Tunisia is an area of growing Oil and Gas activity. A number of National Oil Companies are active within Tunisia. This paper focuses specifically upon SEREPT, which has its head office in Tunis and its main operating base in Sfax. It has operations in the Gulf of Gabes (Offshore platform complex) and 2 smaller production sites in the West of the country, near the border with Algeria.

SEREPT was founded almost 80 years ago, originally focussing on exploration. In the 90’s it was operated by Elf Aquitaine (then Arco and Preussag), but since 2003 it is in a Joint Venture with the Tunisian ETAP (Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activites Petrolieres) and the Austrian OMV. Only within the last decade has HSEQ management become an integral way of doing things. SEREPT aligned with the OMV E&P HSEQ management systems, supported by ETAP, bringing about an enhancement in HSEQ management.

Improved HSEQ performance has been visible within SEREPT as evidenced through upward trends in achievement of HSEQ Objectives and overall HSEQ competencies in the workforce. Actual SEREPT HSEQ statistics since 2005 demonstrate this. This enhancement is a double edged sword in that it has led to an improvement in HSEQ performance for the company and HSE competence of its personnel. The adverse affect of this is the ongoing exodus of experienced and qualified local personnel to international operators. This effect has then created an HSEQ vacuum resulting in a gradual dip in HSEQ performance. So, the benefits of HSEQ improvement have had a knock-on effect for SEREPT and this need to be addressed. This paper will be supported by actual studies undertaken by third parties that have empirically demonstrated an improvement in HSEQ performance over the years, but also the emigration of key personnel, causing an HSEQ vacuum. It will also provide some suggestions as to how this problem may be reversed.

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