Irkutsk Oil Company (INK) LLC is one of the largest private oil and gas producers in Russia. INK LLC focuses mainly on the geological study, exploration and production of crude oil, condensate and natural gas in Eastern Siberia.
INK LLC is a fast growing company, constantly increasing hydrocarbon production volumes. The company continues the development of new oil reserves, constructs and commissions new production facilities while working with a large number of contractors and constantly increasing its headcount. INK’s challenge was to reduce the risks related to employee and process safety and to provide the required level of safety necessary to foster sustainable operational growth.
Top management of the company believes that the required level of safety might be achieved only through the development of the organizational safety culture and employee’s capabilities and attitudes to do their job tasks in a safe and efficient manner, so they do not tolerate unsafe situations. In order to achieve this goal, INK LLC decided to invite international safety experts from DuPont, a leader in the field of industrial safety, to improve safety culture and to implement a risk-based approach in safety management.
At the end of 2015, DuPont experts performed the assessment of the safety culture level and safety management system at 3 core production sites of subsidiary company, INK-service LLC, specialized in drilling, well construction and overhaul repair. The main goal of the safety assessment was to identify gaps within the existing safety management system and employee engagement in day-to-day safety activities as well as to provide a benchmark for how the organization is performing compared to the requirements set by best management practices commonly used in the oil and gas industry.
Key areas for improvement identified during the assessment were: improvement of operational discipline and safety culture, risk-mitigation strategy associated with process safety management and contractor safety management.
The core work on the project was carried out at the Yarakt oil and gas production facilities (northern Irkutsk region) and at the INK corporate center. It was important not just to launch new processes and improve existing ones, but also to ensure the survival and sustainability of the changes. The demonstration of a decisive attitude and the company’s management setting a personal example, was a key success factor.
With the support of DuPont experts, INK LLC has identified strategic safety goals and objectives. Strategic objectives and key performance indicators were communicated to the production field line management team. The subsequent implementation of process safety management was linked to corporate goals. Simplicity and accessibility of the applied methods, regular coaching of leadership and the line management team as well as personnel in the fields provided the establishment of implemented practices.
During 2016, the top management team visited the pilot plant several times. Moreover, the CEO and top-management of INK LLC demonstrated their commitment to safety by regularly participating in safety committees, attending line-walks and checks of facilities, and being involved in behavioral safety audits.
There were remarkable changes in behavior based safety: employees started to wear safety goggles, there was more responsibility and attention to safety.
ALEXANDER DOROSHENKO, DEPUTY GENERAL DIRECTOR, OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE & BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION
You need to start with yourself, with a change of your own attitudes and beliefs towards safety. It is necessary to shift your own mindset from ‘It’s an obligation’ towards ‘ self-consciousness’.
MARINA SEDYKH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF INK LLC
The DuPont team gave priority to the HSE risk management processes implementation, which INK employees were being exposed to at their production activities. With that in mind, behavioral safety audits, monitoring the progress of work and interaction with the employees of the workshops on safety issues at the workplace have been introduced.
Ensuring sustainability of the changes was an important task. After all, the ultimate goal was a full coverage and change in the overall safety organizational culture in all fields and divisions of the company. Internal trainers and safety champions were selected from the most talented employees and then trained. Internal trainers and safety champions trained in their turn more than 400 of their colleagues.
“The main goal of the project is to improve safety culture at work, to change the attitude of employees towards risk-taking”, - Daniel Larionov, the head of the gas preparation and transportation plant (GPTP) of INK LLC and one of the program participants, said: “We did this work before, but it was not systematized. Now we are moving towards the goal systematically.”
According to Alexey Savin, unit manager of INK-service LLC, the new system will be implemented under the condition of close interaction with external consultants and strict control by the company itself: “Then we really will be able to correct our existing shortcomings in terms of process safety.”
The core project activities were related to implementation of process safety management elements, such as: contractor management, management of change - technology, process safety information and a safety critical equipment classification standard.
The ‘go-and-see’ visit to DuPont Luxembourg site was an interesting experience for INK leadership team enabling them to see how safety is integrated into daily operational activities demonstrating all employee engagement and the possible outcomes which could be achieved while applying a systematic approach towards safety.
INK management and employees recognize positive results of the implemented process safety management elements, tools and techniques. Incident and unsafe situation reporting transparency was increased significantly; all employees began to report injuries and incidents without any fear. The incident investigation practice implemented by DuPont experts, allowed the company to develop efficient preventive measures based on historical data analysis and the results performed of risk assessment.
Line management started to lead safety committees themselves and to use visual boards to track safety KPI records on a daily basis. Employees level of risk awareness and engagement to safety activities has grown substantially and the level of safety culture has increased by 30% (according to DuPont Bradley Curve™ assessment tool).
We have applied a systematic approach to improve our safety performance. Over the past year, we have been able to make a good progress in terms of safety performance. And we have a strong desire to move forward.
DMITRY SOLOD, GENERAL DEPUTY DIRECTOR, SAFETY, HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT