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Healix Opens New Office In Houston, Texas To Support Oil & Gas Market

HX Global, the US arm of Healix International, has appointed John Hankamer as Senior VP of Sales to head up its new sales office in Houston, with a focus on supporting companies operating in the global oil & gas market.

Hankamer has over 25 years’ experience providing product and service solutions to organizations in a variety of industries including Oil & Gas, Engineering, Construction and Mining. Having previously worked at International SOS, FrontierMEDEX and most recently Remote Medical International, the bulk of his career has been in the medical and security assistance and medical staffing business, supporting clients headquartered in the south central and western US.

Gregory Cain, President of HX Global commented, “Having known John since 1998 when we previously worked together at AEA International, I have long sought his joining us and am delighted that he will be spearheading our growth in the oil & gas market. His wealth of experience will be invaluable in assisting our clients, many of whom operate in some of the most challenging and remote environments.”

In addition to Texas, John’s remit will also cover organizations headquartered in the neighboring states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama.

HX Global® is the US subsidiary of Healix International Ltd, a global leader in international medical, security & travel assistance and international occupational health services. Working on behalf of multinational corporations, governments, NGOs and insurers, Healix is entrusted to look after the welfare of millions of expatriates, travelers and local nationals in every country of the world, 24 hours a day.

John can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on +1 281 547 8891.

Or for more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Falling Oil Prices Have Global Implications

Sanctions, oil prices and war continue to weaken investment environment in Russia and increase corporate default risk in Ukraine. Oil producing states outside the GCC likely to face political & economic uncertainty Oil producers Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan and Turkmenistan rated Very High or High for political risk.

Aon Risk Solutions today unveiled its 2015 Political Risk Map which portrays political risk in emerging markets. Topping the list of political risks facing emerging market investors is the increasing instability in already-fragile oil producing countries such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Russia and Venezuela as a consequence of the low oil price. The effectiveness of extremist groups in the Middle East & Africa will be amplified in afflicted countries that lack the resilience to absorb economic shocks. The map illustrates that 2015 will be a particularly challenging year for oil producers in the Middle East and Africa several of which already have High or Very High country risk ratings. Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, which should otherwise stand to benefit from cheaper oil imports, face increased security risks because of the power vacuums in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The low oil price continues to cast an economic shadow over the CIS region, particularly for Russia’s larger regional trading partners such as Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Matthew Shires, Head of Political Risk said “By using the latest data and analytics, the political risk map helps organisations determine their emerging market investment strategies. Businesses need to constantly monitor their exposure to political risk such as the impact of oil price uncertainty and political instability. The Aon Political Risk Map allows our clients to do exactly that.”

Paul Domjan, Managing Director, Roubini Country Insights, said "Roubini Global Economics is proud to continue its partnership with Aon for its clients. During 2014 political risks in the emerging markets rose, particularly in oil exporting regions. The quarterly updates to the risk icon scores and the country ratings highlight developing risk-trends, allowing investors to respond quickly to deterioration and to better hedge their exposure or take advantage of new opportunities. Once again, the map demonstrates the power of combining RGE's country analysis and benchmarking with Aon's expertise in country risk.”


Insurance Capacity In Global Energy Markets Leaps To Highest Level This Century

Theoretical insurance capacities in both the upstream and downstream oil and gas insurance markets have increased to the highest levels seen this century. Heavily over-capitalised global (re)insurance markets combined with a glut of new capacity from non-traditional providers - such as pension funds, hedge funds and investment banks - has increased competitive pressures in the energy insurance market to unprecedented levels, according to Willis's annual Energy Market Review.

Total theoretical upstream market capacity now stands at US$5.7 billion and the equivalent downstream total is now at US$4.6 billion, according to the report. Meanwhile, statistics from Lloyd's of London suggest that the overall energy premium pool available to insurers may be reducing for both markets. Given these conditions, Willis expects it may take more than a run of catastrophic losses to provoke any significant capacity withdrawal from the energy sector. In 2013 the energy loss record was no worse than average, noted Willis's report.

On the upstream side, the Willis Energy Loss Database recorded only a handful of losses in excess of US$200 million, while on the downstream side, although there have been three serious incidents in Argentina, the USA and Canada, the loss record continues to improve. At the same time, the report notes that the energy industry itself might be sitting on an uninsured cyber-attack time bomb. While insurance cover is readily available for non-catastrophic cyber-attack losses to data and intellectual property, it can be much more challenging to access cover for a truly catastrophic event involving physical loss or damage or business interruption running into billions of dollars. Certain markets, however, have emerged recently with the appetite and capacity to provide energy companies with at least a degree of cyber-attack insurance cover.

Commenting on energy insurance market conditions, Alistair Rivers, Global Head of Natural Resources at Willis, said, "With no obvious alternative investment opportunities emerging, and with interest rates around the world still low in relative terms, capital providers are likely to maintain their funds in the (re)insurance markets where they are currently deployed - at least for the short term. Energy market capacity is therefore likely to continue to be available, even if the sector falls into unprofitability."

He continued, "The difficulty with predicting how market conditions will turn out in the next few years is that this is the first time we have seen capital deployed in the insurance markets that is unlikely to be put off by short term underwriting unprofitability. In previous market eras, we have always found that a major catastrophe or series of losses -- for example, Piper Alpha, 9/11 and the 2005 Gulf of Mexico hurricanes -- has led to a withdrawal of capacity and harder market conditions. But now we think it will take more than a headline-grabbing loss to precipitate a withdrawal. Capital providers would have to find an alternative haven for their money if they are to withdraw from the insurance arena."


Subsea Cables Identified As Major Insurance Risk For The Offshore Wind Industry

DNV GL, announced the launch of its guideline "Subsea power cables in shallow water renewable energy applications" (DNV-RP-J301), which provides a comprehensive review of subsea power cable practice and advice for managing the risk commonly associated with the cables.

The recommended practice, which is free to download from, is the most comprehensive of its type in the industry. Technical guideline covers entire lifecycle of subsea power cables, from concept development to decommissioning, and is a comprehensive resource of project guidance.

Many existing offshore wind farms have faced subsea power cable problems caused by underestimation of complexities and interrelationships Guideline will become essential tool for stakeholders involved in renewable energy projects, improving safety and lowering costs for the wind industry Problems with subsea cables have affected many offshore wind farms and damage to cables has been identified as a major insurance risk for the offshore wind industry.

Cable related problems are costly and most often arise from inadequate risk identification, lack of planning, sub-standard design and deficiencies in how procedures are applied. To date, cabling failures have cost millions of euros in delays and numerous legal disputes.


Managing Risk And HR Asset Protection In The Oil And Gas Industry

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.


International SOS And China National Petroleum Corporation Establish Strategic Partnership

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and International SOS have confirmed their partnership by signing a Global Strategic Partnership Framework.

This partnership dates back to 2000, when International SOS provided global medical and security assistance support to BGP, one of CNPC’s subsidiaries. Since then, both parties have continued to explore collaboration opportunities within the CNPC Group and other subsidiaries. International SOS currently provides CNPC Group and its subsidiaries with world-class medical and travel security support in over 30 medical staffing projects across 12 countries.

Mr. Zhang Xin, General Manager of the Foreign Affairs Department of CNPC received a delegation led by Mr. Laurent Sabourin, Group Managing Director of International SOS. The signing ceremony took place at CNPC’s global headquarters in Beijing, China. Mr. Zhang Xin and Mr. John Williams, International SOS Managing Director of China, were present to sign the framework. Mr. Zhang and Mr. Sabourin discussed how both parties can strengthen this partnership further.

By signing the new framework, they confirmed their commitment to forming a stronger global collaboration where International SOS will provide comprehensive medical and security support to CNPC’s expatriates and international travellers.

As China’s leading oil and gas company, CNPC is continuously expanding its global operations and now has a presence in over 70 countries. Many are in extremely challenging regions where medical and security support is inadequate. The wellbeing of its employees has always been CNPC’s top priority. This framework further demonstrates CNPC’s commitment to provide Duty of Care to its employees. As well as support in medical and security emergencies, CNPC will also work with International SOS to provide preventative medical support, as well as pre-travel medical and security awareness training to its employees.

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