The EOG 2nd Upstream Operational Excellence Convention featured four technical workshops that were run by respected players in the industry and brought important updates on unconventional production enhancement; field best practices; new technologies; asset integrity; and health, safety, security, environmental and social awareness (HSSES).
Acid Gas Treatment
Irene Frino, Zohr Process Engineering Specialist at the Belayim Petroleum Company (Petrobel), made a presentation on the usage of Thiopaq and claus technologies in gas treatment, as well as their application in the Zohr natural gas deep-water field.
The field operator, Eni, used both technologies to treat Zohr’s sour gas, which contains 450 parts per million (ppm) of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Frino explained that the gas is processed through early production facilities (EPF) consisting of three main parts: an acid gas removal unit; a sour liquid processing unit; and a sulfur treatment unit, which includes the Claus and Thiopaq technologies.
The Thiopaq technology is used to treat sulfur from gas. According to Frino, the difference between Thiopaq units and sulfur recovery units (SRUs), which are based on applying the Claus process, is that the Thiopaq is smaller than the Claus and does not have any reactors.
Frino also disclosed that the Thiopaq technology is available in 60 units and can perform 3,800 analyses per year. Meanwhile, SRUs, which work in high temperatures and pressures, are available in 200 units and perform 8,500 analyses per year.
“SRU is more unavailable considering the steam operations that are required to run the facility,” Frino concluded.
Thiopaq is not just used in gas treatment, but also in oil. After the presentation, Dr. Ahmed Ali, Operation General Manager at Alexandria Mineral Oils Company (AMOC), told Egypt Oil & Gas that Egypt already has Thiopaq units in AMOC, adding that AMOC’s Thiopaq unit “was established in 2004”.
Integrated Modeling Approach
Following Frino’s presentation, Mostafa Mamdouh, Senior Reservoir Engineer at the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO), presented a case study showcasing the Saqqara field, in the Southern Gulf of Suez, and the methods used to unlock potential in the multilayered heterogeneous reservoirs in the field – which were found in poor seismic regions via applying an integrated modeling approach.
The presentation discussed the risks and uncertainties the operators faced during unlocking the multilayered heterogeneous reservoirs, which include facies distribution, STOIIP calculations and aquifer strength, lateral and vertical communication, rock quality and permeability distribution, as well as the impact on offset producers.
“The rock quality was a big issue in all of Nezzazat [area in the Gulf of Suez], because Nezzazat, in some areas, has a very good sand quality and permeability, and in other areas has low permeability,” Mamdouh said.
He further explained that the key risk faced in the new well deliverables was net sand thickness, which can be mitigated through the well penetrations control model.
As Mamdouh highlighted, the vitality of collecting periodic surveillance data for a better understanding of the multilayered heterogeneous reservoir enables better development decisions. According to him, a company can maximize oil recovery through using integrated approaches to overcome data uncertainty and subsurface risks even in mature fields.
Mohamed Salah, Senior Production Engineer at Khalda Petroleum Company, made a presentation on the importance of having an integrated workflow for unconventional reservoir evaluation in order to improve characterizations and reduce uncertainties.
“We need to address these challenges [faced in unconventional reservoirs] to better understand the reservoir characterization and performance, reduce uncertainties, and identify key technologies to reduce the risk and the operation’s cost,” Salah explained.
According to Salah, boosting unconventional production is possible through introducing a series of tax, financial, and knowledge transfer; technology support; pipeline network; resource management; and international cooperation policies.
He also explained that unconventional resources are important due to the decline in global conventional resources. “Developing the unconventional resources [goes through] four major phases. Each phase has its own objective, scope and target,” he added.
The first two phases are exploration and appraising phases, which are related to finding the sweet spot in the natural gas play, and the last two are the pilot production and project development phases, which are based on drilling and completing the sustainable-rates-wells.
According to Salah, companies could create an experimental zone through testing several wells and understanding suitable strategies to develop a play. He explained that even the immature expertise could help through bringing international cooperation to the unconventional field.
Novel Fracturing Technique
The last person to make a presentation on unconventional production was Taner Batmaz, Stimulation Domain Manager at Schlumberger, who discussed new fracturing techniques to triple gas production through addressing possible water blockage and halving the amount of proppant in Egypt’s Western Desert.
