J. M. Getliff and S. G. James, SPE, Dowell division of Schlumberger Evaluation and Production Services (UK) Ltd.
Alkyl-phenol ethoxylates (APEO) are a class of surfactants which have been used widely in the drilling fluid industry. The popularity of these surfactants is based on their cost effectiveness, availability and the range of hydrophilic-lipophilic balance values obtainable. Studies have shown that APEOs exhibit oestrogenic effects, and can cause sterility in some male aquatic species. This may have subsequent human consequences and such problems have lead to a banning of their use in some countries and agreements to phase out their use e.g. PARCOM recommendation 92/8.
The use of APEOs as additives in detergents, lubricants and stuck-pipe release agents for drilling fluid applications is discussed. The effectiveness of products formulated with APEOs are directly compared with alternative products which are nonpersistent and less damaging to aquatic species. Lubricity measurements using standard and in-house designed equipment and washing tests to compare the efficiency of surfactants are explained and product performance results presented.
The results show that alternatives to products containing APEOs are available and that in some cases they show a better technical performance. In addition to the improved environmental acceptability of the base chemicals, the better performance enables lower concentrations to be used, hence reducing the environmental impact even further.
Alkyl-phenol ethoxylate surfactants have been used for many years in a wide range of applications such as detergents, paints, herbicides and pesticides and they are also widely used in the oil industry. APEOs were first introduced into the UK in the 1940s and have become the 2nd largest group of non-ionic surfactants with worldwide production of 390,000 tonnes per annum.
Concern has increased recently about the widespread usage of APEOs because of their relatively stable biodegradation metabolites, especially the compounds nonylphenol and octylphenol, and their oestrogenic properties. This is part of a wider problem that includes other oestrogenic xenobiotics such as pthalates, bisphenol-A, PCBs and dioxins. This paper is particularly concerned with APEOs which are widely used in the oilfield but have several negative ecotoxicological characteristics that make their environmental acceptability questionable.
The microbial degradation, particularly during waste water treatment, of products containing APEOs results in refractory metabolites that are resistant to further biodegradation and are more toxic than their parent compounds. Nonylphenol has been demonstrated to be toxic to both marine and freshwater species, to induce oestrogenic responses in male trout, and may bioaccumulate in freshwater organisms. Concern over their possible environmental effects has led to the banning of NPEOs from cleaning products in Germany and Switzerland.
Norway has also banned their use offshore and APEOs are no longer used in household detergents in many European countries where usage is declining. A voluntary ban has been introduced on their domestic use in the UK and OSPARCOM (formerly known as PARCOM) has agreed that, as of January 1995, NPEOs and similar substances should no longer be used in domestic cleaning agents. Likewise OSPARCOM members have also agreed that they will no longer be used in industrial cleaning agents by the year 2000. In spite of this they are still widely used in many other large industrialized countries e.g. the US & Japan and are used in many other products and formulations where suitable replacement products have yet to be found. This paper attempts to describe in broad terms the environmental problems associated with APEOs and discusses how the environmental properties of drilling fluid additives and oil field chemicals can be improved by the removal of APEOs by direct omission, replacement with linear alcohol ethoxylates or the use of completely different chemistry.
Within the North Sea area there are many platforms nearing the end of their initial drilling phase but with the likelihood of significant, if infrequent, sidetracking operations in the future. For a number of these, oil based drilling fluids still offer a cost effective solution, particularly where tortuous trajectories are proposed. The Ula platform is a case in point, but, as with all operations in the Norwegian sector, unprocessed oily cuttings can not be discharged. Cuttings slurrying and re-injection resolves this problem and has been successfully used by BP Norway on the Gyda platform for the last 5 years. The challenge, therefore, was to design a slurrying system for the Ula platform, recognising both the space limitations and the cost constraints. This paper reports on the novel solution adopted, the costs involved and the subsequent performance of the installation.
The Ula field, located in block 7/12 of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, (Fig. 1), was discovered in 1976 by the semi-submersible drilling rig "Nordskald". It is a jurassic reservoir, at some 3200M vertical depth below sea-bed with total recoverable reserves estimated at 435 million barrels of oil equivalent. The PDQ (Production, Drilling, Quarters) jackets were installed in 1985 and first oil was produced in 1986. In the intervening ten years, over 300 million barrels of oil have been produced. The production rate is presently about 50-55,000 barrels of oil per day, with a water injection rate of about 200,000 bpd. Eighteen slots are available and, at present, there are 11 wells on production, six are water injectors and one is temporarily abandoned.
