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Petroleum News: Shell wins NOIA 2007 Safety in Seas Award

Week of April 01, 2007: Vol. 12, No. 13 

Shell Exploration & Production Co. was awarded the 2006 National Ocean Industries Association Safety in Seas Award on March 29, recognizing the company’s “outstanding contribution to the safety of life offshore for energy workers,” NOIA said in a statement.

Shell received the award for its “exceptional efforts” to recover the Mars tension leg platform and pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Katrina.

A panel of judges from the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Minerals Management Service and the National Academy of Science’s Marine Board selected the company.

“Shell’s achievement is exemplary in successfully integrating safety and training together in a large scale recovery effort. We applaud the fact that the Coast Guard, the MMS and the National Academy of Sciences continue to recognize our industry’s achievement and we congratulate Shell for their valuable contribution to the enhancement of offshore safety and responsible environmental stewardship,” said NOIA President Tom Fry.

The award, now in its 28th year, recognizes excellence among those who, by their actions, design or influence, have contributed to improving the safety of life offshore.

More than 1 million man hours without an injury

The recovery of the Mars platform and its infrastructure, which was done ahead of schedule, included organizing an on-site multi-national workforce of more than 500 people per day, communicating in three languages, working around the clock and recording more than one-million man-hours without a recordable injury, NOIA said.
The association said there were several “first time technical innovations” in the recovery project, including:

• Lift of the damaged and toppled 1,000-ton Mars drilling rig, a fully engineered single lift executed without personnel injury or further damage to the platform.

• Mooring and bridge connection of a North Sea semisubmersible “Flotel” — a floating hotel — adjacent to the platform in deep water to accommodate the large construction crew.

• Fully on-bottom repair of the 18-inch and 14-inch export pipelines in 2,700 feet of water using special oil containment devices and procedures as well as remote operating vehicles and a specially engineered pipeline repair kit.

During the Mars recovery project several health, safety and technical achievements were also recorded, including:

• Health, safety and environment training orientations for over 1,300 personnel.

• Daily management and weekly safety staff meetings, including management walk-through audits and job-site environmental audits.

• A behavior-based safety management process, with more than 2,600 behavior based observations conducted, tracked, trended and discussed during safety meetings. These observations identified 365 potentially unsafe conditions that were corrected during the course of the project.

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