Andrew Lucas, Managing Director of AOS, attended this first summit of offshore petroleum regulators in Australia. The summit was very well attended, with over 300 representatives from the industry, regulators and other organisations. The Summit was opened by the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism, and the first session covered the Montara and Macondo Commissions of Inquiry, the way in which the respective governments have responded to the incidents and the current status of implementation plans. Speakers included Ms Jane Cutler, Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s new National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority.
Three presentations stood out: Mr Peter Coleman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Woodside Energy; Mr David Payne, Vice President Drilling and Completions, Chevron Corporation, US; and Dr Pat O’Bryan, Vice President, Wells - BP America, US.
Peter Coleman highlighted the importance of incident reporting, drawing an interesting comparison between the aviation and offshore oil industries. He highlighted the importance of learning from incidents and the need for the regulatory environment to accommodate no-fault reporting to encourage interchange of information and learning.
David Payne also looked at prevention. He drew attention to the need for good decision-making in the control room, and following procedure and good practice. While there is a lot of data available to operators in real time, it is an impossible task for it to be assimilated in the time available for decision-making.
Finally Pat O’Bryan, after discussing the scale of the Deepwater Horizon capping and clean-up efforts, also drew attention to the need for better methods of well management and control to prevent incidents from turning into major events.
Overall the summit was a worthwhile event, held in the same venue as the APPEA Conference earlier in the week.