The first seven wells on the field were drilled using a KCl/Polymer drilling fluid system. However, major problems were encountered in drilling the Tertiary shale interval, so much so, that Low Toxicity Oil Based Muds (LTOBMs) were used for the 12 1/4" and 8 1/2" sections of the latter wells. The resultant fluid costs were reduced by 36%, on a comparable cost per meter basis, the average ROP increased 74% (Table 1) and the drilling problems were significantly reduced.
However, there remained the issue of the oily cuttings. A cuttings cleaning plant was, therefore, installed, and it succeeded in reaching the then specified limit of 10% oil, on a weight by dry weight basis. Efforts were subsequently made to reduce the residual oil on the cuttings further, so as to comply with the interim 6% limit, that was to be introduced.
To ensure that ergonomics are taken into account in the conceptual design phases of engineering projects, NAM has introduced the 'Ergonomics in design' workshop. This paper describes the general format, timing and techniques used in these workshops. An example of a case study is presented together with a cost benefit analysis. Finally, a concluding summary of the workshop success factors is given together with the areas for further improvement.
The NAM company is engaged in the exploration for and production of oil and gas in the Netherlands and in the Dutch sector of the Continental Shelf. In 1995 its total gas production was 57 billion m3 and 1.9 million m3 oil.
The design of equipment and production systems is a key factor in efficient and safe working. People today expect their equipment to be designed for easy use, and international Regulations call increasingly for safe and healthy workplaces. These demands place high responsibilities on those who design working equipment and production systems: they can be legally called to account if people are injured or develop occupational diseases; their companies will lose business if the competitors' equipment is more efficient and safer in use (Corlett and Clark, 1995).
This paper is of particular interest to those concerned with the design, engineering, operation and management of production systems in the oil and gas industry. Designing technology that accommodates the capabilities, constraints and needs of the human user (operator) is the concern of 'ergonomics'. The term ergonomics is prevalent all over the world, except in the USA and a few other countries, were the term 'human factors' is more prevalent.
Our company has adopted the following definition of ergonomics:
'A multidisciplinary field of science, and its application, which considers the integrated knowledge of human capabilities, limitations and needs in the interaction between humans, technology and the working environment for the design of work systems, workplaces and products'.
The company has an integrated Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) organisation including ergonomics/human factors expertise. In line with the Shell Groups' Human Factors Engineering Strategy, the company pursues four objectives for the design of equipment and production systems. These ergonomic objectives and definitions are presented in table 1.
Most of the objectives presented in table 1 have a special focus on human-machine interaction and the associated benefits apply both to the users and the performance of production systems. Integrity, as defined in table 1, is not the private domain of ergonomics. It overlaps the domain of other occupational health and safety disciplines. The added value however, is that ergonomics prevents health and safety hazards at the source, especially at the interface 'human-machine'. This pro-active approach also applies to system improvements in terms of reliability, efficiency and usability.
To meet these objectives in, for example, the design of a drill cabin for a drilling rig, the cabin should provide easy access, sufficient drillfloor overview and protection against hazards, such as noise, vibration, mechanical impact and severe weather conditions. Type and layout of chair(s), operating console, displays and controls should accommodate drillers physical and cognitive capabilities, constraints and needs to prevent musculo-skeletal strain, discomfort, mental stress and operating errors and its associated consequences. It is of vital importance that designs do not only respond to the physical properties and constraints of the users, but respond also to their cognitive (information processing) capabilities in order to prevent human errors and thus enhance reliability of the operations.
Shell companies have their own separate identities. In this paper the collective expressions 'Shell' and 'Group' and 'Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies' may be used for convenience where reference is made to the companies of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group in general. Those expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies.
Integrating Health Safety and Environmental issues of the workplace into the design of new installations has always been a continuous challenge facing design engineers. Ergonomics is a proven link for achieving this connection between HSE and design due to its multi-disciplined approach. Often engineers try to incorporate ergonomic issues into the design of an installation only after the detailed design has been completed. The consequence of using ergonomics as an afterthought in design can result in an installation with the high potential of human/machine mismatches which may result in poor system performance and hazardous working conditions, including emergency response. The message is clear: Ergonomics needs to be incorporated in the front end design of all new projects. However in practice, this is not occurring. Two questions emerge: 1) What kind of company strategy needs to exist to ensure its success? and 2) How will this strategy be implemented within the operating companies? This paper presents an ergonomics strategy and implementation plan used within a global oil company.
