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30 Jul, 2010 13:41

New oil era ushers in safety focus

A new era of oil has begun with technology and safety coming to the fore with remaining oil reserves getting increasingly difficult to access, and the Transocean disaster posing questions for the entire industry.

One hundred days and counting – the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has become a turning point for the whole oil industry and, perhaps, the global economy.

Tougher exploration rules are coming into force just as the easy oil is running out. Energy companies will be forced to explore hard -to-reach fields in the extreme environments – deeper water or Arctic conditions. Andrey Komarov, co-owner of Chelyabinsk Pipe says the Transocean-Macondo well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is ushering in a new era

“We are entering new era of advanced quality. The usual quality is not enough for our customers any more. The risks are very high. The Gulf of Mexico has shown what the risks of compromising on quality are.”

Robert Dudley pioneered international level security and workplace standards in Russia. Now he is facing a tougher job – setting an even lower threshold for ecological risk across BP. All oil companies involved in shelf exploration are already working on a common security fund that will accumulate emergency funds. But Peter Necarsulmer, Chairman and CEO of the PBN Company, says a focus on developing a safety culture is the key need.

“TNK BP has pioneered a lot here in Russia and much of that was due to the leadership of Dudley, and the results show that the safety record on TNK-BP is very good. The other absolute priority for Dudley is to lead the safety culture. BP has not delivered at the level it need to in terms of health and safety.”

Safety, security, risk management could be the oil industry's new motto, and Russian oil giants won't be immune.