29 September 2016, Abuja – Offshore West Africa has highlighted the importance of health, safety, security and environment in the oil and gas industry, despite the low oil price environment.
The organisers of the Offshore West Africa Conference and Exhibition said HSSE would be a focal point for discussion at OWA 2017, considering the issues of risks involved as part of the oil exploration business in the midst of low crude price regime.
The Director of Operations, Africa, PennWell Corporation, Mr. Dele Olaoye, was quoted in a statement to have said, “Occupational health and safety management should continue to be top priority today despite the global low crude oil regime.
“According to DuPont studies, during low oil price regime, there is typically an attendant increase in incidence rates which would manifest about three years after the trend has commenced. This is because organisations in their bid to cut costs impact on health and safety measures. Any cost saving that affects occupational health and safety could imply that such an organisation is delaying the evil day. The eventual loss usually far outweighs the perceived immediate savings.”
Noting that the issue of health and safety cannot be over- emphasised, Olaoye said, “When people cut cost, in every organisation, the first thing they intend to do is to get rid of marketing budget, the second thing they think of is get rid of training. Eventually, many go as far as to get rid of personnel, which could include key staff with years of experience and competence.
“Usually, there is no deliberate focus to ensure that these measures do not affect the overall measures in place to safeguard people and their health, the environment as well as assets.
According to him, one other key issue worth mentioning is contractor management during low oil price regime.
Olaoye said, “Negotiating or renegotiating contracts needs to be carefully guarded to ensure people’s lives, their health, and the environment as well as company assets are not negatively impacted during project execution.“
He described the OWA conference as the most global in West Africa with participants coming from over 40 countries and all continents.
According to him, six country pavilions are expected on the exhibition floor at the next edition scheduled to hold in Lagos from June 6 to 8, 2017.
He said, “This includes the USA Pavilion (already confirmed by the United States Department of Commerce) and Scottish Pavilion (already confirmed by the Scottish Development International). Other pavilions would include Ghana, Angola, United Kingdom and Nigeria.”