Since the commencement of the Pearl GTL drilling activities in Qatar's North Field in 2004, five drilling rigs have been taken on contract and, to date, it has been a 4-year, 3 million man-hours LTI free operation.

Recognizing the challenges of an overheated industry, introducing large numbers of inexperienced staff on the drilling rigs, proactive HSE management by engaging ALL levels of the operator and contractors' organizations has resulted in top quartile HSE and operational performance.

The HSE management starts at the inception of the project and is part of the tendering process. From the moment the contracts are awarded HSE engagement sessions are utilized to align expectations and generate a road map of deliverables as per the Upstream (Well Engineering) HSE Management System (HSE MS).

The success of a "One Team" approach to HSE management is through leadership commitment, i.e. displayed by fully supporting the assignment of resources. In the preparation phase this is reflected in 'hazardous exposure reducing' investments, Off-site HSE induction sessions with all crews and management, 'STOP for safety' sessions and continuous HSE support in creating HSE cases (Rig Specific/SIMOPS).

Providing joint support in the execution phase for implementing and further optimizing HSE tools with the crews who are actually executing the job, has led to a deeper understanding and buy-in. Examples of tools utilized are Hazard Identification Bow Tie Development, Toolbox Risk Identification Cards (TRIC) as a supplement to the widely used Job safety Analysis (JSA) and STOP reporting with participation rewarding.


The Upstream Team operated 3 million man-hours without a Lost Time Incident (LTI) over a period of 4 years. An impressive achievement considering that during this period a new venture was created that brought onto contract five drilling rigs (including 1 new build), the set-up of a supply base and the startup of offshore Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS).

The Pearl GTL project began drilling operations in Qatar during 2004 with the objective to develop two offshore blocks within the giant North Field. The gas produced from these blocks will feed the Qatar Petroleum / Shell Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) plant.

After drilling and testing an appraisal well in 2004 and a data acquisition well in 2006/07 the Pearl GTL development campaign began in earnest with two rigs drilling over two offshore jackets. (One of these rigs is a new build) During 2008 a land rig was taken on contract to drill two water injection wells - used to dispose of condensed water from offshore. Also in 2008 an ambitious project matured to perform simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) in an H2S environment consisting of drilling and completing wells (as normal with the rig), whilst simultaneously perforating, acid stimulating and cleaning up pre-completed wells from temporary decks on the platform jacket.

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