Batmaz discussed the reservoir stimulation and production challenges at the Obaiyed field and the Lower Safa formation, highlighting two water-based wells and two methanol-based wells.
The challenges faced in the reservoir included rapid pressure decline caused by reservoir compartmentalization, varying condensate gas ratios, unpredictable relative permeability, and varying thickness and reservoir properties. Challenges also included tight reservoir properties that require high-pressure hydraulic fracturing, in addition to water and fluid blockage caused by the poor petrophysical properties, and the multiple contact rather than single gas water contact (GWC).
Water blockage is one of the main challenges faced when operating in this formation. “Water blockage plays a very important role in gas reservoirs, especially in tight gas reservoirs,” Batmaz said.
Having water close to the wellbore or the fracture face could lead to a lower relative permeability of oil and gas. Excess water in the formation could be affected by the fluid used in drilling and fracturing treatments.
To face these challenges, Batmaz suggested methanol fracturing as the best option for water sensitive formations. Methanol could decrease the surface tension, maximize the fracturing fluids recovery, accelerate the clean-up period, and improve gel stability.
Field Best Practices
Continuing the first day’s presentations, attendees were provided with a second technical workshop on field best practices.
Scale Inhibition Squeeze
Mohamed Askar, Petroleum Engineer at GUPCO, introduced the scale management system adopted by GUPCO. He defined scale as a hard deposit of inorganic mineral compounds deposited from aqueous solutions. It has different causes such as pressure drop, temperature change, mixing of incompatible waters, PH increase, and agitation operations.
“All of these causes will form microcrystals and make these crystals grow in size until having an out-of-solution issue,” Askar commented. Because of this, he argues scale in wells and facilities “needs to be faced and solved before happening”.
Askar stated that in order to evaluate the problem of scale and build an equipment responsible for scale inhibition, GUPCO’s team firstly looked closely to the effects to scale to production. The main tools adopted by the team included a prediction step through complete water analysis and commercial software.
After the prediction step, Askar stressed the team’s conclusion. “Prediction is not enough, we need actual scale samples from the wells.” This led to the detection phase, which was subsequently followed by the squeeze inhibition phase to properly prevent scale.
According to him, the following well modelling phase was carried by “using commercial software to build a well and optimize the well design”. Askar argues that for companies that do not have software or cannot collect samples from wells, there are some other indicators for detecting scale in the wells, including a decrease in the well productivity, water chemistry change, and injection water breakthrough.
Downhole Injection and Backwash Program with Biocide
Ibrahim Hassan, Chemical Treatment Department Head at Qarun Petroleum Company (QPC), made a presentation on the usage of biocide to protect QPC’s assets from souring, and improve the well’s run life and cost-saving for work over.
QPC’s production wells are running by two main types of pumps, which are the electrical submersible pump (ESP) and the sucker rod pump (SRP). High water percentage can cause corrosion and scale on these wells.
“QPC and most of the sister companies in the Western Desert are facing problems due to sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) that may cause corrosion (MIC), producing sour gas (H2S), high cost due to failure of the wells, and hence production loss,” Hassan said.
Due to ESP’s constant failures, which led to high operating cost and lower production rates, QPC began a Dismantle, Inspections and Failure Analysis (DIFA) for the ESP equipment. The company found out that iron sulfide built up downhole causes many problems, including partial plugging for ESP/SRP, emulsion problem, effect on the running time of the wells, decrease on production rate, and increase on the cost impact by work over.
QPC arranged a survey about the downhole problem to get the most prominent way to solve the iron sulfide issue. The company found that the biocide] THPS was compatible with their target. Because of that, “QPC took the decision to use THPS for the downhole problem,” Hassan stated.
THPS has many advantages such as killing bacteria and dissolving agent for iron sulfide. It is also water-soluble, non-foaming, reservoir compatible, and has a good system throughput. “[QPC] applied the THPS method at a field called YOMNA and it enhanced the running time to 520 days,” he said.
“Now, we are using another technique for downhole treatment which is used in emergencies, the chemical backwash.” The most important procedure in applying the backwash program is the recycling step, “because we must keep downhole for some hours then begin applying it.”
