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Nearly three-quarters (71%) of senior oil and gas professionals have sharpened their focus on digitalization over the past year, according to a 2021 survey by DNV (DNV Outlook). The pandemic has not only increased attention on how digital solutions can make organizations more adaptable and cost efficient, it has also forced companies to discard the normal rules and become more open to change. While data collaboration, cloud-based applications, and remote surveillance top the investment priorities for the year ahead, a growing number of respondents (7%) see additive manufacturing (AM)--the industry equivalent of 3D printing--on their spending list. As an emerging technology, AM uses 3D model data to fabricate parts, enabling, among other benefits, significant cost and time savings in contrast to many traditional manufacturing methods, where the final parts are machined out of a pre-made form. Its purpose is to alleviate and avoid long, expensive production shutdowns and reduce supply chain carbon footprints.
Nearly 150 workers have been evacuated or are due for evacuation from Shell's Shearwater project in the North Sea since a COVID-19 outbreak emerged at the end of June, the company said on 20 July, as the industry called for an exemption from self-isolation rules for offshore workers. So far, 26 people at the Shearwater oil and gas hub have tested positive for COVID-19, with another 122 categorized as having been "close contacts" of those infected, Shell told S&P Global Platts. Most have already been flown to shore, with a small number isolating at the facility before returning to shore, Shell said, adding that the spread of infection was slowing, with only five cases detected in the last 7 days of the outbreak. Shearwater is the focus of concerns that rising UK infection rates could spread to the offshore oil and gas sector, which normally provides 1 million B/D of oil including the Brent and Forties benchmark grades and meets about half the country's gas needs. Offshore workforce numbers have recently recovered to well over 10,000, following a steep fall last year in response the pandemic, according to industry figures.
The US produced more oil, petroleum liquids, and natural gas than any other nation last year, according to newly released figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The US managed to lead the world for the seventh year despite seeing a year-over-year decline from a record high output in 2019. The EIA pegged combined oil and gas production in the US in 2020 at 66.9 quadrillion BTUs. This topped Russia and Saudi Arabia's output of 45.5 quadrillion BTUs and 26.5 quadrillion BTUs, respectively. "Petroleum and natural gas production fell in all three countries in 2020 following a rapid decline in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent crude oil price declines, particularly in the first quarter of 2020," the report read.
The 19th OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting, known collectively as OPEC, has agreed to end its historic production cuts after determining that global crude demand has shown "clear signs of improvement and OECD stocks falling, as the economic recovery continued in most parts of the world." Sunday's agreement will see the gradual end to the production cuts that were made last year in an unprecedented response to excess supply that resulted from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to a number of vaccine programs taking shape worldwide, OPEC said now is the time to erase the cuts by throttling production up by 400,000 B/D per month to the end of 2022. The gradual increase is considered a cautious move by many analysts, one meant to temper crude markets and expectations as a full global economic recovery remains unrealized amid the spread of new virus variants. Analysts have also noted that the deal has soothed tensions within the group, most notably between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which had lobbied hard for an increase in its baseline production figure that effectively sets its quota limit.
Total recoverable oil resources around the globe fell to 1,725 billion bbl, according to a newly published estimate from Rystad Energy on Tuesday. The figure represents a drop of 9% on a year-over-year basis from 2020's estimate of 1,903 billion recoverable bbl. The trendlines Rystad has drawn point toward oil and natural gas liquids production falling below 50 million B/D by 2050--or about 50% off the peak seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This spells bad news for the outlook of many oil companies, but for those still pumping in 2050 it may signal that the industry has succeeded in striking a balance between meeting the world's energy needs and its climate concerns. Per Magnus Nysveen, Rystad's head of analysis: "Exploring, developing, processing, and consuming this amount of commercially extractable oil will lead to gross greenhouse-gas emissions of less than 450 gigatons of CO2 from now until 2100. This is compliant with [the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's] carbon budget for global warming limited to 1.8 C by 2100."
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the joint International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP)/IPIECA Health Committee has worked to ensure that the industry was operating with the most up-to-date and scientifically sound information possible when making decisions that affect workers' health during the pandemic. The Health Committee has issued periodic statements on COVID-19 testing and updated these accordingly as COVID-19 testing technology and the approaches to isolation and quarantine have evolved continuously throughout the pandemic. The fifth version of this statement is now available. Testing is an essential tool in continuous evolution to adequately address the COVID-19 pandemic. It faces several challenges and limitations that must be overcome as preventive and mitigation measures are implemented while using the various COVID-19 testing methodologies. Limited societal readiness, lack of available testing infrastructure, and the validity of tests used are some of the principal hurdles to establishing an effective and consistent testing regime.
As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides in most parts of the world, and as a global society we commit ourselves to its control and eradication everywhere, it is time for our "ship" to leave port. As we pull up our anchor ("anchors aweigh" means the anchor is off bottom and the ship is free to move), we must accept that there are risks out there, but we must get back to the task of exploration and production of oil and gas as never before. As I predicted in this column many months ago, we are definitely leaner (fewer people, with even more work to do) and now we need to be much meaner (better skilled, better motivated, and better focused). All the old adages apply: "life isn't fair," "there are no guarantees," etc.--but a commitment to "duty, honor, and service" (an unofficial motto of my employer, Texas A&M University) stands firm in my mind for our industry. As we leave port, we must have the confidence and purpose that has defined our industry since its inception--improving lives, mitigating poverty, and providing the energy to enable a modern global society.
Human Factors is an umbrella term for several areas of research that include human performance, technology design, and human-computer interaction. Human Factors Engineering (HFE) is the application of human factors knowledge to the design and construction of equipment, products, work systems, management systems, and tasks. There are four phases of the engineering project life-cycle which typically require HFE. These are Select, Define, Execute, and Operate. Different HFE activities are associated with different phases of the project life-cycle.
This paper describes a project whose objective was to define a costing methodology that showed indicative costs and effects of recordable safety incidents in an organization. This project's main aim was to raise awareness, through a cost calculator, of occupational health and safety by placing a measurable dollar value to recordable safety incidents.
This paper describes a project whose objective was to define a costing methodology that showed indicative costs and effects of recordable safety incidents in an organization. This project's main aim was to raise awareness, through a cost calculator, of occupational health and safety by placing a measurable dollar value to recordable safety incidents, similar to the nonconformance cost incurred when a quality incident takes place. The novelty of this costing methodology is that it instills a continuous safety culture that is integrated into the employees' lives, both inside and outside the workplace, helping them realize the financial implications of incidents. Considering current economic crises and cost pressures mounting on an organization, understanding the global financial effect of these incidences is vital. In many cases, most organizations have never measured this effect before.