Skip to main content


 Fire on an oil and gas facility is no joking matter especially if located offshore.

For one thing these accident types choose the most unexpected times to occur. Typically in the dead of the night, pitch black surroundings, while most persons onboard are in slumberland dreaming of a beautiful and magical tomorrow. So the accident arrives, unannounced, and proceeds to wreak havoc on all, any and every, leaving devastation in its wake. Survivors, if there are any, are left aghast, wondering what went wrong.

The aftermath of any major accident event (MAE) on an oil and gas facility is sure to throw up an endless reel of questions ranging from what was going on at the time, who was doing what, where, how, when and for how long? Was the correct procedure adopted? Was the job hazard thoroughly evaluated? Was the supervisor competent to oversee such jobs? What about safety precautions for the job? Was there a Permit-To-Work clearing the work to go ahead? What about Emergency Response Plan? Was this effective, fully deployed? Did people do what they were supposed to do? ?????

But ofcourse there's no end to it. In the end we promise ourselves improvements against future recurrence and all that. Give it time though, soon enough another one occurs only this time more devastating. Would we ever learn? Only time will tell. Funny we seek to nail down the cause(s), fingers are pointed at the duty supervisor, manager, foreman, watchman or even the duty cook of the day.

Senior Managers and Board Members are hardly mentioned. Yet they are the ones who institute budget cuts for safety critical items, they extend plant running times to meet production targets instead of allowing maintenance shutdown schedules to occur as planned. They're the ones who are keen to maximise profits at the expense of safety, no matter what. They're the ones who whinge about how many millions of dollars they've invested and how shareholders would not tolerate poor returns, on and on.

Question for the investor is: Why invest all that money in an unsafe operation? Does it make any sense? I think not because an unsafe oil and gas operation or installation is doomed to go up in smoke, given time.

Think deep, think safety and stay safe.


Popular posts from this blog


There are pep talks and there are pep talks.

Over the years, I've had the privilege of observing pep talks all day long on seismic crews, construction sites, production platforms, processing plants, wire line, drilling operations, rig moves and so on. But not once have I left not feeling maybe the crew could have done better with the shape and content of the core messages thereof. This is because I am of the view that safety messages are only helpful if they are clear and to the point, with little or no ambiguity, if any at all. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Now 5-minutes is not a great deal of time for even the most gifted and skillful of speakers to nail  home  the key safety dos and don'ts of the job soon to commence. So most of these talks frequently average out to be sing songs and prayerful affairs in the end, with generalized 'messages' like be 'your brother's keeper', 'safety is everybody's business', 'you all know what…


In 'ACCIDENT IS MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN', we tried illustrating  how a NOTHING HAPPENED near miss incident of a hammer accidentally slipping off a technician's grasp, falling through a considerable height and landing safely between two busy foremen, with no damage to property or injury to anyone on site resulted in so much useful production time loss. A conservative computation of the time-cost estimate showed what seemed to be a 'harmless' incident costing the site company management a hefty 3.4 Man-Days lost time in direct costs! The exercise ended without considering the 'POTENTIAL' of the occurrence.

'POTENTIAL' simply refers to the probability of a much more consequential outcome by chance or slightly altered circumstances given the number of people exposed to the threat at the time. This is usually what constitutes the difference between a 'NOTHING HAPPENED' incident, a disabling/ serious property damage one or a fatality. That the people…

How Much of Your Opex Do You Save Cutting Corners?

What % of your operating budget do you save when you look the other way while unauthorized changes and deviations are a norm in the workplace under your supervision? Would you 5, 10, 15 or maybe 30%? You are not too sure how much, if anything at all?

Well, it is highly unlikely that you will ever save on your Opex if employees are free to make up their own rules as they go along or can decide which step on the job comes next instead of what the approved procedures say. In fact working with scant regards for the Right Way of doing things condemns you to an ever spiraling  operating budget spend. Because you'll find that you are constantly grappling with 'digging a hole to fill a hole' throughout the life of  the project.

In the end, there are no prizes for guessing that your project will come in grossly over budget and way outside the delivery schedule because of all the issues of rework, unplanned stoppages, delayed logistics, repairs and replacements, backtracking, clea…