To enhance its services to the offshore oil and gas industry, Atlantic Supply Base, in a ‘major step’ for itself as a company, implements an OGP compliant system for quality, health, safety and environmental (QHSE) management.
As the drilling of the eighth exploration well in the Faroese continental shelf is expected to resume this summer (2013), Atlantic Supply Base (ASB) looks poised to retain its position as preferred provider of related port services. The company, nested in the well sheltered Port of Runavík, has sharpened its quality, health, safety, and environmental (QHSE) management through the implementation of an integrated system that includes corrective action and key performance indicators reporting.
According to managing director Eli Lassen, the new QHSE management system — based on specifications from the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) — has taken ASB more than a year to develop, with its implementation representing a milestone in the business development of the company.
“We have long been contemplating and planning for a system of this kind and it’s a major step forward to finally have it up and running,” Mr. Lassen told the Faroe Business Report.
“We have spent considerable resources on the system but we believe nonetheless that we will see a good return on the investment.”
Now taken to the next level with strict adherence to reporting procedures for operational occurrences of all kinds—especially as related to QHSE issues — the safety and compliance culture embraced by ASB may go against some aspects of traditional business management practices prevalent in small communities such as the Faroe Islands.
“This system adds a layer of administration that you won’t normally see in this country,” Mr. Lassen said. “Yet it’s essential in the oil and gas industry so much so that you need to have it if you want to be part of this industry. So we have to be able to log, document, trace and analyze every incident, every near-incident, every deviation from standard, every disruption, and — depending on where responsibility lies — either take corrective action ourselves or request it from those we work with.”
Congestion free: Whereas ASB has been ISO 9001 certified for several years, following the OGP process requirements and guidance on QHSE management is considered more important in the oil and gas industry, Mr. Lassen said.
“It’s all well and good with ISO 9001 but in the world of offshore oil and gas, having an OGP compliant QHSE management system in place is the de facto industry standard. It’s a minimum requirement for operating in the industry.”
As the supply base of choice for all drilling campaigns undertaken to date offshore the Faroes, ASB has earned good references from its clients.
“ASB performance … was exemplary in terms of HSE and operational performance,” one of them stated in a customer satisfaction survey.
“Zero incidents or rig down time experienced. The entire Faroes team embraced the … safety culture with enthusiasm and energy always looking to go, and going the extra mile to satisfy the offshore customer.”
Not long ago ASB signed maritime agency contracts for all vessels involved in supporting offshore oil and gas exploration in the Faroese area.
“With our expertise and experience, our clients can have all of their port related business taken care of through a single point of contact,” Mr. Lassen said.
The range of services offered by ASB includes docking, loading and discharge of goods and equipment, crew change arrangements, storage, supplies, waste management, mud mixing, and more.
With two buildings located a few meters from the dedicated supply base quayside at Runavík, the company presides over 1,900 square meters of warehousing capacity, seven offices and a large outdoor storage area.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Lassen was a bridge officer in the merchant fleet. He has also made a living as a land based oil and gas worker. His skills and working experience underpin his hands-on management style, which has helped him successfully recruit good personnel for ASB.
“Together we have some competencies that are of great advantage to our clients,” he added. “Let me take an example: approaching a foreign harbor can be a challenge for any vessel as there can be many unknown factors. Together with the local port authority we have made serious efforts to address such issues as are known to be likely in this respect, and this has made life much easier for our clients. Many of them have offered very positive remarks on our services — stressing the fact that operations have been smooth, not least because there is no harbor congestion in the Port of Runavík.”