The 16th Edition of the International Biennial HSE Conference on the Oil and Gas Industry of Nigeria kicked off on Monday December 1st, 2014 at the Eko Hotel in Lagos, the conference and exhibition presents a forum for HSE practitioners and experts in the oil sector to gather, share ideas and knowledge to further strengthen the implementation of HSE practices in Nigerian oil and gas industry.
In the Keynote address by the Director of Petroleum Resources, Mr. George Osahon delivered on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, he commended the organizers for ensuring that the biennial conference has always held consistently. The Honourable Minister noted that the conference over the years have influenced on safety policies, stating that “…public perception and expectation is changing at a faster pace, and the increasing scope of activities especially in the offshore terrain necessitated the introduction of measures… and policies that would raise our HSE standards (to) minimize incidents in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
The Honourable Minister further reminded participants that “…the world continues to experience extreme weather conditions which have been attributed to global warming; putting on the industry to adopt more stringent HSE condition” as a result of which rapid and radical changes are taking place in safety procedures, process technology, and equipment. She noted that safety management is now taken more seriously than ever, and therefore the growing tendency to entrench HSE as a social and behavioral attitude and make it sink into the psyche of operatives.
The Minister also outlined the efforts of her Ministry to bolster HSE in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, stressing that the Offshore Safety Permit (OSP) was launched three years ago was with the objective of keeping track of the HSE status of workers on offshore operations. According to her the policy was also to ensure that offshore installations are manned by adequately equipped personnel, in accordance with the statutory provisions, especially as prescribed by the Mineral Oils Safety Regulations (MOSR), 1997 and the Petroleum (Drilling and Production) Regulation, 1969. Implementation of the OSP has led to the establishment of five Offshore Safety Training Centres of International Standards in Nigeria and increased job opportunities for local contractors.
The statutory Risk Based Inspection regime recently launched to determine integrity of facilities is another notable policy. DPR now concentrates efforts at targeting facilities that pose the greatest risks to the environment.
In his own welcome address, the Director of Petroleum Resources, Mr. George Osahon noted the theme of the conference “Innovative Approach Towards Emerging Safety Challenges”, was chosen to raise consciousness on contemporary HSE issues in the Nigerian oil and gas industry “not merely for HSE appeal but more importantly for its relevance as the bedrock for orderly economic and technological development of the industry.” Mr. Osahon noted that Nigeria has come a long way in the development and management of its Petroleum Resources. He counseled operators on the need for continuous review and improvement on their commitment to safe operations and environment in the overall interest of the industry.
Overall, thirty-seven papers, spanning topical HSE issues in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, were presented at the 3-day conference that ended on December 3 2014. The next edition of the conference will hold in 2016.