In the past, ergonomics has been undertaken on a project by project basis, if the resources permitted. If ergonomics was utilised in the detailed design, it ranged from citing international standards about population anthropometrics to lighting and noise levels in the workplace. While these standards are important, they are only a small part of using ergonomics in the detailed design. The most relevant component of ergonomics involves analysing the task and then designing the installation that best accommodates the operator. The only way that designers are able to build well-designed installations is by understanding the task environment and the strengths and limitations of human operators. This principle of designing installations around the human operator's task is the primary drive behind an ergonomics strategy and implementation plan.
Successful companies realise that their most important asset is their own people. These companies encourage their workforce to achieve their maximum potential and recognise that, in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the industry, they must facilitate the process of developing and applying the skills and knowledge of their staff.
Ergonomics offers an opportunity to improve the business by using techniques which break down the traditional barrier between human skills and machines. It is a process which effectively harnesses the skills of the workforce, thereby increasing the safety, motivation and satisfaction of employees as well as improving performance.
The confusing part of implementing ergonomics is when to incorporate it within a project and how to integrate it within a global organisation There are no set rules or guidelines for implementing ergonomics, only best practice. Large petroleum organisations need to learn from the successes of their operating companies and circulate that information throughout. Consequently, operating companies need to be aware of what ergonomics is, and how they can begin employing ergonomics initiatives within projects.
Where should operating companies begin? There are several means of justification for utilising ergonomics and they are based on striving for certain system performance objectives.
Shell companies have their own separate identity. In this paper the collective expressions 'Shell' and 'Group' and 'Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies' may be used for convenience where reference is made to the companies of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group in general Those expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies.
Shell International Exploration and Production (SIEP) commenced a programme of Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) auditing in its Operating Companies (Opcos) in the late 1970s. Audits in the initial years focused on safety aspects with environmental and occupational aspects being introduced as the process matured. Part of the audit programme is performed by SIEP auditors, external to the Opcos. The level of SIEP-led audit activity increased linearly until the late 1980s, since when a level of around 40 audits per year has been maintained in roughly as many companies. For the last 15 years each annual programme has included structured audits of all facets of EP operations.
The frequency and duration of these audits have the principle objective of auditing all HSE critical processes of each Opco's activity, within each five-year cycle. Durations vary from 8-10 days with a 4 person team to 18-20 days with a 6-8 person team.
Each audit returns a satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating based on analysis of the effectiveness of the so-called eleven principles of Enhanced Safety Management (ESM) required to be applied throughout the Group.
Independence is maintained by the SIEP audit leader, who carries ultimate responsibility for the content and wording of each report, where necessary backed-up by senior management in SIEP.
These SIEP-led audits have been successful in the following areas:
- Provision of early warning in areas where facilities' integrity or HSE management was likely to be compromised.
- Aiding the establishment of an internal HSE auditing process in many Opcos.
- Training, through participation in audits, not only auditors, but also prospective line managers m the effective management of HSE.
With the recent introduction of HSE Management Systems (HSE-MS) in many Opcos, auditing is now in the process of controlled evolution from ESM to HSE-MS based. The evolutionary process includes restructuring the standard report contents list and questionnaires, reviewing the rating methodology and the production of revised guidelines. Full HSE-MS based auditing, scheduled to be achieved by end 1997, is expected to lead to further improvement and structure in Opco internal auditing, with an eventual reduction in the need for audits led by SIEP staff. The ultimate level of SIEP-led auditing has not been established and will depend on the achievements by, and confidence in, the Opcos.
SIEP activities are conducted in 37 countries around the world through the Opcos. Each Opco is individually responsible for its business, but SIEP seeks through its policy, which requires foremost attention for health and safety of employees and other persons, and conservation of the environment, the implementation of common standards by the Opcos, where possible. P. 389
Many areas in the United States are not in attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone, These areas include some with petroleum production operations, such as Kern County, California. In addition, major OCS development and production sources in the Western Gulf of Mexico are located offshore of the Houston and Beaumont/Port Arthur nonattainment areas. EPA requires that states implement a planning (SIP) process to develop strategies to achieve the federal ozone standard. These plans have the potential to result in significant control requirements for the production facilities. Potential impacts from different source types can be assessed through use of photochemical modeling of ozone precursor emissions (hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxides) from all anthropogenic (man made) sources. This modeling information can be used to: 1) identify whether specific types of sources contribute to the ozone nonattainment problem, and 2), develop a set of control measures to reduce ambient ozone levels.
