Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) Geophysical Data Acquisition Department (the department) has, throughout the past 8 years conducted their operations without incurring a single lost time incident (LTI). Since August 2004, a total of 23.5mln man hours and 42mln km driven, have been accrued in conjunction with their seismic and consultancy contractors.

The departments core business is the acquisition of land seismic data, but other specific geophysical surveys are conducted from time to time, such as surface gravity and electro-magnetic surveys, or down hole VSPs or fracc monitoring surveys or even marine seismic surveys.

As of Q4 2012: at any one time there can be in excess of 500 field based personnel, supported by 100+ light and heavy vehicles operating 24/7 throughout varied terrain types in Oman. The guiding principle governing every task and operation undertaken is safety takes priority. The protection of project personnel, the environment, assets and company reputation is therefore critical to the success of the department, who strive to conduct their high productivity operations to the required quality standards, without incident.

The planning, operational and practical implications of managing such large scale operations, which contribute to and underpin the department's safety record, are discussed in detail throughout this paper. Although the department does celebrate its successful record and despite best made plans for mitigation, the threat of incident is ever present. Challenges inherent not only to the seismic sector, but the E&P industry as a whole, are described, along with five recognized "Themes", attributed as enablers for positive impact: Contract Strategy and Planning; Standards and Systems; Technology; Training, and HSE Culture.

There is of course always plenty of room for improvement; the department is open to suggestions and feedback. Several key areas are recognized and described, whereby applied effort could assist the department in their journey towards Goal Zero operations.

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