The second day of EGYPS 2022 witnessed several discussion panels on different topics with a conference dedicated to health, safety and environment (HSE). The HSE in Energy Conference was a perfect venue for international and regional HSE experts to share their insights, examine digital innovation for developing effective health and safety standards as well as strategies for employees’ health and wellbeing, in addition to discuss companies’ decarbonization efforts and the growing role of leadership in ensuring high HSE standards.
The conference included three panel discussions, two fireside chats and a live Q&A session. The event was concluded by the third edition of EGYPS Global HSE Excellence Awards to recognize outstanding, effective HSE projects and programs from around the world.
The conference was opened by Sameh Sabry, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Wintershall Dea Egypt, who referred to his company’s commitment to HSE throughout its 45-year presence in Egypt. “Through those 45 years, we have been so committed to HSE,” Sabry indicated.
Sabry elaborated that there is a challenge that should be addressed in this region, where the culture and mindset towards HSE are sometimes seen as a luxury, affirming that caring about the safety of people, the environment, and communities is essential.
In her keynote speech, Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, highlighted the importance of population health and how this can contribute to the economic development of countries. She said that “20 years earlier, there was a contradictory relationship between development and environment, however, this concept has changed”.
Fouad tackled how Egypt is supporting the oil and gas industry regionally, considering energy transition and carbon emission reduction. At the end of her speech, the minister affirmed that there are three areas the oil and gas sector should consider in partnership with the Environment Ministry for HSE as well as climate change targets, which include financing climate change projects, availability of latest technologies, and building capabilities.
Strategic Priorities Within HSE
The first panel discussion was held under the title “Setting Up Strategic Priorities within HSE”. The panel, which was moderated by Wael Amin, Head of HSE at Kuwait Energy, reviewed the key pillars that formulate companies’ HSE strategies and how the industry prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. Amir Gerges, Vice President Safety at Shell started the discussion, referring to several strategies adopted by his company including commitments and goals for achieving net zero emissions by 2050. “No harm and no leaks,” Gerges explained Shell’s identification for net zero. “Our approach to safety does not need to change, [it] just needs to mature,” he noted.
For his part, Head of QHSES at IPR Energy Group, Hany Abdel Aziz, talked about his efforts in considering the hazards of petrochemical industries describing it as a critical industry. He said that his company updated systems according to world standards. “According to that, we had to formulate vision and mission that help us go forward the strategy,” Abdel Aziz explained. He also emphasized the importance of coordination with the government.
Additionally, Fawaz Bitar, Senior Vice President, HSE and Carbon at bp, highlighted the importance of enhancing the mindset and behavior towards safety in order to achieve acceptable standards within operations. “We drive behavior and behavior drives cultures,” Bitar explained. Also, he added that in order to change behaviors, trust should be built between the leadership and workforce.
Fatih Erdem, Compliance Officer and QHSSE Director at TANAP, talked about how his company faced the challenges of the pandemic and the lessons learned from that experience. Furthermore, Andre Erasmus MENAAP HSE SQ Region Manager of Halliburton, discussed how the company confronted the pandemic crises. He also elaborated how his company was caring about the employees affirming the crucial role of technology in this regard.
Companies Strategies for Energy Transition
A fireside chat entitled “Leadership strategies to ensure oil and gas companies are well prepared for the energy transition” explored how companies include decarbonization and net-zero emissions goals in their strategies, to what extent the companies are considering environmental, social and governance (ESGs) within their operation system and their outlook for oil and gas company business model in 2030.
The session was introduced by Jessica Jackson Apache’s Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety and moderated by Nada El Sawy Cairo Correspondent for The National. Jackson talked about how companies are adapting strategies to accelerate the transition to net zero. She said “we as industry were committed to continuing to produce oil and gas in environmentally and sustainable way.” She noted also that the companies are seeking to reduce emissions. Jackson insisted that the world needs access to reliable and affordable energy. The vice president added also that “when we look at net-zero scenarios, it shows that there is a need for oil and gas in many decades to come even beyond 2030 and 2050.”
In the same context, another panel discussion entitled “Environmental sustainability as the way towards a zero- carbon future” was held, tackling the strategies that the companies are adopting to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions with minimal or no effect on the bottom line. The session also addressed how the pandemic affected the companies’ plans for net zero.
Iman Hill, Executive Director International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP), gave a brief explanation for what is meant by energy transition. She said it does not mean a rapid switch from using hydrocarbons to renewable energy. “Transition takes decades,” Hill added. The IOGP’s executive director stated that transition means to produce hydrocarbons in a cleaner way. Hill added that this terminology is related to emission reduction and scaling up the carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen.
For her part, Randa Mounir, Senior Climate Advisor at the British Embassy in Cairo, delivered clarification about sustainability. She said that we can replace it with “People, Planet and Profit”. “Sustainability is to take care about people’s health, to take care of planet and make a profit as well,” Mounir said. She saw that this requires countries to collaborate and introduce new technologies.
In the same context, Ghada Hammouda, Chief Sustainability & Marketing Officer, Qalaa Holdings, spoke about her company’s investments in the energy sector and its role in supporting the goals of sustainability. She said that the private sector should not continue in the same way as they should be more responsible and think about the environment and carbon footprint.
For his part, James Fibbens, Vice President and Senior Project Manager at Bechtel, mentioned the challenges that may be faced when implementing energy transition projects. He said that financing is the main challenge in addition to the viability and making these projects real and getting growth in the markets.
Another panel discussion was held under the title “Ensuring employees’ health and wellbeing within the entire oil and gas value chain” focused on the issue of mental health of the employees and how companies are dealing with the problem.
HSE in Energy Awards
The HSE in Energy Conference was concluded by delivering the HSE Excellence in Energy Awards. The awards were divided into four categories, addressing the oil and gas sector’s successful projects and leaders that aim at creating a better and safer future. The first category of the awards was for the Best Health Project of the Year. The winner was Hussein Marwan, Badr Petroleum Company (Bapetco). Meanwhile, Amir Weam, Baker Hughes, won the highly commended project award.
The second category of the awards was for the Best Safety Project of the Year, the winner was Haitham Al Yahyai, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). The winner of the highly commended project of the year was Tony Bocca, Bechtel. The third category of the awards was for the Best Environmental Project of the Year, the winner was Sunil Kokal, Saudi Aramco. The winner of the highly commended project of the year was Eman Hamdy, Eni.
The fourth and last category of the awards was Community Care Programme Award, and the winner was Sherif Selim, bp. The winner of the highly commended project of the year for this category was Ahmed Gabry, Shell.