Safety is a deeply held value in Shell, and the Organisation developed a mantra for no harm and no leaks called Goal Zero. The company has carefully pursued this goal pressing through diverse cultures and barriers and has become a pace-setter in the industry. The Wells Organisation in Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has also been ardent in its pursuit of sustaining Goal Zero thereby achieving a deserving safety record of four years Lost Time Injury (LTI) Free operations.
Activities in the oil and gas industry especially rig operations are fraught with inherent risks and hazards, and sustaining the Shell Mantra of "Goal Zero" depends largely on hazard identification, assessment, controls and recovery. The Hazard and Effect Management Process begins with proactively anticipating these risks as well as having a "trained eye" to spot them, thereafter assessing them and setting the right controls in place to prevent the occurrence of an incident. Controls could be the right and competent people for the job or systems (rules) and/or fit for purpose and adequately deployed equipment. However, the importance of leadership and management controls cannot be over-emphasized in keeping Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) incidents at bay.
In 2011, SPDC Wells Organisation ramped up activities increasing its number of rigs by about 167% with a number of new entrants and over 80% of inexperienced workforce requiring a lot of hand holding, but were welcomed on board due to compliance to local content development regulations. This meant an increase in man-hours to over 20,000 daily of diverse culture and nationalities resulting in an increase in HSSE exposure with the inherent safety weak signals and safety dark corners. There was a spike in HSSE incidents and violations culminating in a Lost Time Incident (LTI) on one of the rigs costing ca. $20,000 which is about the daily rate for the land rig. This spike in actual and high potential safety-related incidents raised a higher degree of chronic unease situation within the organisation. The outcome was a deep-dive into the root causes using risk based approach with clear directives to establish HSSE leadership and management controls leading to developing tangible HSE improvement strategies. This paper is a detailed x-ray on the journey with learnings that have helped in delivering Goal Zero Top Quartile performance in the SPDC Well Operations. This can be of immense help to other Oil & Gas industries that desire to stay focused in their respective Safety aspirations. We achieved four (4) years with 14,188,690 million exposure man-hours of lost time injury (LTI) free operations in 2015, consistent focus on Wells Process Safety, and ISO14001 re-certification; on an onward journey towards five (5) years LTI free milestone. The role of leadership and management controls in achieving this safety milestone within the Goal Zero framework and the impact on operational efficiency is outlined.