Safety first …

Blackline Safety/NevadaNano wearable gas sensors. US Chemical Safety Board on plant safety in the hurricane season. CSB update on fatal Aghorn Operating H2S release. New offshore kick lesson shared by IOGP. Weatherford introduces Velox Wellhead System for enhanced safety. Creative Supply’s guide to ‘Returning to Work Safely. Chevron CEO on oil and gas’ role in ‘combatting the virus’ and on how covid has ‘accelerated digital transformation’ and on working from home. More covid-related announcements from the Energy Institute, the United Nations (‘counter covid with code!’) and D-Wave Systems ‘quantum-classical computer simulations’!!

Blackline Safety has added NevadaNano’s MPS flammable gas sensors to its range of cloud connected G7 wearables. The new molecular property spectrometer is said to provide an ‘unparalleled’ lower explosive limit accuracy for combustible gasses in any environment. More from Blackline.

The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has issued a video safety message and alert entitled ‘2020 Hurricane Season: Guidance for Chemical Plants During Extreme Weather Events’. The video highlights recent work by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) to help operators prepare for extreme weather events including flooding. Facilities are urged to follow established startup procedures and checklists, and to recognize that ‘human performance may be compromised due to crisis conditions’.

The CSB has also released a ‘factual update’ on the events surrounding an October 26, 2019, hydrogen sulfide release at Aghorn Operating’s water flood station in Odessa, Texas. The release resulted in two fatalities, an Aghorn employee and his wife who was overcome when she drove to the waterflood station in her personal vehicle to check on her husband. Testing of the site’s H2S alarm suggests that it may not have been performing as expected.

The Well Control Incident Subcommittee of the IOGP has produced a new Lesson Sharing report (N° 20-5) covering an offshore kick that led to increased personnel risk exposure at the wellsite. The incident exposed a ‘confirmation bias’ in the well site operations and office team’s decision to interpret the first kick indication as ‘ballooning’. The IOGP believes that this detailed incident description contains important lessons to be shared with the industry. More from the IOGP Safety Zone.

Weatherford has introduced the Velox Wellhead System with quick-connect components that lock-in pressure integrity to reduce potential leak paths and enhance safety. Velox is said to provide ‘unmatched isolation’ between casing strings with quick-connect components that maintain pressure control, reduce potential leak paths, and minimize non-productive time during installation in many applications, including high-pressure, high-temperature, and sour-gas wells. Velox expedites installation by enabling the packoff to be run in a single trip from the rig floor, removing personnel from the cellar. More from Weatherford.

Covid corner

Creative Safety Supply has produced a 14-page guide; ‘Returning to Work Safely’ covering the main recommendations from OSHA and the CDC for preventing the spread of Covid in the workplace. The guide covers the application of OSHA standards (29 CFR 1910.132, Personal Protective Equipment, 29 CFR 1910.134, Respiratory Protection and 29 CFR 1910.141, Sanitation) in the context of the current epidemic. The guide explains how to classify worker exposure to COVID-19, how to conduct a job hazard analysis and how to implement workplace controls, basic hygiene, disinfection and assure social distancing. Creative provides a range of labels and other safety related products.

Chevron Chairman and CEO Mike Wirth, speaking to Dan Yergin at the 2020 virtual Cera Week opined that the oil and gas is ‘essential to combatting the virus’ and that petroleum-based and petrochemical products are ‘on the front lines against the virus’. Moreover, COVID-19 ‘has accelerated the ongoing digital and operational transformations in the industry’ with Chevron ‘embarking upon a digital journey to begin to take decades of legacy technology platforms and take advantage of the cloud, of mobility, of artificial intelligence and some of the things you can do with big data now’. Wirth also stated that, ‘I don't think everybody will always work from home. But I also think that the traditional model where everybody always comes to the same place, where people get on planes to go to meetings – they might be able to do using other technologies. I think there will be changes that every company in every industry will have to sort through’.

We have been inundated with releases covering the covid epidemic. Many are simply a reminder that a vendor is still around and doing business, even if remotely. Some are of possible interest, such as the Energy Institute’s explanation of how a ‘bow tie’ can help fight covid-19. A few are curious like the UN’s ‘Code the Curve’ attempt to ‘counter COVID-19 online’. Others, like D-Wave Systems offer of ‘hybrid workflows from quantum-classical computer simulations’ seem somewhat ‘forward looking’. A marketing pandemic possibly?

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