Abstract

The authors believe in a basic loss control principle: root causes of health, safety and environmental accidents are the same root causes of service quality nonconformities. The authors also believe that a mature management system, based on strong leadership and a bottom-up approach, is the way to achieve consistent and long-term performance improvement. This paper explains a practical example of how an oilfield services company used a management system to deliver services while achieving the long-term quality, health, safety and environmental performance expected by Corporate management and Customers.

Introduction

Since 2003, an oilfield services company in Qatar has faced a sustained increase in operational activity due to the development of the largest non-associated gas reservoir in the world. This situation poses a permanent challenge to deliver its services within expected performance, while dramatically increasing resources, such as the number of employees and contractors working on the project.

In fact, in 2003 and 2004, service quality (SQ) and health, safety and environmental (HSE) performance of this company suffered, resulting in complaints from customers as well as serious HSE incidents. The increase in operational activity (50% year-on-year sustained over four years) and a management system that lacked maturity were identified as the main causes of the quality and HSE loss.

The Qatar management team understood that the root causes of the accidents were the same root causes of the service quality issues, and designed a process to implement the management system with an integrated perspective. This paper explains the process, including the main difficulties and successful experiences.

Several innovative initiatives were designed and implemented with special involvement of employees and contractors, with the aim of having a self-sustainable system in place, based on a bottom-up approach.

As a result of the process, this company has been systematically improving its proactive and reactive quality, health, safety and environmental performance. Factual indicators demonstrate the continual improvement. Additionally the management system has been validated internally by corporate audits and externally by certification against international standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001).

2003 - 2004 Performance: Below Corporate and Customers' Expectations

The State of Qatar is a small emirate located in the heart of the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, seated on the largest single non-associated gas reservoir in the world (recoverable reserves are estimated in 380 trillion cubic feet). The field was discovered in 1971 and was initially exploited by the national oil company to cover internal demand. This vision changed dramatically in the 90s when the government decided to implement an aggressive development plan to concentrate on export markets and entered into partnerships with overseas companies (1).

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