In January 2006, Egypt’s Oil & Gas Health Safety and Environment (EOGHSE) forum was launched. The forum is chaired by BP Egypt and includes oil and gas upstream and downstream companies operating in Egypt. The forum addresses health, safety and environmental issues with a focus on safety.

The EOGHSE forum was initiated with several objectives in mind:

Information sharing, enhancing joint venture (JV) operations and promoting HSE standards within the community are major focuses of this forum.  The Executive Committee (EC) consists of oil and gas HSE managers as well as EGAS and EGPC HSE managers.  The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) representatives and service company chairmen may also take part. The EC meets annually and is responsible for setting long-term goals, identifying objectives, approving projects for implementation, monitoring progress, and making resources and budgets available to support approved EOGHSE projects and other activities.

After the establishment of the EOGHSE forum, and from 2006 until mid 2009, the first main topic of focus was Contractor HSE Management. Because of the variation of the HSE requirements and expectations from one contractor to another, the need for better alignment seemed compelling. Accordingly, the EOGHSE forum developed “Contractor HSE Management Guidelines” with the intention to be implemented throughout the Oil and Gas Sector within Egypt. This effort could not have been successful without the keen involvement of EGPC and EGAS especially by approving, adopting and cascading the Guidelines.

EGPC and EGAS’s endorsement and support were key in ensuring that minimum HSE requirements are embedded within all contractor companies and that consistency in HSE expectations exist across all oil and gas companies operating within Egypt. 

The developed guidelines brought together the essence of the committee members’ experience and knowledge, and it has been prepared using the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) Standard entitled ‘HSE management – guidelines for working together in a contract environment’. The OGP Standard was simplified and further enhanced to include ‘Best-In-Class’ Practices of Contractor HSE Management. The Guidelines is designed with a focus on improving contractor HSE performance, and it includes an eight-phase contracting process: planning, contractor pre-qualification, contractor selection, pre-mobilization, mobilization, contract execution, demobilization, final evaluation and contract closeout. To assist both the company and contractor, detailed checklists are included within the guidelines. The importance of the guidelines lies in the facts that it provides a consistent way of evaluating the HSE Management System for all contractor companies across the sector, and being an effective tool for screening contracting companies based on their HSE Performance. It can also be considered an effective monitoring tool for the continuous evaluation of the Contractor company through-out the contract phases.

After being done with the work on Contractor HSE Management, the Committee moved their focus to driving safety as a major area of high concern in Egypt. After the huge ring road accident, the issue of road safety became prominent, and drove many companies to turn away from using the ring road, turning towards the down town area and looking for alternatives roads.  The Committee saw the urgency in dealing with the root causes and the efforts that can be employed to minimize road risks.

Finally, it is valid to consider that the EOGHSE Forum went several steps in a longer journey to embed a continuously improving HSE culture across the Oil and Gas Sector in Egypt. The vision is to set HSE principles as core values in the Oil & Gas Communities hearts and minds, while the mission will be always to deliver efficient, reliable and safe business serving the welfare of the Egyptian people.