“THPS showed good dissolving results for iron sulfide scale by using continuous injection and chemical backwash treatment. Chemical backwash succeed as a proactive action for improving the production and increasing the run life for the wells that suffer from scale problems leading to plugging and semi-plugging of artificial lifting pumps, work over cost saving, and decrease in the well down time,” he concluded.
Gempetco Operational Excellence Program
Emad Hamdy, Gemsa Petroleum Company’s (Gempetco) Surface Facilities Department Head, led a presentation that focused on the company’s operational excellence program.
“Operational excellence is a professional path to put any company in the track to be best in clause performance. Therefore, Gempetco decided to take this approach to be a pioneer in the oil and gas sector,” he said.
The operational excellence program consists of five pillars, which are: reserves and recovery, production, deliver new asset integrity, add or modify asset integrity, and deliver component and effective people. The program’s methodology starts with identifying gaps, opportunities, and priorities; determining resources; developing an implementation plan; delivering projects; and finally monitoring and controlling.
According to Hamdy, Gempetco has defined a four-year timeline to reach a sustainable result. It passes through three phases. First, the creation phase, which lasted from April 2018 to May 2018. Second, the planning phase, which lasted from May 2018 to September 2018. Third, the implementation phase, which is planned to be developed from September 2018 until August 2022.
Nowadays, the company is working on the implementation of platform inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR); firefighting upgrade; SCADA update and upgrade; hazardous material management; new pipeline installation; waste water effluent; materials management upgrade project; competency assurance; contractor management; and welfare improvement.
For Hamdy, the company’s leaders play a major role in implementing the program, and the whole company must be involved. “We have integrated the organization to ensure that operational excellence is a daily agenda item at all levels.”
Drilling Performance Optimization
Ahmed Abdelaziz, Drilling Engineer at Khalda Petroleum Company, made a presentation about drilling challenges and ways of optimizing drilling performance.
Abdelaziz stated that Khalda’s initiative towards drilling optimization comes in line with the visions of the ministry’s Modernization Project. “From this point, Khalda Petroleum Company has announced a new strategy to use new technologies to reduce drilling cost through optimization of planning and well design, operational practices, logistic operations, and application of new or fit-for-purpose technology,” he said.
The engineer compared the company’s drilling performance in 2009 and 2018. “In 2009, it took more than 48 days to reach 12,000 feet, and more than 95 days to reach 14,000 feet. [While] in 2018, it took less than 8 days to reach 10,000 feet, and less than 16 days to reach 14,000 feet.”
Abdelaziz pointed out that “Khalda managed to drill the longest and fastest 12.25’ hole in Western Desert reaching 10,000 feet in 10 days only.”
Drilling performance can be optimized in different ways. One of them is casing design optimization to minimize well phases to two instead of three; reducing the number of casing strings will decrease the well cost and drilling days.
Drilling fluid optimization is another option. “We have collected samples from different concessions to select which has better share inhibition and well poor stability. Instead of using expensive, complex and high-performance water base mud, the cost reduction of using this soft or simple drilling fluid reached more than 60% from the previous design,” he said. “Another point is the re-use of water base mud in some wells, which leads to significant decrease in the cost of drilling fluid.”
The presentation continued with many other ways for drilling optimization, including bit selection, improve BHA’s design, cement design optimization, SoftSpeed application, real-time well data, and directional drilling optimization.
“It is not necessary to depend only on the new technology for achieving lower drilling cost per foot, but it is important to adapt the drilling techniques to desired requirements: cost reduction and better performance,” he concluded.
New Technologies for Operational Enhancement
The upstream convention’s first day provided the attendees with one more workshop about new technologies.
Gas Early Production Facility: J-T Plant
Mohamed Kamal Gaber, Piping & Pipeline Design Engineer at Petrojet, discussed natural gas and early gas production facilities using the JT-Plant technology.
“Capital Economics estimated that the increase in gas production in Egypt will translate into a 2.8% increase in the real gross domestic product (GDP) over the next three years” Gaber said. “The increase in gas production could reach up to 9 billion cubic feet of gas per day by 2020, up from an average of 5.1 billion cubic feet of gas per day [in 2017].”
