Safety top priority in Qatar's hydrocarbon growth: al-Sada

24 January2013

Safety has played a very important role in the development of Qatar's hydrocarbon industry and will continue to occupy key position in the oil and gas sector's future growth, said HE the Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada.

"While carrying out its operations, QP has never compromised on the overall environmental safety or health of our society at large. It is one of the most critical aspects of our industry," al-Sada said in his opening remarks at the "Operational Safety Challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry" forum organised by Qatar Petroleum Dukhan Operations in Doha yesterday. 

QP's operations range from exploration, drilling, production, refining to distribution of hydrocarbon products to the world market, he said. "Safety measures, practices and issues such as process safety (PS), emergency & crisis management (ECM), permit to work system (PTW) and safety leadership will become all the more critical for our continued success," al-Sada said.

Good engineering and safety practices in operation and maintenance not only protects employees, contractors, communities and environment by preventing hazards such as fires, explosions, toxic gas clouds and oil spills, it helps in addressing and overcoming safety challenges of the organisations, thereby ensuring business continuity and the protection of our corporate assets, the minister said. 

Basic behavioural safety at workplace is a combination of processes, personnel, environment and their interaction in the workplace, al-Sada said. "I expect this forum will promote best practices in behaviour-based safety and behavioural techniques. It should serve as a venue for sharing practical ideas and case studies on safety management in workplaces which can go a long way in improving the theoretical and practical safety culture and overall safety within an organisation," said. 

QP and its subsidiaries, al-Sada pointed out, have had "several achievements" in dealing with various operational safety challenges. They include Qatargas's safety milestone of zero loss time incidents (LTIs) on its Plateau Maintenance Project (PMP) covering some 3mn man-hours; RasGas' performance of four planned shutdowns at the Ras Laffan site in 2011 considering a wide range of safety related factors when managing the shutdowns and development of pre-planned scenarios for dealing with emergency cases in 2011 by Qafac covering fire, rescue and hazardous spill incidents.

Although "Qatar's current safety record remains satisfactory", al-Sada emphasised the need to do more. 
"I would like to encourage all of you not to rest on our laurels but rather proactively make safety a conscious attitude and guiding principle in everything you do. We also need to avoid being complacent in our behaviour and attitudes when it comes to safety.

"It must be our goal, collectively, to ensure that each employee and contractor returns home safely. Each of you should use this forum as an opportunity to build and extend our existing safety culture. "Safety will always remain our main goal in all of our operational locations," al-Sada added.

Ahmad Saif al-Sulaiti, QP operations manager (Dukhan Fields) said, "This forum is the first of its kind in Qatar and it primarily aims to facilitate the exchange of experiences and ideas among the many oil and gas companies operating in Qatar. Qatar Petroleum has always been very particular about the safety of its employees and contractors, and I am confident that this forum will drive us all to achieve even better results and will be very beneficial and rewarding as we continuously work to improve our safety culture."

The two-day forum was organised by the Best Practice Technical Committee (BPTC) of the Dukhan Operations. The main objective of the event is to provide a platform for industry professionals and stakeholders to share their experiences, strategies and achievements related to operational safety.

© Gulf Times 2013

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