The oil and gas industry have been successfully incorporating environmental, health and safety (EHS) as management systems (MS) for more than two decades. This integrated approach has been widely recognized to improve success, reduce cost, and facilitate administration of the three areas, among other benefits. Nevertheless, there are still challenges and barriers to implement truly integrated procedures associated to the EHS MS in different operations within the oil and gas industry.
This paper describes the process to revise, consolidate, integrate and implement the complete set of environmental, health and safety procedures in a Joint Venture (JV) in South America. The JV included exploration, drilling, production, pipeline, upgrading and port facilities. Due to several factors more than one EHS MSs and hundreds of redundant and overlapping procedures were developed during the first years of construction, commissioning and early operation. This paper describes the methods and activities conducted to develop companywide integrated EHS MS and associated procedures. The new EHS MS procedures covered upstream, midstream and downstream operations.
The process described in the paper can be used to assist the design and implementation of integrated EHS management system in small/middle size oil and gas companies, joint ventures, merged smaller independent companies or units, as well as integrated operations of major oil and gas companies that include upstream, midstream and/or downstream activities.
The main benefits of this process can be summarized in the following items:
Integrated EHS Management System procedures to support its implementation in upstream, middlestream and downstream operations.
Increased the level of ownership and compliance with EHS procedures, as representatives from the line/operations were involved and had a fundamental role in the development of the new procedures.
Originally identified barriers related to the differences between upstream and downstream operations were overcome by recognizing that similarities were greater than differences.
The integration procedures was considered to generate cost saving for the JV.