Gaber explained to the audience that natural gas processing is a complex industrial process that consists of many steps, but it can also be simple, as it simply consists of cleaning raw natural gas by separating impurities and various non-methane hydrocarbons and fluids. “Gas is processed to produce what is known as pipeline-quality dry natural gas, the sales gas,” he added.
Petrojet’s case study showed that, for this process, the company’s main challenge was to keep the methane with its high rate taking into consideration all other surrounding conditions. Using JT-Plant, the company could “remove the heavy components, water and hydration formation to produce the sales gas.”
Successful Landing and Geosteering
Aly Morad, Petrophysics and Well Placement Team Lead, Sis at Schlumberger, made a presentation about new technologies in geosteering.
Geosteering consists of a “planned interactive positioning of the well-bore using geological criteria and real-time measurements,” according to Morad. He introduced a case study about Petrobel drilling project at the Belayim Land Field, Sidri Formation, which was drilled in June 2018.
The company’s main objective was to a drill land well in the S3 zone, with geosteering well at 3 meters from top to maximize reservoir exposure. The main challenges faced were varying reservoir thickness, possible dip change, and the complex geology.
“We need to have offset data to form the right idea about what we are drilling,” Morad said.
“Mapping-while-drilling and multi-layer bed boundary detection services allowed us to successfully drill the land well after crossing several challenging faults with varying formation dip and throw,” he added. “Formation mapping allowed for better reservoir understanding and modelling for future wells drilled in the region and we were able to map fine laminations and features inside the reservoir for better delineation of formation dip.”
Implementation of Reinforced Thermoplastic Pipe (RTP)
Otto Comin, Senior Applications Engineer at Shawcor, introduced the company’s reinforced thermoplastic pipe (RTP) during his presentation.
RTP is a plastic inner liner for corrosion resistance with a reinforcement layer made of high-strength materials such as fiberglass and aramid fiber. It has also an external jacket made of similar material to the inner liner to protect and contain the reinforcement layer. The RTP is a corrosion-resistant and cost-effective alternative to steel and it can be supplied on reels, in coils or stick lengths.
The RTP started in North America but it is now spread all over the world. The pipe has some standards to be based on including API 15S for product testing and design standard, and ASME B31 for complies with requirements. International regulations include local codes. Moreover, “national oil companies (NOCs) have developed internal standards, including Saudi Aramco, KOC, and YPF Argentina,” Comin said.
The RTP has many applications, including crude oil and emulsion, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) injection line, gas distribution, fuel and lift gas lines, zero flaring, H2S and CO2 applications, source water, disposal lines, rehabilitation liner pulls, and temporary surface lines.
Using the RTP has many benefits as it is a corrosion free pipe with simple and rapid installation, infrequent joints, and reduced installation costs.
Subsea Wireless Communication Technology Control System
Mohamed Abdou, I&C GM Assistant, and Mohamed ElWakil, Systems and Controls Lead at Enppi, made a presentation discussing the subsea wireless technology that led to increasing the focus on the subsea umbilical cables, which become crucial for all subsea system delivery.
The subsea wireless technology is available on three domains, which are: radio-frequency (RF) communication, which has high data throughput, short range, and suffers from mild doppler effect; optical transmission, which is preferably in blue-green wavelength and requires line-of-sight positioning; acoustic communication, which is the longest range of communication, with low throughput.
Recently, the technology has been used to transfer data and control remote subsea assets. Users employ the technology for different purposes, ranging from long-term measurement of oceanographic phenomena to the real-time monitoring of positions and movement of subsea structures.
The technology has many applications, including positioning systems, mobile unit tracking, pipe-lay support, spool metrology, structure installation, BOP controls, cathodic protection monitoring, and Subsea X-tree control.
Addressing Asset Integrity
The second day of the convention included a workshop with four presentations on asset integrity.
SIM for Offshore Assets
Structural Integrity Management (SIM) is defined as “a continuous process used for demonstrating the fit-for-purpose of an offshore structure from installation to decommissioning,” Mohamed ElHabbal, Principal Offshore Engineer at Enppi, introduced.
According to him, SIM is one of the Asset Integrity Management (AIM) system’s main pillars and is divided into four main phases. The first one, named data phase, is where “[we need to] gather characteristic and condition data of the operating assets and build a data management system, which is a very crucial activity in order to have a successful structural integrity,” he said.
