To many in the Oil and Gas sector, Asia is seen as a regulatory backwater for HSE initiatives and enforcement. For those of us operating in the region this is simply not the case. We deal with the same HSE issues as elsewhere, usually in a similar environment to more mature oil-fields such as the GOM and North Sea. While the region may lack the maturity of operations; what it does have is a responsible attitude to the safety of workers, protection of the environment and creation of a stable and sustainable industry.

Our professional industry partners like IADC are a lynch pin to supporting all sectors of the industry to derive, maintain and uphold HSE initiatives. As a recent attendee of the IADC’s regional chapter HSE committee, I was singularly impressed with the professional attitude and high quality output of this focus group. The group benefits from a healthy attendance and a mixed composition which represents all areas of the Oil and Gas industry. We have a chairperson who brings with him many years of experience and access to many of the latest HSE related initiatives. The spirit is one of sharing best practice and knowledge borne-out by the sure knowledge any accident in the industry harms us all not just those directly affected.

With so much of the industries construction capacity centred in Asia, we have seen a huge uplift in safety by design.  Yards in Singapore, Korea and China are now successfully designing and building rigs where HSE issues are addressed through design and improved construction methods. This is evident when compiling the rig Safety Case for operations. Rigs be they jack ups, Semis or Drill-ships are simply designed to operate more safely than before and with reduced risks of bad examples of man-machine interface. These state of the art industrial facilities enjoy world leading safety enforcement, design and operational practices.

OES is just one example of where we, as an industry, are using the latest technologies to bring about progress towards zero incidents onboard rigs, platforms or support shipping. We were recognised at last year’s OTC, for the DOPP system and how it has been instrumental in changing behaviours, practices and outcomes in preventing DROPS.  Here the clever bit is the integration of RFID tagging into the system, which means the establishment of an onboard data base based on recordable integrity rather than the old fashioned paper trail. While initially focused upon the DROPS safety issue, the RFID technology is rapidly expanding into Condition Monitoring, Part identification and Inventory optimization. What we have seen from our customers is that safer rigs really are better run, focused on safety and sustainability, while providing a healthier environment for their personnel. Other examples of new technologies are areas such as Drones for more hazardous inspections, Phased Array –UT to avoid unnecessary stress on components in Condition Monitoring.

In summary Asia can hold its head up in its holistic approach to safety in the Oil and Gas industry. We are learning from older more established oil-fields, we are using our latest technologies to best effect from design through to operations through to condition monitoring, we are training our people to similar standards and our government regulators are using lessons learned in other regions to ensure compliance is mandatory and not discretionary. We have industry wide bodies like IADC who ensure a commonality of approach and seek universal professionalism from its members. Asia’s oil and Gas sector has come of age with regard to HSE and intends to stay on track.

Article by David Mugridge, Regional Business Development Manager in Asia. David will be at the IADC HSE & T Asia Pacific event being held at the Parkroyal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on 22-23rd March and will be running poster sessions at the event regarding DROPS safety.