Onshore vs. Offshore - Safety

An article published by OGJ (see link below) indicates that more oil and gas wells are drilled onshore than offshore, requiring more man-hours and creating more exposure to risk. As a result, onshore drilling consistently has higher lost-time-incident (LTI) rates and total- recordable-incident (TRI) rates than offshore.

In simpler terms, more people are injured working in drilling operations onshore than offshore, mainly because more people work more hours onshore than offshore.

There is no doubt that reducing exposure reduces risks reducing injuries, and a greater effort should be placed in automation of higher risk tasks. But, is that enough?

If offshore drilling is a lot safer than onshore, then the Why it is safer must be explored in detail, learn from it, adapt and apply to onshore.

When looking at factors that contribute to lesser safe drilling onshore operations, consider asking some of these questions:

  • Is there a double standard in onshore and offshore drilling regarding equipment, personnel, and oversight?
  • Is the onshore equipment outdated?
  • Are the personnel working onshore less experienced and/or with lesser skills?
  • Do companies need fit-for-purpose onshore management systems and safety programs?
  • Is there a need for implementing more and better capacity building and training programs?

To achieve a more sustainable industry growth, more must be done than only reducing exposure. The industry needs to re-energize and continue working to make safety as robust onshore as it is offshore. Let’s remember that sustainability is also about social.

Safety First!

The OGJ article can be found at http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-112/issue-5/special-report-offshore-petroleum-operations/offshore-drilling-risks-mdash-1-study-risk-indicators-have-varying-impact-on-mitigation.html