The second phase, named the evaluation phase, identifies, evaluates, and characterizes the risks and the structural assessment according to these risks. After that, the third phase, named strategic, “uses planning for repairs, inspections, and maintenance, and sets the roles and responsibilities in each part that the operator signed,” ElHabbal stated. The last phase is the program phase, “where we do activities after planning them,” he added.
ElHabbal pointed out that offshore assets in the Egyptian waters are aged and their operational expenditure is getting higher, which has been leading some operators to consider selling their assets.
He illustrated the application of SIM in those assets mentioning a case study carried out by Enppi. “In our case, our client has about 120 platforms in the Egyptian waters [from which] 13 are out of service. These assets have been installed between 1966 and 1987,” he said.
According to him, most of these platforms were subjected to modifications where the impact of these modifications was underestimated, in addition to the environmental changes in the areas surrounding the platforms. All of these activities needed to be assessed to ensure that the life of the asset could be extended successfully.
“Our scope was to bring fleet data,” he said. After that, the “engineering team’s main responsibility was to transform the data gathered into knowledge in order to have deep understanding of the fleet,” he continued. Once this diagnosis phase was concluded, “the platform with highest risk score in each group was selected for structural assessment.” As ElHabbal explained, the company then moved to a non-linear structural analyses to calculate the Reserve Strength Ratio (RSR), which indicates the ultimate load carrying capacity of a platform.
The engineer clarified that setting a SIM system is an efficient way to optimize OPEX. He continued setting some recommendations to upgrade SIM processes, which included two other phases: philosophy at the beginning of the process, and monitoring at the end.
During the roundtable discussion after his presentation, ElHabbal was asked about why Enppi only focusing on the qualitative approach instead of the quantitative, to what he answered that the approach actually depends on the number of platforms: if they are 10 or 12, it will be better to use the qualitative approach.
When asked about decommissioning, ElHabbal stated that, unfortunately, this is not part of the regulations in Egypt. He finally suggested that the country goes through its legalization and includes this process in the ministry’s Modernization Program.
Asset Performance Management (APM)
Daniel Costa Rodas, Solution Architect Director at Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), made a presentation about reliability and how it affects the business health. Rodas also mentioned what the best in class companies do, and the effects of Asset Performance Management (APM) when addressing reliability.
For Rodas, reliability engineering and APM represent the base for successful function. “Reliability, in many ways, is compared to safety. Some failures came by safety incidents and, in some cases, some safety incidents in the history took place by equipment failure,” he said.
He continued explaining that maintenance and reliability are in continuous improvement. “The best in class companies have been continuously assessing the multiple potential opportunities from a perspective of cost, mismanagement, and time availability,” he stated. “These things are directly and indirectly related to the health of the assets and the equipment that operates these assets.”
In fact, reliability can affect everything done in the industry, generally and inside the company. “There is a relation between injury rate and equipment effectiveness; when equipment effectiveness increases, the injury rate decreases,” Rodas pointed out.
He also explained that, sometimes, there is not enough time to do things right, which requires some procedures to be redone. Often, they are not redone in time to prevent failures. “In some occasions, we fail to identify the issues before they transform into function failure,” he added.
The ideal case would be having the ability to dedicate the needed time and resources to implement the job right, as well as to enhance it. According to Rodas, this happens when “we understand deeply not only how the equipment works, but also how they fail and how we can predict that failure.”
In order to reach this level of understanding, Rodas argues companies should utilize risk assessments, digital technologies, and workforce in an ideal way to collect data and analyze them. “The best in class companies spend annually over 1% of their investments in maintenance,” he added.
Commenting on work process, Rodas stated that having proper work process starts not from technologies, but from assessing the risks that are in place. Accordingly, he suggests companies anticipate risks before starting operations.
“Reliability is strategic to any asset intensive business. APM and reliability are sustained by a solid culture like safety,” he said, concluding his presentation.
Production Facilities Integrity and Corrosion Management
Mohammad Mahrous, Inspection Section Head at the Oil & Gas Skills (OGS) company, discussed the effects of corrosion in asset integrity. In order to properly manage corrosion, he mentioned three elements of the asset integrity management system (AIMS): facility and process integrity; failure analysis and incident investigation; and corrosion management system (CMS).
