Category Archives: Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility

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Director’s Note: Public Acceptability

Oil and gas companies are making long-term investments around the world in costly, technically complicated projects where unanticipated community concerns can significantly reduce the return on investment.  One of my goals as HSSE-SR Technical Director is to convince technical decision makers with a deep understanding of the project they are working on that success can depend on something outside the realm of the design specifications and engineering—PUBLIC ACCEPTABILITY.  Many project delays are the result of non-technical issues.  For a variety of reasons, there is not always a straight-forward path to address these issues early in the project life cycle.  Some ideas to better prepare the industry include:  (1) dealing with sustainability issues beyond regulatory requirements, (2) recognizing issues outside the workplace or outside the normal bounds of exploration, development production, which will require attention, and (3) understanding that what works changes from place to place.  In June 2015, the first SPE Health and Social Responsibility Forum will be held in Miami, Florida.  This forum will explore the role of the oil and gas industry in community health and include experts from outside the industry in health, technology, and academia.  Health impacts are a very real community concern.  The issues can range from the impact of noise and emissions associated with high volume unconventional development in the US to dealing with the health issues created when an oil company brings in people to remote places with few medical professionals.  These issues can have a profound impact on pubic acceptability of our industry.  One can lead to fights over drilling bans.  The other can mean lost time for workers out sick or caring for their loved ones.  Both point to the local nature of issues in this realm.  This is not a generic issue but a very specific sustainability issue that can significantly impact projects and local perceptions.  SPE will offer its first sustainability training program at its 2015 E&P HSSE Conference—Americas in Denver, Colorado.  My priority is to instill in operations leaders that sustainability needs to be integrated into the very way they think about their projects.

Web Events

New Web Event on Crude Oil Separators and Systems

Join the 14 January web event on “Upgrading Crude Oil Separators and Systems for Mature Oil Fields” presented by Graeme Smith. This web event will consider original end of field life design constraints on crude oil separators and in a logical progression illustrates how hidden capacity in a separator can be identified and used to upgrade the separator, both by maximizing the use of available volume in the separator and also by the use of upgraded process internals.

Web Events

New Web Event on Global Decommissioning

Join Jim Christie on 3 February as he discusses global decommissioning. How do you go about decommissioning three interconnected offshore platforms in the UK North Sea, comprising almost 100,000 tonnes of topsides and 40,000 tonnes of jackets, together with abandoning over 100 wells and hundreds of kilometers of pipelines? Carefully, and unless you want to break the bank; differently! There are three important “C’s” to consider: Compliance, Collaboration, and Contracting. Read more »

Web Events

New Web Event on Facility Operability

Join the 18 November web event on “Facility Operability: Designing Operable Facilities” presented by Bill Capedevielle. The Oil & Gas industry has been designing and constructing facilities for decades, and they have all been started up and operated successfully. Why do we need to pay special attention to “Facility Operability?” In this live web event, the speaker will share the things of primary importance with regard to ”Facility Operability, ” including his experiences and learnings of almost 10 years of working with these issues.

Web Events

New Web Event on Fatigue Risk Management

Join the 10 December web event on Emerging Approaches to Fatigue Risk Management”presented by Martin Moore-Ede and Daniel Mollocone. This web event includes presentations from two speakers on the topic.  Moore-Ede will discuss the progress of this R&D, and some innovative new approaches to managing these risks and avoiding an LED-induced shift worker health epidemic. Mollicone will present an overview of biological factors that contribute to fatigue in a context relevant to the oil and gas industry.

New Technical Section

New SPE Technical Section—Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)

SPE has formed a Technical Section to give members the opportunity to focus on Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS), an area of interest for petroleum engineers worldwide. Industry interest in CCUS as a way to reduce emissions and for sequestering or storing carbon dioxide, has increased over the past decade. In response, SPE has stepped up programming in this area.

Carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) involves capturing CO2 emissions from large point sources such as power plants and either reutilizing or storing the emissions to keep them from entering the atmosphere.

Expanded Career Opportunities for Petroleum EngineersPossessing the know-how for evaluation, selection, and monitoring of underground storage sites garnered through decades of experience in the fields of CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and gas storage operations, the E&P segment of the oil and gas industry is anticipated to play a major role in the advancement of CCUS including broader application of CO2-EOR.

Moreover, lessons learned in the ongoing commercial activities within the oil and gas disciplines of underground gas storage and CO2-EOR are directly transferrable to CCUS, thus expanding career opportunities for petroleum engineers.

Join the CCUS Technical Section
This SPE group seeks to bring the abovementioned activities together in one place for those interested in this developing subject. You will have opportunities to deepen your learning and share your insights through online discussions, web events, virtual meetings, forums, and workshops, and enjoy the benefits of at least one face-to-face meeting a year.

Learn more and join »

Web Events

New Web Event on Human Factors

Attend a web event on “Human Factors in Drilling: Are there practical tools for use at the wellsite?” presented by John Thorogood on 12 November. The purpose of the webinar is to present the concept of Threat and Error Management to the audience, to engage with them and to seek their feedback as to whether this approach is viable in today’s operational climate.