Upstream Oil & Gas Industry has witnessed improved HSE performance over time, by adopting latest technology and standards, engineering improvements, including hardware and adopting new processes and systems with maximum emphasis on safety with very good management systems. Compliance and audits have also improved a lot. However, improvement in culture, behavior and commitment at all levels are very important to deliver better business value in Personal and process safety.

Global energy risk engineering companies collate accident data over years and it is very clear that accidents continue to happen, which forces us to think methodology to improve personnel and process safety aspects continuously. It is observed that we are poor in assessing risk as we become used to risk, which could be due to over confidence, ignorance and safety culture issues. As per IOGP Incident Statistics, upstream process has improved over years, while we need to further improve in drilling operations.

It has been seen that Oil & Gas drilling industry is implementing personnel safety very rigorously with greater awareness, certified training programs, advanced technology, mock drills etc. However, Process safety in drilling industry needs greater emphasis. Some of the processes i.e. safety case, Risk and Control register with risk identification, assessment, response, financial impact, control, remediation and self-verification needs to be pursued rigorously. Processes and systems with organizational structure, quality of engineering decisions and understanding safety risk Vs commercial risk and suitable mitigation measures need to be pursued further. Decision hazards are very important to be analyzed including the process and lessons learnt. In addition to above, the basics of safety and the culture of caring for self, colleagues and the Assets are very important aspects.

This paper discusses the culture, processes and systems for safe operations in the upstream industry with special reference to drilling and completion operations.

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