This paper will examine two photochemical modeling case studies which assessed the impact of petroleum productions sources in the Bakersfield and Houston nonattainment areas, The San Joaquin Valley SIP modeling showed that additional controls of NOx emissions from heaters, boilers and internal combustion engines located on the west side of the Valley were not necessary to meet the federal ozone standard by 1999. In the case of the assessment of OCS impacts on Houston, modeling showed that at times and locations where the federal ozone standard was exceeded, OCS contributions were minimal, This finding not only removes the probability of controls, but also greatly limits any probability of transfer of jurisdiction for OCS air quality from Minerals Management Service to EPA.
Recommendations on how to develop and implement a modeling assessment program will be presented to aid those who may be involved in similar planning processes in the future.
This paper will present two case studies in which decisions about the need for controls of air emissions from petroleum productions sources were based on air quality modeling. Unlike simple permit modeling, the assessments were made for multiple sources and used sophisticated photochemical models The paper will describe how air quality monitoring and modeling programs were implemented in a cooperative fashion with the appropriate regulatory agencies. This resulted in all parties having a vested interest in the success of the program. As important, it allowed all parties to accept the results of the assessment. In both cases, no new or additional controls were required, and the avoided costs to the petroleum industry were estimated at $ 50,000,000 and $ 100,000,000 respectively.
In 1990, the U. S. Congress passed the federal Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA). Major changes were made with respect to requirements to attain the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). This standard is set at 12 parts per hundred million (pphm), averaged over one hour, It is not be exceeded more than once annually, averaged over three years. Title I of the Act mandated that those states which contained areas not yet in attainment with the ozone NAAQS submit a State Implementation Plan (SIP) by November 1994. The SIP was required to demonstrate that the areas in question would attain the standard by the applicable deadline.
Dawson, D.G. (Unocal International) | Barbey, A. (Schlumberger) | Burke, N. (Shell) | Dahl-Hansen, E. (Esso) | Gilbert, M.J. (British Gas) | Howe, W. (Conoco) | Keech, J. (BP Exploration) | McCready, D. (British Gas) | Rodier, J. (Elf) | Thomas, I. (E & P Forum)
D.G. Dawson, Unocal International, A. Barbey, Schlumberger, N. Burke, Shell, E. Dahl-Hansen, Esso, M.J. Gilbert, British Gas, W. Howe, Conoco, J. Keech, BP Exploration, D. McCready, British Gas, J. Rodier, Elf, I. Thomas, E & P Forum.
This set of standards has been developed for use by health professionals in assessing local medical support facilities. The assessment, which is part of a Health Management System, is in essence a checklist for assessing the suitability of an existing medical facility in a proposed area of operation. The assessment describes the standards required for non-life threatening situations (non-time critical) and life threatening situations (time critical) covering outpatient and inpatient consultation and treatment in each instance. Evaluation of centers for preventative care (occupational health) is also covered. Each section deals with health professionals qualifications and experience, recommended equipment, building standards, administration details and logistics involved in patient transportation.
This report has been prepared for the E & P Forum by their committee on Safety, Health and Personnel Competence through their Local Medical Support Task Force. The report provides the detail that is required for the evaluation and assessment section of the E & P Forum's "Guidelines for Remote Land-Base Geophysical Operations" (Report No 6.30/190). However, the checklist is equally applicable to all types of operations and is designed to assist health professionals in making an assessment of local medical support in the area of a proposed or existing operation where company or contractor personnel may be at risk. It is recognised that existing facilities may not satisfy each and everyone of these standards. However, the standards can be. used to enable one to select from available alternatives. This paper is designed to give an outline of the specific areas that require evaluation. For details of equipment and essential drugs the reader should refer to the E & P Forum Report No 6.44/222 "Standards for Local Medical Support". Facilities are listed under the following three headings: -
1. Non-life threatening situation - non-time critical.
2. Life threatening situation - time critical.
3. Preventative Medical Care/Occupational Health
1. Non Life-Threatening Situation - non-time critical. An operator might access such a facility when a medical or surgical condition is such that the health care available in the field in unable to cope satisfactory with the situation and further evaluation by a doctor is deemed necessary. In such a facility there should be a suitable doctor who should preferably have at least 5 years post-graduate experience. He or she should never be newly qualified. The doctor should be familiar with local medical conditions and have a broad general experience. He or she should have good communication skills and be familiar with all available local medical facilities that could be used for further referral.
