4 Reasons Why Oil & Gas Firms Must Improve EHS Data Management

June 23, 2016
By Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

Imagine that things are going so well that success becomes almost a formality, and then things dramatically change to a point where survival is your main goal. This is how it feels like for a lot of companies in the oil and gas sector. However, when faced with such a turnaround, organizations can react in two ways: they can either do nothing, or they can take the opportunity to improve business processes and become more efficient.

Improving the management of EHS data allows oil and gas firms to enable operational excellence, in order to navigate through these challenging times for the industry, and plant the seeds of future success. There are many compelling reasons for oil and gas companies to improve EHS data management, each leading to operational excellence. Let’s look at four of them.

Aging Assets Require Smarter Maintenance

Equipment malfunctions or failures impact more than operations and productivity. They are also more likely to lead to incidents affecting employees working with the assets. Given the aging state of assets and the need to save costs, oil and gas companies must deploy maintenance efforts, and even capital expenditure, in a smarter way. To achieve this, they need to have an accurate view over the incidents (including accidents and near misses) that are caused by failing or malfunctioning assets, and concentrate their resources on the assets that contribute the most to incidents. As a result, EHS data management must go beyond simply calculating the total numbers of incidents, TRIR and other incident rates. It must also help identify the assets responsible for the most incidents, in order to perform smarter maintenance that has the biggest impact on safety.

Change Management Requires Greater Data Accessibility

Oil and gas companies must address challenges associated with aging assets, but they also have to contend with an aging workforce. As more baby-boomers retire, there is a greater risk of a loss of knowledge inside the organization. Due to aging assets, aging workforces, fluctuating oil prices, regulatory changes, as well as macroeconomic and political changes, becomes more important. To effectively manage change, it is not enough to simply collect operational and EHS data. The data must be shared across the organization, in an effort to foster cross-functional collaboration and knowledge transfer that are imperative to successfully adapt to change and build greater resilience. Oil and gas companies need to improve EHS data management by making it accessible throughout the organization, thus making change management more effective.

Benchmarking with Industry KPIs Requires Consistent EHS Data

Last month, OSHA announced a final rule that will require some for posting to the OSHA website. OSHA’s clearly-stated objective is to encourage companies to improve their safety performance by benchmarking against industry peers. In addition, given regulatory pressures, pressures to cut costs due to the lower price of oil, and pressures to improve the reputation of the industry following accidents like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, some sub-sectors of the oil and gas industry are showing a greater willingness to share data to facilitate benchmarking with industry peers, as part of an effort to improve EHS performance across the oil and gas industry. Therefore, oil and gas firms need to enable data transparency within the industry. This is achieved by tracking the right set of data used for benchmarking, and making sure that data is ready to be shared by being in the right format.

Big Data and Digital Transformation Are Changing EHS Data Management

Imagine a world where sensors, iBeacons, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) help to capture information on chemical spills, emissions, fires, equipment failures, industrial accidents, etc., send the information to a central system that sends real-time alerts, followed by analysis performed by the same system to calculate the probabilities of the next types of incidents, and the next likely locations of incidents. That world is not as far as we think. In addition, companies have been already using mobile and cloud-based solutions. All of these developments increase the amount of operational and EHS data that organizations have the opportunity to collect, analyze and report. To face this situation, oil and gas firms need to automate EHS data management as much as possible, and be prepared to scale EHS data management to a much larger set and variety of data that must be collected and processed.

If you want to learn more about these challenges and how to overcome them, register for the webinar “Oil & Gas Spotlight: Addressing 2016 EHS Challenges with Operational Data”, which will take place on June 28 at 11am CDT / 12pm EDT / 17:00 BST / 18:00 CEST. Speakers include Trey Shaffer & Alexis Merydith from ERM, and Caitlin Bergman from Enablon. The recording of the webinar will be made available afterwards. During this webinar, you will learn more about:

  • Key challenges in the oil & gas industry and how to face them as an EHS leader.
  • The emerging trends related to EHS data transparency.
  • How to benchmark with competitors and leverage industry knowledge.
  • How companies can leverage the massive amounts of operational data collected to improve EHS performance.

View the Recording