Survey suggests low oil price is impacting safety in gas and oil industries

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19th September 2018 14:06 - Oil and Gas

Survey suggests low oil price is impacting safety in gas and oil industries: Despite the best intentions to maintain safety standards, 72% of oil bosses report lower oil prices have had a negative impact. They believe that the downturn in price of oil has had a moderate or significant impact on safety risk – characterised by cost-cutting, redundancies, and ‘belt-tightening’.

The survey of senior oil and gas industry bosses polled 100 leaders of different sized businesses from around the globe as part of its annual operational risk and safety management survey. It is the third year Petrotechnics, the Aberdeen-based tech company has commissioned the research.
However, despite feedback on cutbacks impacting safety, 83% of respondents said safety was of paramount importance and part of their company’s corporate value structure, supported at all levels of management. 
Over half felt that as a result of the squeeze, ‘resource tension’ was present in their companies. 
In terms of operations, 75% blamed ‘conflicting priorities’ for the issue of reduced schedule maintenance, with slightly fewer saying it was down to limited resources (72%) or limited budget (40%).
Some of the responses show a significant change from last year’s results in terms of the gap between how process safety was planned and the reality of what happens on site. For this year’s survey, 86% noted that this was an issue, compared to 70% in 2017. 
Respondents were asked to highlight their main challenges to executing effective process safety management, with the top response being ‘developing safety culture’ followed by ‘training and competency (34%) and 'leadership support' (30%). 
Head of Petrotechnics professional services, Simon Jones, said: “With less budget and staff available, firms are facing difficult decisions about which tasks to complete and when. The risk here is that maintenance and upkeep of essential safety systems may get lost in the budgetary squeeze, leaving firms vulnerable.”

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