“The role of facility integrity is to maximize the availability of the facility and provide integrity assurance for the facility,” he said. As he explained, availability is a measure of how often facility equipment and systems are alive and function as they were designed to.
“[There is a] road which the management should follow to have a free-of-failure environment: if you have a reactive approach to facility integrity, you are in a bad position. You need to show commitment towards facility integrity by providing enough resources and training employees,” he noted, explaining the importance of caring for asset integrity as a precaution instead of a remedy to problems when they have already happened.
Mahrous introduced the example of a re-boiler whose function was to evaporate the light elements and water from condensates. According to him, this re-boiler lost its availability. Although the structure was still there, the availability loss also consisted of a failure. “Losing integrity, from my point of view, does not necessarily means losing the equipment physically. Losing its function is a failure too,” he said.
“My conclusion here is that we should consider a reasonable budget for asset integrity and consider corrosion as a hazard not only for the equipment physically, but also for its function,” he concluded.
Tubing-Casing Integrity (TCI)
The asset integrity workshop was closed with a presentation about tubing-casing integrity (TCI) delivered by Ashraf Said Mohamed, Production Department Head at Qarun Petroleum Company (QPC).
QPC had many problems related to injection well tubing-casing communication caused by advanced tubing corrosion, which led to increased risk of casing leaks, work over costs, and the possibility of complete loss of several wells.
“Initially, QPC staff instituted a company-wide TCI program,” Mohamed said. Under the program, the company conducted a survey that was based on a regular schedule according to the TCI classification of the previous survey. After entering the data in the database, the data is automatically classified into good integrity, unconfirmed communication, probable communication, or confirmed communication.
Commenting on the TCI survey techniques, Mohamed mentioned casing valve risers were installed on all injector wells to facilitate the surveillance procedure. A portable testing manifold was connected to the casing riser during the survey process. If the result was, for instance, unconfirmed TCI, “[that would mean] a small leak that does not lead to increase in tubing flow but pressure builds back up in the annulus slowly over time,” he said.
On database management, Mohamed stressed the importance of collecting data to be entered as historical database, which can determine the well TCI classification and schedule future surveys. Besides, this database can be used to identify corrosions by area and to determine the most suitable chemical treatment to decrease the corrosion rate. The database also extends tubing life, reduces work over frequency, and avoids high operating costs.
According to Mohamed, TCI survey has many advantages. It has no costs, can be applied to all injection wells, and the process is easy to be performed with only one engineer in a short time. TCI database also allows reviewing historical surveys to identify high corrosion areas that need chemical corrosion program.
HSSES as a Core Value
The second day closed with another technical workshop focusing on health, safety, security, and environment (HSSES) guidelines, which play a crucial role in the oil and gas industry.
Risk-Based Inspection: How Mature Fields Can Benefit
Mohamed Elsebay, Projects Section Head at Gempetco, made a presentation focusing on how the company integrated in-service inspection, risk-based inspection (RBI) and asset integrity management (AIM) procedures.
In-service inspection strategies and techniques are deployed “for the inspection and monitoring of the deterioration that affects different pieces of equipment”, Elsebay said. He explained that companies could plan inspection intervals based on time period, the condition of the asset or the level of risk associated with its failure.
RBI is used to identify and assess the risks posed to processes and equipment. According to Elsebay, there are four main phases companies must undertake to establish a working RBI system. The first stage includes hazard identification and risk assessment using the company’s standard risk matrix. In the second stage, the company plans for and implements the inspection regime, while in the third stage its carries out mitigation actions and updates its risk assessment protocol. The fourth and final stage includes establishing an integrated RBI program, and an RBI study re-assessment plan.
Gempetco faced different challenges, Elsebay explained. “We have to enhance the understanding of such important topics on a managerial level to get the desired results,” he said, suggesting that there was not adequate awareness of the program at the higher echelons of the company. He also reported that the inspection program was not comprehensive enough, and that the company had faced challenges extending the lives of assets beyond their design lives.
After conducting a risk assessment, Elsebay said that uncertainty gave the majority of Gempetco’s equipment a high risk rating, while all equipment assessed had a high impact rating. After completing the RBI program, the company was successful in reducing the risk of a number of assets. Although several still lingered in the high-risk range, the RBI program was able to markedly improve the majority of assets subjected to inspection.
