Anadarko Raises Deepwater Drilling Hazard Assessments to Ensure SEMS Compliance, Enable Sustainable Growth


Courtesy of Courtesy of IHS

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is among the world’s largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, with 2.56 billion barrels of oil equivalent in proved reserves at year-end 2012. The company has operations throughout the United States – with onshore assets in the Rocky Mountains region, the southern U.S. and the Appalachian Basin – and is well known for its successful deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Internationally.

Anadarko is widely recognized for its innovation and commitment to delivering energy resources to the market in a manner that protects the safety of its employees and the communities where it operates. The company’s strong culture of bottom-up employee involvement ensures that Anadarko’s commitment to safety is carried out daily at all levels of the organization, throughout its operations.

And yet, in 2010, all energy companies with deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico – including Anadarko – were deeply affected by the tragic Deepwater Horizon events at a mobile offshore drillling unit that killed 11 workers and injured 16 others. As a result, U.S. officials imposed a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling operations across the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, federal authorities, citing the need to improve safety during offshore drilling operations, mandated adoption of Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS).

“One requirement of SEMS is a formalized hazard identification process,” said Anadarko Senior Drilling Engineer Advisor Nancy Seiler. “We previously relied on an informal process for hazard identification. Now we needed a system that would formalize that process. And we only had until Nov. 15, 2011 to get an operational SEMS-compliant system in place so we could reconvene drilling operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.”

A SEMS program is designed to help operators identify and manage operational hazards and impacts, with the goal of promoting safety and environmental protection. It requires companies to perform hazard assessments prior to initiating drilling and during execution to identify, assess, mitigate and communicate operational and environmental, health and safety (EHS) hazards and risks.

The Challenge

  • Comply with new U.S. regulatory requirement to support Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS)
  • Streamline drilling permit application process and simplify management of change
  • Minimize operational disruption and delays due to replacement of experienced staff

The Solution

  • IHS Operational Risk Solution with IHS Stature

The Results

  • Formalized and standardized proven hazard assessment work processes to ensure full compliance with SEMS regulations
  • Tailored industry best-practice template for hazard assessments to fit drilling operations
  • Modified permit application process and supporting steps so they are now routinely completed in 1 day vs. 3 weeks for many competitors
  • Avoided disruption due to loss of experienced staff and need to train replacements with template that preserves/shares knowledge
  • Established model process and system for hazard assessment process that is now being considered for adoption enterprise-wide

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