Streever, Bill (BP) | Ellison, William T. (Marine Acoustics, Inc.) | Frankel, Adam S. (Marine Acoustics, Inc.) | Racca, Roberto (Jasco Applied Sciences) | Angliss, Robyn (Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NMFS/NOAA) | Clark, Christopher (Cornell University) | Fleishman, Erica (University of California) | Guerra, Melania (Cornell University) | Leu, Matthias (The College of William and Mary) | Oliveira, Shirley (North Slope Borough) | Sformo, Todd (SEA, Inc.) | Southall, Brandon (North Slope Borough) | Suydam, Robert
Most assessments of multiple, interacting, and/or repeated anthropogenic underwater sounds (sometimes considered to be an aspect of cumulative effects assessment) rely on narrative descriptions rather than systematic evaluations. In 2010, recognizing the need to better understand the potential effects of multiple sound sources (such as vessels, drilling rigs, pile drivers and seismic operations), British Petroleum (BP) sponsored the University of California to convene an expert committee tasked with advancing a method of systematic evaluation. The method developed by the committee (1) identifies the species, region, and period to be assessed, (2) compiles data on relevant sound sources for that region and period, (3) models the acoustic footprint of those sources, (4) models the movement of simulated marine mammals (animats) through the acoustic footprint, and (5) aggregates data on sound exposure and movements for each of the simulated animals. The method was applied to a test case or trial loosely based on data from the Alaskan Beaufort Sea during a period of seismic exploration and other activities. Substantial additional work is needed to better define output metrics related to degradation of acoustic habitat and to understand the potential effects of multiple sound sources on individuals and populations. Nevertheless, the method provides a starting point that will lead to improved understanding of the implications of multiple underwater sound sources associated with industrial activities.
Marine Bio-Security is a global concern with significant relevance to the off-shore gas and oil production and exploration sector. An avalanche of legislation and regulation is delivering enforceable laws which compel ship owners/operators to adopt prescriptive procedures, protocols and practices to ensure that ballast water is eliminated, or at least substantially reduced as a major vector for the translocation of non-indigenous marine pests (NIMPS). The other main vector for the translocation of NIMPS has been identified as the wetted hull of commercial and military shipping and includes offshore support vessels, mobile offshore drilling units, crew transfer vessels, barges, landing craft and pipe laying vessels. Hull bio-fouling and associated niche areas are presently under the scientific microscope...and will follow the same path in terms of legislation and regulation.
In a world where perception is reality it is crucial for oil & gas companies to maintain transparent and constructive relationships with their stakeholders. To ensure business continuity companies must build strategies that are centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement. This has come to be known as establishing a "social license to operate.??
With this in mind, and with the help of the Altermondo consultancy, Total developed the SRM+ tool in 2006. This is a methodology by which an entity (a project group, a subsidiary) compares its internal vision of the societal context in which it operates with the perception of its external stakeholders and builds action plans aimed at bridging the gaps between them.
In 2011 the Ichthys LNG Project in Australia, a Joint Venture between INPEX (operator) and Total, applied the SRM+ tool. A total of 35 external stakeholder groups were interviewed, from the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
Although most stakeholders stated they were very satisfied with the quality of their relationship with INPEX and the Ichthys Project, several valuable suggestions were made on how to improve the dialogue and strengthen relationships. The SRM+ process provided valuable insights that are difficult to glean from routine interaction with stakeholders. It also gave confidence to the Project managers that they understand the issues, concerns and expectations of key stakeholders and that external risks are being appropriately managed.
Following the SRM+ engagement, several Project managers made adjustments to their strategies. Possibly the most important outcome of SRM+ was that it has created the foundation for the Ichthys Project's long-term approach to stakeholder engagement. Going forward, INPEX plans to build on the SRM+ process by developing and deploying a stakeholder relationship management software package for the Ichthys Project that will enable the organization to identify, manage and respond to issues of importance to its stakeholders. Doing so will ensure that the Ichthys Project is able to maintain its social license to operate.
Oil & Gas companies dedicate considerable budgets to CSR programs. It is essential that these are developed taking the views and concerns of stakeholders into consideration to guarantee their effectiveness and sustainability. Therefore, engaging with stakeholders is vital to success and companies must provide their stakeholders with both the opportunity and the means to present their views and voice their concerns.
