Offshore West Africa to focus on HSSE at next conference

The offshore West Africa (OWA) has stated that the issue of Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) will be a focal point for discussion, considering the issues of  risks involved in oil exploration business in the midst of low crude price regime.

The Director of Operations, PennWell Corporation, Mr Dele Olaoye, stated that The conference is the most global in west Africa with exhibitors coming from six countries. He said the exhibitors have confirmed participation at the next conference in June 2017.

Speaking further, he said “HSSE is still relevant today despite the low crude oil regime all over the world. According to DuPont studies, during low oil price regime, there is attendant increase in incidence rate which will manifest from three years after. You may think you are cutting cost now, but don’t cut cost on HSSE because it’s like you are delaying the evil day. In the long run, you will lose more than you have actually saved while cutting cost.

“The issue of HSSE cannot be over emphasized. When people cut cost, in every organisation, the first thing they intend to do is to get rid of marketing budget. After that, the second thing they think of is get rid of training. The next thing is get rid of some staff members. After which some experienced staff may have been laid off. The next thing they would do is to get rid of HSSE. They may ask why do we need to budget this much for HSSE.”

Besides, he stated that “One of the issue I also want to mention is that when you are squeezed, your contractors will be squeezed because you will begin to negotiate downward. What they will also do is to look at the projects and think of how to cut down their cost. The intangibles are first affected. HSSE is one of the intangibles. And based on this, the project becomes more risky.”

On where we are in Nigeria, he said Nigeria is currently operating at the level between reactive and proactive stages, out of the five levels that exist. “We are yet to begin to take decision even before anything happens. That’s why you have incidences here and there,” he said.

On the needed collaboration with government agencies, he said OWA is in talks with governments of oil producing states to come and engage the people, investors and other participants. “Come and tell them your challenges. We are forcing on the states because they are closer to the scene where it affects the people more,” he concluded.

The next OWA conference and exhibition will hold in Lagos in June 2017.