meeting the world's growing demand for energy, accounting for about one third of global oil production. Realising the potential of offshore reserves, which are often expensive and complicated to tap into, requires continuous industry innovation," said Christopher Hudson, president -- Global Energy, dmg events. "This is what inspired us to create a new and dedicated zone for the offshore sector, and with the support of all stakeholders, provide a knowledge-sharing platform for the offshore and marine community."

Four industrial vessels reaching 65 metres in size were on display, with 30-minute tours that provide guests with an exciting opportunity to see the latest developments in maritime technology. Ships included the Esnaad 221 clean offshore supply vessel, the Al Shahama vessel by Abu Dhabi Ports, the Aradah vessel by the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Operating Company (Irshad), and the QRS Paraiso offshore support vessel by Zakher Marine International.

OPITO URGES NOT TO COMPROMISE ON SAFETY

A global oil and gas skills and training body called on the industry not to cut corners on safety training and competence in the face of a much lower oil price.

The call was issued by Opito as it announced the final speaker line-up and content for its recently held sixth annual conference and exhibition on safety and competence in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The only global event solely focused on safety and competence in oil and gas, OSCC (Opito Safety and Competence Conference) brought together governments, industry, regulators and training providers to share new thinking and best practice on improving safety and developing competence among the onshore and offshore oil and gas workforce.

This year's theme "The Economics of Safety at $50 Oil" looked at how the industry maintains competence and continues to keep its people safe in a low oil price environment.

David Doig, group chief executive for Opito said: "With operators looking for ways to cut costs in the current climate it is imperative that there are no compromises when it comes to ensuring the safety of the workforce. It is a challenging time but the economic conditions cannot be a reason to relax standards -- not when the cost of making mistakes are too high in terms of loss of life or damage to the environment.

"Hazards and risk remain the same regardless of the oil price and a lower BOE must not mean that they are managed differently. It is the smart organisations who realise that in times of turbulence, a highly skilled, safe and motivated workforce is critical to remain competitive. Production operations will continue as will the need for maintenance. If we take a cynical view that maintenance activities will be reduced then the need to ensure the workforce is trained and competent becomes even greater," he added.

The OSCC explored how the industry can avoid the long-term damage caused by short-term cost-cutting measures through strategies that increase efficiency without putting people or the environment at risk.

Arjan Ross, operations HSE department head at Adnoc and Simon Roddy, general manager -- Safety, Environment & Social Performance, Shell Upstream International joined Shell Group's vice-president of Safety, Tony Paul and Kevin Myers, deputy chief executive of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in discussing managing people in a downturn, increasing efficiency whilst retaining talent and driving a common approach to hazard management.

World-renowned business speakers, Kevin Gaskell and Andrew Garner brought perspectives from out with the oil and gas sector to the conference.

In his session on the psychology of managing a downturn, Gaskell used his experiences at the helm of Porsche, BMW and Lamborgini to demonstrate the value of leadership, teamwork and innovation in strategies that deliver efficiency and opportunity without impacting on safety or quality.

Recognised for steering a generation of business leaders through the turbulence that erupts when their established industry maps and models no longer work, Garner has helped fashion the make-up of boardrooms of many of the most successful global businesses. He will consider the best ways in which to retain and recruit the best talent when cost savings are being made.

Paul Mahoney's session entitled 'Safety off the Balance Sheet' demonstrated the real cost of safety in terms of the long-lasting human cost when systems fail. His raw and moving presentation will show why safety must be considered as an investment rather than a cost.

Around 500 delegates and 20 exhibitors attended the OSCC which provided a unique opportunity to hear from safety leaders from other industries, learn about new thinking, find out more about global standards and new training practices and network with industry decision-makers who are committed to making the oil and gas sector safer for every employee, anywhere in the world.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 30, 2015
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