Offshore Safety improving

  • April 08, 2015
  • News

April 8, 2015 -  New data from industry operations and independent third-party audits reveals the U.S. offshore oil and natural gas industry's highest commitment to safety, according to the Center for Offshore Safety's (COS) first annual performance report.

"America's offshore oil and natural gas industry is even safer than before, but our goal will always be zero accidents and zero spills," said COS Executive Director Charlie Williams. "Sharing data and lessons learned throughout the industry is an essential part of the work COS does to continually enhance safety."

The report, based on data collected from COS members about their 2013 operations, highlights key indicators of safety performance, lessons learned from incidents, and information from the first cycle of safety audits now required by federal regulations. These audits are based on an industry standard developed by the American Petroleum Institute covering Safety and Environmental Management Systems.

Key findings of the report include:

  • On average, 96 percent of planned critical maintenance, inspections and testing were performed on schedule
  • All eligible COS members successfully completed audits of their Safety and Environmental Management Systems
  • COS participating members did not suffer a single fatality or loss of well control during more than 42 million work hours in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico

"This is the first report of its kind to be published by U.S. regulators or industry," said Williams. "Our strong culture of safety continues to grow along with advances in technology and industry standards. So long as there is any room for improvement, our work at COS will never be complete. This is our livelihood, and our work is critical to America's new energy renaissance."

Based on the report's findings, the top three areas COS has identified for further improvement are:

  • Safe mechanical lifting, such as the use of cranes and hoists
  • Process safety, with emphasis on risk management and maintenance, inspection and testing
  • Effectiveness of and adherence to operating procedures and safe work practices, particularly the quality of work plans and preparation

COS will use the findings of this report as a baseline for future comparisons of year-to-year performance and safety improvement. Subsequent annual performance reports will be published in the year following the data they present.

The Center for Offshore Safety is an industry-led initiative to promote continuous safety improvement for offshore drilling, completions and operations through effective leadership, communication, teamwork, disciplined management systems and independent third-party auditing and certification. COS draws on expertise and input from the U.S. oil and natural gas offshore industry and the regulatory community.

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