This paper addresses through the practical example of the implementation of SRM+ on the Ichthys LNG Project, some of the key questions companies face when defining and implementing a CSR strategy.
The SRM+ approach is based on the assumption that soliciting stakeholders' views of, and concerns about, a company's activities is best achieved through open, guided discussions. One way interviews can be restrictive.
The bulk of Chevron Australia's field operations are carried out in hot areas of Western Australia (WA). The climate, the work environment and the nature of tasks being carried out mean that heat stress management is a critical element in the Company's health protection efforts. Heat illness produces outcomes that vary from mild levels of fatigue and discomfort through to life threatening conditions such as heat stroke. Additionally, it is well recognised that excessive deep body temperature and dehydration are connected with a decrement in both physical and mental performance, and hot conditions may thereby give rise to accidents and significant productivity loss.
Many of the logistical, earthworks and construction tasks now underway in advance of the Gorgon Project's operational phase are carried out in the open, with an accompanying high risk of UV exposure. As such, skin cancer protection is an important additional consideration.
What sets this work apart from the work of others is:
? The project was applied in a challenging, construction work environment characterised by constant change and many newcomers
? There was a focus on connecting well established scientific understanding with day-to-day practice in the field
? The project centred on an integrated approach to dealing with the twin issues of heat stress and UV protection
? Several new training packages, checklists, surveys and field trials were introduced
? There was a close connection with external stakeholders, including the Cancer Council Western Australia (CCWA), WorkSafe WA and the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health
The project involved the development and communication of expectations, procedures and processes to support leading practice management of heat stress and UV exposure.
The paper describes a comprehensive approach to both heat management and sun protection. It should have broad applicability to Oil and Gas Industry operations in warmer parts of the world.
In Western Australia, Chevron leads the development of the Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas projects, two of Australia's largest-ever resource projects. In addition, the Company manages an equal one-sixth interest in the North West Shelf Venture, is a participant in the proposed Browse LNG Development and operates Australia's largest onshore oilfield on the Barrow Island and Thevenard Island oilfields. It is expected that first gas for the Gorgon Project will be in 2014, while that for Wheatstone will be in 2016. The construction workforce for each project will peak at approximately 5,000 workers.
During the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) stage of a project; scope, cost and schedule are locked down, the plans for construction are prepared and the licences, permits and access agreements obtained. Health, Environment and Safety (HES) deliverables include: assurance that the selected design options meet corporate and regulatory standards; input to ensure that the design is safe and environmentally responsible; the execution of baseline surveys and impact assessments to obtain required permits; the development of HES exhibits; and the review of tender documentation and contractor HES management plans. These activities, although often critical to project success are typically not tracked to completion alongside other project milestones.
This paper describes how during FEED, the Wheatstone Project built a specific HES Schedule from which were extracted a number of key milestones that were assigned a percentage contribution to the Final Investment Decision (FID). Any milestones interfacing with other delivery teams were integrated into the overall project plan with dependencies and links established. Progress for HES was then tracked alongside the progress of the rest of the project and a monthly dashboard produced as the prime communication vehicle for reporting performance.
This innovative approach put HES on the same footing as all the other project delivery teams and enabled HES conversations to take place in exactly the same manner as for engineering, commercial and technical disciplines. The integration of HES into project planning and progress measurement sharpened discipline around the delivery of milestones and the management attention afforded to them. The content of this paper and approach described can be used for future major capital projects throughout the oil and gas industry.
This paper presents a methodology for a systematic, robust and conservative ecological risk assessment for estimating environmental consequences and associated risk from ambient air concentrations of atmospheric pollutants and air toxics (also referred to as criteria pollutants and hazardous atmospheric pollutants in the United States legislation respectively), as arising from industrial activities. The paper details the main steps of the risk assessment process and makes a contribution in deriving conservative and safe Reference Concentrations (RfC) such as No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) and Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) for fauna in their natural habitat, using published scientific dose-response toxicological studies with laboratory animals. It then uses these derived RfCs to determine step changes in consequence levels, from incidental to major, in order to complete the risk assessment. A similar approach is used to assess impacts on the marine environment. This methodology is repeatable and robust and can be applied as a screening level environmental risk assessment to establish conformance to legally postulated levels of acceptable environmental consequences, where available, or acceptable levels of environmental risk, associated with air quality.
