Quality

ANSI Launches Online Portal for Standards Incorporated by Reference

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has announced the official launch of the ANSI IBR Portal, an online tool for free, read-only access to voluntary consensus standards that have been incorporated by reference (IBR) into federal laws and regulations. In recent years, issues related to IBR have commanded increased attention, particularly in connection to requirements that standards that have been incorporated into federal laws and regulations be “reasonably available” to the US citizens and residents affected by these rules. This requirement had led some to call for the invalidation of copyrights for IBR standards. Others have posted copyrighted standards online without the permission of the organizations that developed them, triggering legal action from standards developing organizations (SDOs).

 

Tight Profit Margins Boost Internal Efficiency at Natural Gas Companies

Source: Fuel Fix | 30 October 2013

Unpredictable prices and tight profit margins are boosting the need for teamwork within natural gas companies, while competition spurs innovation, speakers said at a Houston conference on 29 October.

Natural gas exploration and production have soared as technological advances have opened up unconventional plays including shale, but the erratic price of natural gas keeps profits thin, said Andree Griffin, vice president of geology and geophysics for ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy.

She spoke at the Women’s Global Leadership Conference at the Hyatt Regency Houston downtown.

Griffin said departments within natural gas companies once worked in a “siloed environment”—referring to an organizational structure in which units stand alone with limited collaboration and communication.

But she said fickle natural gas prices now require intracompany collaboration seldom seen before in energy companies.

DNV GL Releases Recommendations for LNG Bunkering

Source: DNV GL | 16 October 2013

One of the key hurdles to the increased global use of ships fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the lack of harmonization of bunkering operations. “DNV GL is therefore … launching a recommended practice for authorities, LNG bunker suppliers, and ship operators which provides guidance on how LNG bunkering can be undertaken in a safe and efficient manner,” said Lars Petter Blikom, DNV GL’s LNG director.

Managing Water Can Improve Productivity

Source: E&P | 10 October 2013

With more than 290 bbl produced in 2010, operators need a consistent integrated plan to reduce, control, and reuse water.

In today’s world, the availability of fresh water is a growing public issue. Population growth, industrial demand, and droughts are all factors that affect its availability. Even though the oil industry uses only a small percentage of available fresh water (less than 2% in the US), regulations from federal, state, and even local organizations are having a dramatic effect on availability and cost.

Equally important is the industry’s responsibility to ensure that hydraulic fracturing operations will not disrupt communities. But is there more to managing water than just a social license to operate? Does it make good business sense in a key metric such as well productivity?

In the oil field, water is used in every aspect of drilling, completing (fracturing), and producing. There are significant costs associated with water beyond finding the water. Logistics, storage, pumping, treatment, and reinjection/disposal costs also must be considered.

Custom Designing Fracturing Fluids Enhances Water-Management Strategy

Source: E&P | 10 October 2013

The industry is becoming more creative in how it manages water to maximize efficiency in its operations while reducing environmental footprint.

Water is the base fluid—and most important component—in the process of hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas development in North America. With the growing demand for fracturing, oilfield service providers face significant challenges to find and use water from nonfresh sources that will work effectively with their fracturing fluids while also minimizing the impact of their operations on the environment.

One significant change in fracturing operations is that the industry needs to use more water, which requires more efficiency. As a result, the industry is constantly getting more creative in how it manages its water to maximize efficiency in its operations while reducing environmental footprint.

QA/QC of Water Blending Enhances Crosslinked Gel Completions

Source: E&P | 10 October 2013

Managing wastewater and completion chemicals removes obstacles to wastewater reuse.

In the first half of 201,3 more than 17,000 wells were drilled in the US, with nearly half of those drilled in the Williston and Permian basins and the Eagle Ford shale, according to the Baker Hughes well count. More than half of the total completions in these areas currently rely on the use of crosslinked gel as a method of increasing the viscosity of water so that it will effectively carry proppant into the reservoir.

Each of these regions is arid, and the water demand to support hydraulic fracturing programs can be a strain on local water supplies. Concurrently, operators are producing flowback fluid and produced fluid (wastewater) from these same wells, which is most commonly disposed of via saltwater disposal wells. Many operators are now seeking to reuse this wastewater as fracturing fluid, which offsets the industry’s use of freshwater resources, reduces the cost associated with acquiring fresh water, replaces the need to add potassium chloride (KCl) for clay stabilization in the reservoir, and in some cases may be a cheaper alternative than disposal.