Equipment for conducting consultations, physical examinations and minor treatments should be in place. This would normally include the following:
- Desk, chairs, examination couch
- Basic diagnostic kit
- Ear syringe
- Single use (disposable) needles and syringes
- Single use (disposable) suture kit
- Appropriate methods for sterilization (preferably autoclave)
- Refrigerator (with back-up electricity supply if necessary)
In the last 12 months, many more cases of alcohol and drug (substance) abuse in the workplace were seen in the Escravos operations of Chevron Nigeria Limited than in previous years. This called the attention to the rising prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse in contradistinction to reports from similar organizations in other parts of the world. Chevron Nigeria has a written Drug and Alcohol Policy which has been dormant for some time because of the apparent rarity of the problem of substance abuse in the workplace. This Policy is being reviewed to broaden its scope and make it more effective. A total of 30 employees were tested for drugs and alcohol. 6 exceeded the legal limits of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and 5 tested positive for drugs. Tests were mainly post-accident, reasonable cause and random. The common substances abused were alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and morphine in that order. The findings are compared with those of similar organizations in UK and USA. Efforts to control substance abuse in the workplace are being put into place.
Substance abuse is the persistent or sporadic, excessive drug use inconsistent with or unrelated to acceptable medical practice. Any drug, whether illegal, prescribed or over the counter, may be abused but the ones commonly involved are those that can influence or alter man's psychic activities - mood, behavior, perception and mental functioning. These include alcohol, cannabis, opiates (morphine, heroin, opium), phencyclidine, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), benzodiazepines and barbiturates (sedatives and tranquilizers). Some of these drugs especially heroin and barbiturates are highly addictive and can lead to prolonged morbidity. Substances are abused for a wide variety of reasons and these include a desire for a novel experience or improved insight, to feel high, keep awake, to relieve boredom and facilitate enjoyment of social gatherings, drug availability and parental deprivation. Sometimes people abuse drugs simply because friends do, and want to be part of the group.
Occasionally, factors at the workplace may predispose to substance abuse. They include the organizational culture of the workplace, social pressures to drink, separation from normal social and sexual relationships, stresses and hazards, and extremes of income. The particular drug(s) used in any geographic area varies with the people's culture, degree of sophistication, availability and affordability.
Substance abuse in the workplace is both a sensitive and emotional issue to the employer and employee alike. While the employer is concerned with creating a safe, drug-free workplace, the employee fears being wrongfully accused of illicit drug use and victimization. Opponents to blanket drug testing in the workplace claim it unnecessarily violates civil liberties and random tests generate the most heated arguments. Mandatory tests are described as degrading and embarrassing, and are seen to be forcing individuals to prove their innocence.
The development of food sanitation programs is a critical health planning component of oil and gas exploration and development projects. Herein is presented practical methodologies to enhance health at minimum costs by maximizing benefits of food sanitation programs at remote work camps.
Food sanitation programs should be incorporated in the project planning phase, and can either provide offensive or defensive measures. Used offensively, the program can result in healthy food products with corresponding economic benefits realized through less down time due to food-borne illness. An effective program addresses these areas: 1) food supplies, protection. storage, preparation, display and transportation, 2) food handler's health, personal cleanliness, clothing and work practices, 3) equipment and utensil cleaning. sanitization and storage, 4) water supply, plumbing, and toilet facilities, 5) insect and rodent control, 6) construction and maintenance of physical food service facilities, and 7) work practice evaluations. Work practice evaluations are an essential component of an effective program since the prevention of enteric (diarrheal) diseases by their nature, involve behavioral change. Food sanitation programs are necessary for these projects because enteric diseases, especially diarrhea, are among the most severe health problems in the developing world where extensive oil and gas exploration now occurs. Intestinal parasites are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the areas, affecting over three billion people. A subset of this population includes those workers who are employed as food handlers and food service managers at remote work camps housing oil exploration and production workers in Latin and South America, Sub - Sahara Africa, and Asia-Pacific.
