16 October 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Worried by fire incidents in the upstream petroleum operations, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, says it has set up a mechanism to monitor activities in the sector, to ensure that standards are maintained in line with global best practices.
This is coming after a rig fire incident occurred on the OML29 oil platform in Bayelsa State, recently.
Zonal Operations Controller of DPR, Port Harcourt Zone, Dr. Ibani Frank-Briggs, said this in Port Harcourt recently during a meeting with operators and rig owners in the zone.
Frank-Briggs, who urged operating firms to make safety their watchword, explained that serious sanctions will be meted out on defaulting companies.
He also advised operators to adopt innovative technologies that will ensure a high level of safety during operations, as well as train their employees to operate the technologies in a safe manner.
According to him, “The rig fire incident which occurred sometime in May 2018 in OmL29 at Bayelsa State, has made it imperative for operators to imbibe the culture of strict adherence to all applicable laws, especially as it affects their operations.
“On our part, we shall continue to monitor their operations to ensure that such doesn’t happen again. All operating companies are hereby advised to make safety their watchwords and to ensure they promote safety.
“New technology is very good, but safety itself is dependent on the human beings who operate these technologies. So that is why we need to continually train, re-train and create the necessary awareness because the technologies on its own cannot bring about safety, but the people who are operating the technology need to rerealizehat they need to operate in a safe manner.”
Also, the Chairman of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, Mr. Ote Enaibe, commended DPR for the measures taken to ensure safety standards are observed at rigs.
Enaibe who pledged that members of his association would work DPR to ensure standards explained that the oil and gas industry was the only industry in the world where the emphasis is placed on safety due to its hazardous environment.
“If there is any industry in the world that emphasis on safety, it is the oil and gas industry because we work in an environment that is very hazardous where you can easily lose lives.
“You can imagine a petroleum tanker catching fire and burning cars at a bridge in Lagos, it is even worse when you’re working on the field because that’s under a high temperature and a high pressure.
“So DPR as an operator is right, we must ensure we maintain a high safety standard. But again in an environment where work activity is low, revenue activity is low, the challenge of maintaining that, we as service contractors are trying to overcome.
“We will work with DPR and our operators to in the oil and gas industry to ensure that we maintain a high standard so that our employees can come back home alive and in good health.”