EKT Interactive provides custom training solutions to the Oil & Gas industry. Our activities in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions include the development of first responder and well site safety training programs. As part of our commitment to being up to date with the latest developments in this important market, we contribute to local chapters of industry groups including PIOGA, STEPS of PA, AADE, Marcellus Shale Coalition, PA Fire Commissioner and more.
Our representatives in the area regularly attend and contribute to great meetings such as the ones below. If you can’t make it or are just keeping an eye on developments in the shale, we’ll be passing on our insights to our subscribers and followers.
Feel free to get in touch, and we hope to see you around!
STEPS Growth Continues
On Sept. 26, 2012 EKT Interactive attended the 6th meeting of the STEPS of PA that was chaired by Richard Brown from Newfield Exploration with assistance from Bill Burkett of Range Resources.
In general news, the National STEPS Network continues to grow with new active groups in Permian Basin, New Mexico, Wyoming, WV, Ohio, North Dakota, and Utah. It was noted that the Utah shale area is really struggling with a major lack of subcontractors with any O&G experience. A national STEPS safety conference is planned for Feb 2013 and the next STEPS of PA meeting set for Dec 12th, likely at the same State College site.
Subcontractors in the Spotlight
Range Resources has decided to change from ISNetWorld and will be using PICS Auditing to track subcontractor safety performance. They evaluated 6 competitors, selecting PICS because of their O&G expertise who aren’t just a “bunch of software guys”. Range has about 1000 subcontractors that will need to join PICS but PICS will be offering a transition plan to existing ISNetWorld customers.
At the Aug 14, 2012 Energy Inc. Conference, during a panel on “Doing Business with Range Resources,” John Applegath, VP of Southern Marcellus Shale Division, stated that Range has only 250 employees at Southpointe and 5000 subcontractor employees – a 20:1 ratio. This underscores the significance of this auditing change.
[For more about the excellent panels at this conference, read our related article on Energy Inc panels here]
Richard Brown of Newfield discussed a recent re-evaluation of their subcontractor relationships. They checked all their master service agreements and found many that hadn’t been used in years. They developed a uniform set of guidelines that will be used across all business units rather than just relying on the judgment of their regional managers when selecting subcontractors. In some cases they decided to use higher priced subcontractors with better safety records rather than just using low price as the deciding factor.
Safety in the Shale
PA Fire Commissioner Ed Mann greets first responders
OSHA – Hazard Assessment and Incident Prevention
OSHA 5810 – The Rocky Mountain Education Center and OSHA have conducted 4 pilot runs using the new curriculum in Colorado, etc. The 3rd biennial OSHA O&G conference will be held in Dallas Dec 4-5 with 76 sessions planned.
In Colorado? Listen to Colorado.FM – The Colorado Podcast
RJR Safey – OSHA requires a hazard assessment of well sites but doesn’t specify how that should be done. Wayne Vanderhoof, CSP Professional and President of RJR Safety, presented some forms he has developed to document what hazards might be present and what engineering or operational changes can be taken to mitigate them. Wayne’s forms are now posted on the STEPS of PA web site.
Melissa Heike, also of RJR Safety, spoke about Management of Change – the need to monitor all changes from the original design of equipment and processes, assess any additional hazards that might be created, and specify appropriate design changes or procedures to mitigate them. API first published a manual entitled Management of Process Hazards in 1990. Of every 1000 work orders, 50-100 involve significant change and 5-10 have a high potential risk. Her presentation is also posted on the STEPS of PA web site.
General Duty Clause – Steve Delp from OSHA discussed their citation process based on section 5(a)(1) of the OSHA Act of 1970 that requires employers to furnish a workplace free from recognized hazards regardless of whether OSHA has a specific regulation covering the issue. These citations are given whenever there is a serious injury or death and OSHA finds that the workplace was not up to industry standards.
For O&G they rely primarily on standards from API, ANSI, AESC, IADC and equipment manufacturer’s specifications and instruction manuals. Most of OSHA’s O&G citations have dealt with pad prep and drilling, not fracking. They think this is because fracking is known involve high pressure and flow rates along with the use of hazardous chemicals so it is done only by highly trained crews using specialized equipment and procedures.
PA Shale Safety Discussed
PA Act 9 – Bill Burkett and others have been working with Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to develop new requirements for emergency response plans at well sites. E&Ps will have to document the GPS locations of wells and access roads, erect specified signage, have plans for fighting fires, responding to large and small spills, medical emergencies, and security breaches. They will have to assess risks to any nearby highways, schools, hospitals, and homes. They will have to provide instruction and training exercises to those working at the site. Copies of these site plans will have to be submitted to PEMA, PA DEP and local 911 centers. PEMA’s final draft of the new regulations is due to be published in Dec 2012 and sent to the legislature for passage in early 2013. Slides available on the STEPS of PA site.
H2S Training – Ralph Tijerina from Range is planning a one day H2S training session at the PA Fire Academy on Nov 19th. It is expected to be popular, there are 6 open slots available for that training.
Protesters Add a Twist
A discussion covered the handling of protesters at drilling sites, regional offices, and other meeting sites. Marcellus Shale Coalition’s recent Gas Insight meeting in Philadelphia attracted a small group of protesters who were orderly. Talisman reported a group of protesters gathered outside their office after a nearby rally. They admitted they weren’t adequately prepared. They went into a lock-down mode where no one could enter or leave the building during the incident – some employees found that very inconvenient, but necessary. They have now arranged for a private bomb sniffing dog to be available to check employee cars after any such parking lot protest.
About EKT Interactive
EKT Interactive, Inc is a leading provider of customized, large-scale, interactive safety and operations training programs for the oil & gas industry. Our web-based e-learning program, accessible at your convenience, saves time away from the job and travel costs. Online learning modules are developed by field-experienced oil and gas instruction experts using proven web learning applications that closely match classroom effectiveness.