The recent Al-Qaida attack on a natural gas facility and subsequent hostage situation in Algeria, represents some of the extreme dangers Oil and Gas workers face 365 days a year.
Originally published 29/1/2013.
Militants stormed the Tigantourine natural gas facility near In Amenas with dozens of people killed. Tragically when Algerian military forces stormed the facility, more fatalities were caused. This dramatic hostage siege has prompted reaction by all Oil and Gas companies in the region, prompting some to review the situation and consider safer areas of operation. But for those companies and workers who face these risks, how can the oil and gas companies manage such risk and protect their personnel?
Manouchehr Takin, senior petroleum upstream analyst with the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) in London, told New Europe “The oil companies operating internationally are well accustomed to these risks and problems.”
The Oil and Gas industry have always faced a myriad of risks relating to field operations and assets security and protection, especially when exploration and production is located in areas of civil unrest or conflict. Changes in regulations have increased the cost of compliance, following incidents like the BP Deep water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico.
Tighter Health, Safety and Environmental requirements are requiring larger investments by the industry in order to comply, and to fully protect their workforce from a host of concerns. General rig site safety is one of the most common risks, and day-to-day management is imperative so personnel are fully educated and trained to minimize accidents. Pipe line blasts are also common occurrence at a domestic and commercial level. Just 2 days ago, major media reported “Unidentified attackers blew up Yemen's main oil pipeline, forcing the country to shut down one of its most lucrative sources of income.”
Throughout 2011 Yemen's oil and gas pipelines were repeatedly sabotaged by insurgents and tribesmen since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings for the impoverished country. On the domestic front December 11, 2012 a fireball is seen across Interstate 77 in Sissonville, West Virginia, USA, as a natural gas pipeline exploded in flames near Charleston.
Blowouts, oil spills and personal injuries are some of the operational hazards faced by Oil and Gas workers every day. In 2013 the industry is investing heavily in Health and Safety precautions, to insure it doesn't happen again. Natural disasters and adverse weather conditions from arctic seas to hurricanes also pose great risk as we drill in deep water.
Protecting and caring for the Mobile and Specialist workforce is of pivotal importance, and Cigna Global Health Benefits Europe is one company recognizing the importance of care for specialist remote and mobile workers, in harsh and dangerous locations. Oil and Gas HR assets can now secure added piece of mind with Cigna's new range of International Private Medical Insurance Energy Plans. Designed specifically for the Oil and Gas market, members can select from 3 levels of cover including Core, Advanced and Ultra.
Members may also select geographical coverage including Worldwide or country by country cover, excluding the USA. Providing coverage for chronic conditions as standard and pre-existing conditions, for groups with more than 10 employees, the new iPMI plans cover remote emergency evacuation services to work hand-in-hand with Oil and Gas companies offshore facilities.
Mark Coleman, Cigna's Regional Sales Director for Europe said, "Cigna`s Energy Plans offer medical evacuation coverage for employees in remote locations, and have been specifically developed to integrate with a company`s own offshore emergency evacuation facilities to provide a seamless solution for employers and their employees. In addition, our fully integrated evacuation and direct settlement approach manages and coordinates every aspect of any medical situation, completely behind the scenes. This alleviates the administrative and financial burden on employers and offers complete peace of mind."
Originally published 29/1/2013.