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Region’s Process Safety Conference lays out proven techniques for oil and gas industry

: Tuesday, August 26 - 2014 @ 14:21

The oil and gas sector invests millions each year to keep safety incidents at bay. Despite the numerous processes, technologies, and the millions of dollars spent annually on process safety by the oil and gas sector, there are so many moving parts in a process safety strategy that even a great plan can go wrong.

Whilst we hear about incidents or near misses on almost a weekly basis and understand that safety incidents are unlikely to ever be fully eradicated, there are now technologies available which can help ensure that the probability of a high impact event is near impossible. This September, conference organiser IQPC will bridge the gaps in process safety by bringing tested and disciplined approaches to Process Safety Management in a comprehensive summit.

From 29 September to 30 September, the 6th Annual Process Safety Implementation Summit in Abu Dhabi will host case studies and lessons learned from more than 26 national and international companies, providing a range of proven design principles, and engineering and operating practices that mitigate the immediate environmental, financial and reputation risks of high impact incidents, and safeguard against the human element in accidents.

“The number of serious incidents that have taken place during the past 13 months are clear evidence that we cannot be complacent about the importance of asset integrity and process safety, or, for that matter, about the business benefits that we reap when we get it right,” said Colin Dyer, PSM Advisor and former Asset Integrity Process Safety Manager at Shell Oman. “This event is one of the premiere opportunities for the industry to learn about quality process safety tactics and to network with people who know your industry and have overcome the same challenges that you face.”

Speaking from a senior position at one of the world’s largest firms in hydrocarbons and gas, Abdul Nasser Al Mughairbi, Senior Vice President of Operations (Habshan Complex) at GASCO will deliver the first keynote of the conference on the role of process safety in key business objectives.

“For any business that wants to maintain positive cash flow and increase the profitability of their operations, process safety is a help, not a hindrance. By putting procedures in place that minimize human error and strengthen mechanical integrity, companies will see great gains in both finance and reputation down the line,” Mr. Al Mughairbi said.

In research conducted by IQPC, nearly 25 per cent of respondents polled reported that process safety management is not practiced at all within their organizations. The respondents, who hold positions in Process Engineering, Operations, Production, Technical, Loss Prevention, HSE and Maintenance, cited employee attitude, performance measurement, compliance, legacy issues and expensive equipment as major barriers.
Where process safety is implemented, it is treated as a step on a checklist, said Andrew Dingee, Former Contractor of the Red Team Safety at BP. “Because of that, it doesn’t have the weight to effect the direction of the project/organization. We need to shift the mind set of organizations so that they look at PSM as a vital system, and not as a routine action of an individual. PSM has the potential to revolutionize the industry in lowering risk to the individual and the corporation.”

The first day of the conference will focus on overcoming process safety implementation challenges. Among methods and best practices offered, Executive Director at the Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) Hirak Dutta recommends increased reliability and buy-in to overcome challenges to PSM. “Safety is an integral part of Operations and Maintenance. Unless operation and maintenance reliability is improved, excellence in safety cannot be achieved. I would also emphasize some of the warning signals that we ignore during operations and maintenance which leads to unsafe situation.”

Process safety leadership and performance measurement will usher in the second day with a lecture by Ian Travers, Deputy Director for Chemicals Regulation Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive UK.

Those who would like to learn about the human factors behind errors and failures can join the focus day on September 30. Using an investigative report from a steam boiler explosion in Poland, Ryszard Sauk the Process Safety Coordinator from UDT the Office of Technical Inspection in Poland will guide attendants in identifying—and controlling—sources of human error.

The 6th Annual Process Safety Implementation conference will run for four days, and include a three-day conference and one-day workshop. Now a staple for the oil and gas sector, the region’s premier conference series on process safety is sponsored by Schneider Electric, Petrotechnics, HSS Engineering, ABB, Crescent, Chilworth, Elfab Oil and Gas and Applus Velosi.

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Tuesday, August 26- 2014 @ 14:21 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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