Project Background and Setting
The Gorgon Project, operated by Chevron Australia Pty Ltd on behalf of the Gorgon Joint Venture Participants, will develop the Gorgon and Jansz-Io gas-condensate fields, located offshore the north-west corner of Western Australia (WA) (see Figure 1). The approved development will include subsea gathering systems and pipelines delivering the gas to a 15 million tonne per annum (MTPA) liquefied natural gas (LNG) Gas Treatment Plant (GTP) located on the east coast of Barrow Island (BWI), which is a Class A nature reserve, lying some 60 km north of the Australian mainland. The Gorgon Project is an unique LNG Project in that it will also encompass the largest industrial scale acid gas injection undertaking in the world to date whereby some 4.2 MTPA of CO2 and other acid gas components (i.e. residual methane, (CH4), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) removed from the natural gas, will be liquefied and injected via three injection centres in the Dupuy Formation below BWI in the Operations Phase of the Project.
The design team for the Wheatstone offshore platform successfully deployed an ‘Inherently Safe Design' (ISD) approach to engineering the gas processing complex. Through a program of initiatives focused on ISD, a substantial improvement in the safe design of the platform has been delivered.
Major accident events:
The Texas City incident in 2005 initiated the most detailed and far reaching investigation ever undertaken by the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) at the time. The CSB report included a recommendation that BP form an independent panel to conduct a review of the company's corporate safety culture, safety management systems, and corporate safety oversight at its U.S. refineries. This independent review was conducted and a separate report known as the Baker Report was developed, with the key conclusion being that the process safety culture was deficient.
Major incidents such as the Macondo and Montarra well blow-outs still occur. NOPSA newsletter Issue 86, February 2010 presented data on gas releases, a recognised precursor to major accident events and showed "Design problems at root of most major gas releases??.
We present results of monitoring studies on emergent coral reefs and submerged shoals, two potentially sensitive seabed habitats found within range of the modeled hydrocarbon plume from the 2009 Montara uncontrolled release in the Timor Sea.
Divers conducted reef surveys 6 and 16 months after the release was stopped. Hydrocarbons were detected in surface carbonate sediments at very low levels and declined between the two surveys in both frequency of occurrence and concentration. While hydrocarbon degradation precluded source matching, some samples were consistent with a Montara type oil, but there was also evidence for multiple sources of hydrocarbons in the region. Coral and fish communities were in good condition and potential indicators of disturbance in some elements, for example moderate levels of coral bleaching observed in 2010, were related to unusually warm sea surface temperatures rather than distance from the well head platform or plume.
The submerged shoals component targeted a series of nine discrete shoals ~30-150 km from Montara well head platform. The shoals have abrupt bathymetric profiles rising from 100-200 m depths to within 15-36 m of the sea surface. Sufficient light reaches these plateau environments to support benthic habitats for primary producers, including algae, corals and seagrass. Sampling used remotely deployed cameras and grabs.Benthic and fish communities were diverse and shared many species with shallow coral reefs. Hydrocarbon contamination was measured around the base of the shoals. While there was no conclusive evidence of a impact from the spill, spatial patterns in a subset of the fish data showed a reduction in abundance and diversity at shoals closest to the well head. Similarly a marked reduction in seagrass was noted on one shoal closest to the well head platform in the period between surveys, 6-16 months after the release was stopped. These observations may reflect an influence from the hydrocarbon release but could equally be the result of natural spatial patterns and disturbance events in the region.
Overall, the lack of sufficient prior data characterizing the region, especially for the shoals, constrained insights into any effect or otherwise of the spill and reinforces the need for regional scale baseline data. These surveys make a significant contribution and an excellent starting point for baseline characterization of the broader suite of emergent reefs and submerged shoal habitats in the Browse Basin.
In May 2011 Shell announced its commitment to the development of a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) concept by taking the Financial Investment Decision on the Prelude FLNG Project. Prelude is located in Australian offshore waters, approximately 475 km north-northeast of Broome and 825 km west of Darwin, and will be Shell's and possibly the world's first FLNG development. FLNG offers a number of environmental advantages over traditional onshore LNG developments. This paper describes some of these and the associated environmental permitting/approval conditions for the project.