InterMoor Appoints New Global QHSE Manager

Guidry

Guidry

InterMoor, an Acteon company, has announced the appointment of Cohen Guidry to the role of global QHSE manager. Guidry joined InterMoor in 2006 as HSE manager and has more than 20 years of experience in the offshore oil and gas industry, mostly in quality, health, safety and security roles. He will be based at InterMoor’s offices in Morgan City, Louisiana.

Over the past 6 years, Guidry has worked as InterMoor’s West Africa operations manager, where his responsibilities focused on developing the company’s business in Nigeria, Ghana, and Angola as well as coordinating mobile offshore drilling units for mooring systems installations. Guidry served in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1992 and is a Desert Storm veteran. He graduated from Nichols State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1996. Guidry is a certified lead auditor.

“Cohen’s appointment as global QHSE manager underlines InterMoor’s position as a leader in quality and safety assurance,” said InterMoor’s global president, Tom Fulton. “This role better enables us to bring together our experience of operations conducted globally, to ensure that we are sharing best practice work standards around the globe while maintaining our focus on outstanding QHSE performance.”

IWCF Shakes Up Training Regime in Response to Macondo

Source: Rigzone | 27 September 2013

The International Well Control Forum reported that it is unveiling a new syllabus and training regime based on recommendations from oil and gas producers that are a direct result of the Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The IWCF, which sets international training standards for well control, said it worked with the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers on recommendations to enhance existing well control training, examination, and certification. The new syllabus and programs are designed to deliver a step-change in competence, it added.

Column: Putting the ‘Q’ into HSE

Source: Offshore Engineer | 5 September 2013

In order to utilize quality to bring about an effective HSE system, first it must be defined. This in itself is a challenge as quality is often about the perception of the individual. Joseph Juran, principally remembered as an evangelist for quality, gave the definition as “fitness for use” whereas Philip Crosby, author of “The Fourteen Steps to Quality Improvement,” thought it was more a case of “right first time.”

Perhaps the simplest definition is that of the Oxford English Dictionary, which says “the degree of excellence of something.” Whichever definition is used, a quality approach to achieving effective health, safety and environmental responsibilities is one that can bring immediate benefits to the organization.

Quality is easy to say, but is it a word that is overused as well as ill-defined? After all, what company believes it is not applying quality to everything it does?

The Case for Process Safety Management

Source: Health & Safety Middle East | 30 August 2013

Against a background of well documented tragedies, Katherine McCarthy argues the case for establishing meticulous process safety management systems.

Major, memorable accidents and the severity of their effect on not only the stakeholders within the oil and gas industry, but the people and communities directly involved, have prompted much attention towards process safety management (PSM) systems, not only oil and gas activities, but in other process industries as well.

Labor Department Monitoring Shale Gas Work Issues

Source: Fuel Fix | 5 August 2013

It’s amazing how many times Rodney Bean has heard the phrase “but everyone’s doing it” from oil and gas companies, big and small.

“Everyone” hires independent contractors instead of employees. “Everyone” pays a flat day rate instead of a salary or hourly wage.

When these companies get a notice from the US Department of Labor, they call Bean, an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson, and he tells them, in the most respectful way: Yes, you’re right. Everyone is doing it. And they’re doing it wrong.

Bean is getting more and more calls these days, as the Labor Department’s Marcellus Shale Initiative enters its second year.

The agency began targeting oil and gas firms because the industry has shown a pattern of labor law violations, according to John DuMont, district director for the department’s Pittsburgh office. The firms tend to improperly label their workers as independent contractors, which allows the companies to avoid paying overtime. They also pay employees a day rate without calculating how many hours are worked in a week and without keeping proper records.

Column: Change Is Impossible Without Addressing Resistance

Source: Phil La Duke | 5 August 2013

When it comes to organizational change, for my money, you can’t beat the work of Edgar Schein. Schein is considered by many to be the father of organizational development; he coined the term “corporate culture” and, if for that fact alone, should be revered in the same hushed tones in which people talk about Edison, Deming, or Jobs.

Schein postulated that organizational change can only come when the resistance to change is less than a combination of dissatisfaction, vision, and next steps.

I have devoted much digital ink to fomenting discontent, casting the vision, and crafting logical next steps, in fact, I make my living doing all three; but what about resistance? How do we recognize and attack it. Week after tedious week I work with organizations that seek rapid change—a means of accelerating culture change without merely masking symptoms by obfuscating them with a climate change. Some say it can’t be done—that culture change is a long and laborious process, but since time is money, most notably money that ends up in the pockets of safety culture (mostly through greed or stupidity) I distrust the argument—I say it can be done. I’ve done it.