Sustainability: “A Core Value, Not Just a Target”
James Garvie, Managing Director at Amal Petroleum Company (Amapetco), and HSE Advisor at Cheiron. The made a presentation focused on sustainable asset management techniques and how they can provide organizational benefits.
Garvie opened his presentation defining sustainable development as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. He argued that sustainability shares the same goals as asset integrity and operational excellence. All three aspect involve members of the organization working together to achieve a common objective which delivers long-term value. “We very much see sustainability as a core part of operational excellence program,” Garvie said.
Sustainable practice applies to every aspect of the business: from infrastructure and transportation, to public relations and contractor management. “We have achieved a number of major advances in a way that we could manage health, safety, environment, and social aspects,” Garvie said. Operations at Zaafarana, for instance, saw sustainable development projects that helped “overcoming waste management and enhancing the way of managing public contractors”.
Another crucial aspect is engagement; not only among staff but also “engaging the workers to their families and people surrounding them”, he said. This enables the company to better communicate the benefits of sustainability to a larger audience.
Garvie concluded the presentation by clearly articulating the guiding principles of sustainable corporate development: a clearly-defined roadmap, efficient team collaboration and effective communication of the project’s goals and benefits.
Start-Ups: A Positive HSE Culture from the Outset
Continuing the workshop, Emad Elewa, HSE Manager at Apex International Energy, delivered a presentation about how to foster a positive HSE culture specifically within E&P start-up companies.
The newly-established E&P companies in Egypt need to focus on the dynamic practices for building up HSE culture and a good management system, Elewa told the audience. The dynamic system is maintained through team collaboration, resulting in an environment in which “everyone will achieve more and efficiency will be more with team work”.
The presentation focused on four projects undertaken by Apex to improve HSE culture, guided by a set of 12 principles put into practice across the company. Elewa started by explain how the company developed its HSE policies. Rather than taking the traditional routes of handing all the responsibility to managers, the company was keen to involve all employees in the process and encourage their participation.
Elewa then described how Apex designed HSE observation card, explaining that it was created to “encourage a positive attitude”.
“We made a draft card and asked an employee to fill it to report the safe and the unsafe behaviors,” he said, adding that employees are able to stop working if they feel unsafe.
He then moved to key performance indicators (KPIs), and explained how the company approached their development. Apex monitors KPIs each month, which ensures that they are regularly assessed and continuously updated. It allows the company to meaningfully engage with feedback provided by employees and act on it quickly.
Finally, Elewa explained Apex’s approach to managing HSE practices of their contractors. Contractors are in many ways the foundations of the E&P industry, accounting for 85% of all working hours. It is important then to ensure contracting companies work to the same HSE standards as the operator. To achieve this, Apex implements a four-phase process: inserting HSE clauses into the contract; establishing that the contractors understand their HSE obligations; monitoring their activities during the project’s implementation; and collecting feedback for future improvements after the project has been completed.
Improving Performance: Safety Culture and HSE Management Systems
Martin Wheeler, HSE and Asset Integrity Director at Atticus Energy made a presentation about safety culture, its importance, and how it should be implemented.
“Safety culture is based on a common goal,” Wheeler said, highlighting the importance of company-wide participation. Everybody inside the organization needs to accept the culture if it is to be reinforced. In order to make this happen, each and every employee must feel appreciated. “People must feel that they are respected in the organization…everyone in the organization must benefit from the system,” he pointed out.
Normalizing an effective safety culture can be – to some extent – self-sustaining. “When someone joins an organization, they are affected by the performance of people around. So, if you join a high performing team you up your game to match them,” Wheeler explained. The opposite is also true however. Employees entering a workplace indifferent to poor safety practices may also reproduce the same low standards.
Effective leadership was a focal point of the presentation, as Wheeler emphasized the importance of having leaders across all parts of the organization. “People cannot work without knowing where they are going,” he said, highlighting the fact that some individuals must be able to set a good example for other employees to follow.
Wheeler closed the workshop with a positive assessment of Egypt’s HSE development: “Egypt is currently improving especially with the important role of the senior members in the industry.”