Abstract

This paper presents an integrated management technique that has been employed with success over the last 8 years in Statoil operations offshore Norway. The technique has been applied in integrated management of drilling fluids and drilling waste and is particularly suited for this purpose. It is argued that the attractive feature of the technique; the successful linking of tailor made technology employment and cost efficient environmental performance criteria have a much wider application potential. The fundamentals of the management concept are presented and data and examples are provided to highlight the structural constrains to be solved and the effect of the management technique applied.

The technique involves the supplier chain from procurement and through the life cycle of the operations. Performance criteria are linked to the concept of using best available techniques (BAT) to deliver the service. The responsibility of fluid providers is extended to include waste minimization; to be accountable for waste accrued by use of their products.

Experience and results since implementation show dramatic improvements in both cost savings and environmental performance for both operator and the fluid providers.

The effect of the management technique can be impressive as presented in this case where recycling of drilling fluids was increased by several orders of magnitude, drilling waste was significantly reduced and cost savings of several hundred MNOK (1US $ = 6.2 NOK) over a period of 8 years were measured. A change in attitude and awareness among the suppliers has been apparent, advances in technology that support sustainable industry practice in drilling has now become an important competitive edge. The management technique is argued to be superior to previous management techniques with respect to capacity to integrate and resolve multi criteria challenges.

Introduction

Environmental impact of Exploration and Production activity in the Oil and Gas industry has been and still is a matter of controversy. By some stakeholders the industry is regarded as cynical and dirty; disregarding values shared by the majority of the society. The debate is often fueled by press notices presenting incidents that cause pollution that may have chronic effect on ecosystems be it offshore or onshore. A reason for skepticism towards the industry is therefore justified by looking at pure statistics. Generally speaking responsible actors in the O&G industry are trying to improve their performance by improved management; including risk and environmental management techniques, and by employment of advanced technical solutions. To counteract the negative image of the industry and to improve public perception the answer is to allow for greater transparency in operator's decision processes1. For a successful enterprise in this respect it is imperative that coherent management systems are implemented.

The integrity of project planning, execution and performance is challenged by the business' complexity found in most O&G operators. This may be explained as the divided responsibility in business knowledge areas within a large company and the respective differences in prioritizing. Typical knowledge areas in this respect are project management, engineering, procurement, and Health Safety and Environment (HSE). To maintain coherent performance across the different knowledge areas an overlying management strategy may help avoid the disintegration of cost and environmental performance targets during the life cycle of the project. Drilling fluid management and drilling waste management is a typical example where technology, cost and environmental issues needs to be concerted to achieve good results.

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