The incorporation of food sanitation standards in the request for proposals (RFP) process for camp facilities contractors clarifies up front the corporate expectations in this area. Standards are contractually specified and are easier to measure and manage. The implementation of an effective food sanitation program will create both short term improvements in camp operations (prevention of short term morbidity) and sustained improvements over the long term due to higher overall workforce productivity.
Professional Engineers are becoming increasingly involved in projects located in remote underdeveloped areas of the world. While U.S. companies have extensive experience in business development projects such as oil and gas exploration. these projects represent major long-term in-country commitments with potentially large labor forces and substantial impact on local food resources. The initial planning and structuring of food sanitation programs will, therefore, have long term ramifications on the project.
The nature of food sanitation services is such that they require a commitment to continuous inspection' correction, and prevention. An effective food sanitation program is only as effective as its weakest link. Therefore, constant, daily scrutiny and evaluation are required. Remote work facilities are particularly vulnerable to food sanitation breakdowns due to several factors:
1. Remote locations which require extensive food transport.
2. Relatively hostile ambient environment (i.e., hot, humid with intrinsically large pre-existing reservoirs of insects and pests).
3. Dependence on subcontractor catering services subject to a) employee turnover, b) non-United States standards of hygiene/sanitation, c) possible training and/or educational deficiencies in basic sanitary practices, and d) baseline medical problems (e.g., hepatitis, salmonella carrier status).
This presentation will describe the Safety Management System that Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) has structured to assure that Company activities are performed in a manner that protects the public, the environment, contractors and AIOC employees.
The Azerbaijan International Oil Company is a consortium of oil companies that includes Socar, the state oil company of Azerbaijan, a number of major western oil companies, and companies from Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The Consortium was formed to develop and produce a group of large oil fields in the Caspian Sea.
The Management of AIOC, in starting a new operation in Azerbaijan, recognized the need for a formal HSE management system to ensure that their HSE objectives for AIOC activities were met. As a consortium of different partners working together in a unique operation, no, individual partner company HSE Management system was appropriate. Accordingly AIOC has utilized the E & P Forum "Guidelines for the Development and Application of Health Safety and Environmental Management Systems" as the framework document for the development of the new AIOC system.
Consistent with this guideline, AIOC has developed 19 specific HSE Management System Expectations for implementing its HSE policy and objectives. These specific expectations are the key elements under which HSE standards and operating procedures are developed. As AIOC operations increase and expand; additional standards and procedures will be progressively implemented based on a prioritized risk assessment. The objective is to establish and continue to maintain operational integrity in all AIOC activities and site operations.
An important feature is the use of structured Safety Cases for the design engineering activity. The basis for the Safety Cases is API RP 75 and 14 J for offshore facilities and API RP 750 for onshore facilities both complimented by "Best International Oilfield Practice"
When viewed overall, this approach provides a fully integrated system of HSE management from design into operation. Introduction
The AIOC partner companies comprising the consortium group developing the Gunashli-Chirag-Azeri concession area of the Caspian Sea share a commitment to high standards of HSE performance. It is a commitment and a primary intent of AIOC, stated in the Health Safety and Environmental Policy, that the company will endeavor to protect the health and safety of everyone affected by its activities. The policy stresses commitment to progressively improving HSE performance.
AIOC will achieve this aim through the combination of its comprehensive HSE Management System; comprising policy, implementation principles, key HSE expectations, standards and procedures; and effective implementation at the operational level; through training, site safety supervision, and safe working practices. The AIOC partner companies comprising the consortium group also possess a wide background of experience in safely operating and producing offshore oil fields. This experience comes from operations in the Caspian Sea, Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Alaskan, Caribbean, Far and Middle Eastern offshore producing areas.
This collective experience is being applied to the Development Program in the 3 phases of the project. The phases are:
1. Initial program (1995) included a 3-D Seismic survey of the concession area, upgrade of a semi-submersible drilling rig to drill appraisal wells and evaluation of an existing production platform for suitability for early oil production in phase 2.
2. Early oil production (ongoing) includes upgrade of the existing platform for early oil production, drilling of development wells, laying subsea pipeline, refurbishment of marine support vessels, construction of an onshore receiving terminal and onshore pipeline.