Tim Blackford, BG Egypt President, sheds light on the strategies and policies of HSE applied by the BG Group, in Egypt and worlwide
1.How well does your company perform on environmental issues? (How does the environmental conditions affect the company’s operations in Egypt? can you state any examples)
At BG Egypt, we are committed to making a positive contribution to the protection of the environment. We go beyond compliance with local environmental regulation to meet internationally accepted best practice, and we reduce to the minimum practicable any adverse effects of our operations on the environment.
Here in Egypt, we work closely with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), and we conduct approved EEAA Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies before starting major projects. We also set ourselves targets for environmental improvements like reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, which we are successfully pursuing.
2. What are your company’s environmental and safety risk areas? How do you solve/overcome them?
We believe Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) are the biggest risk to our operations in Egypt. According to the Egyptian cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), road traffic accidents in Egypt result in over 5,000 deaths per year, and cost the economy over LE 4 billion every year.
In order to be better prepared for this risk, we offer all our staff at BG Egypt courses in Defensive Driver Training. We also have in-vehicle monitoring systems to monitor the driving performance of our staff and drivers. This has resulted in improved driving standards.
We also build environmental assessment and management into all of our activities whether exploration projects or production operations.
3. Operating in various countries, how different/difficult to apply your QHSE programs in Egypt compared to other countries?
We have been working with our industry partners and international oil and gas companies through Egypt’s Oil and Gas Forum. BG took the lead two years ago in producing Egypt-specific contractor management documents that can be used for all tendering and contracting in Egypt. These documents have set high HSE standards, and have been adopted by the EGPC and EGAS in April and were rolled out to affiliate companies.
4. Do you provide any HSE training programs to your employees? How frequent?
We have dedicated HSE teams who do ongoing training in all areas, such as risk assessment training, incident investigation training and Behavior Based Safety training. We have recently launched Leading with Safety, focused on the management’s responsibility to set an example to other staff.
5. What type of safety incidences have you encountered? How major were they? Can you state any examples?
Unfortunately, we have encountered a number of minor road traffic accidents in the past few weeks. We take those very seriously. BG Group has a goal of zero injuries, and as such is committed to eliminate road traffic accidents involving employees and to influence contractors in doing the same.
As a world leader in its field, BG Group believes that safety is simply good business. Through our operations here in Egypt, we have achieved 11 million man-hours without a Lost Time Injury (LTI) in Rashpetco, a Joint Operating Company, and 10 million man-hours without an LTI in Egyptian LNG. Both are world-class records in this industry.
6. How do you control the quality management system in your company?
BG Group continues to work towards full ISO 14001 International Environmental Management Standard certification at the major assets operated by BG Group. At the end of 2008, most of our major operated assets had been certified. Both Rashpetco and ELNG are holders of the ISO 14001.
Here at BG Egypt our dedicated HSE teams do ongoing training in each joint venture and at ELNG to ensure the highest level of HSE performance. The level of compliance in our joint ventures and in ELNG is industry leading in Egypt.
7. What are your recommendations to raise the QHSE awareness level in Egypt?
As previously mentioned, the Egypt Oil and Gas Forum provides a discussion platform through which BG Group HSE best practice is shared with companies and the government, to ensure that all parties work together towards the goal of raising HSE standards. Through continued focus on contractor management, we are constantly achieving performance improvement.