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Oil + Gas
A New Safety Agenda for Big Oil

Larry Pearlman and Susie Scott have spent a combined 44 years improving safety in the petroleum industry for workers, the public, and the environment. Join them for a guided tour of how they do it.

Meet Susie Scott
&
Larry Pearlman

Susie and Larry

Larry and Susie are touring a new training facility in Louisiana designed to simulate life on an oil rig. Offshore oil workers live and work as they would on a drilling platform in two-week shifts. Along with mastering the routines of startup, shutdown, and process controls, they deal with surprise what-if situations on the same equipment they will use offshore.

Susie Scott is a principal in the Energy Practice. She has 19 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, split between the US and the UK. A chemical engineer, Susie has worked extensively in the refining sector as well as offshore. She is passionate about safety and risk, and she focuses on managing change in complex environments.

Larry Pearlman is a Partner in the Energy Practice with 26 years of experience in the industry. He works with various kinds of teams, from executives to front-line workers, to create transformational change and process improvement. Larry also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A New Role for
an Old Ship

Photo: Larry Pearlman

Floating oil processing facilities like this are common in new exploration areas because they are easy to bring on site and don’t require a pipeline infrastructure.

 

This old supertanker has been converted into a floating oil and gas processing plant off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. Larry, an amateur photographer, took this shot from a helicopter. He and his team conducted a safety effectiveness assessment on the ship.

“They drill the wells on the ocean floor, and they have producing wells coming up into the ship. The ship is processing oil and gas and separating the water. Oil is stored on the ship and offloaded to larger tankers.” - Larry

A New Skyline
in North Dakota

Photo: Larry Pearlman

Help wanted: Complex geology, new technology and inexperienced workers are an uneasy mix. We help producers evaluate and mitigate potential operational and environmental risks.

 

This oil pump jack and storage battery are in the Bakken region, where oil production has grown rapidly. Larry conducted an environmental health and safety project at this location outside of Tioga, North Dakota.

“There are loads of these things popping up. From a safety perspective, the producers are having to bring in very inexperienced people to run these rigs. While they don’t look very complex, there are still an awful lot of safety issues. A key issue for our clients is accelerating the maturity of safety processes while relying on workers with no experience in oil and gas.” - Susie

Oil On Rails

Photo: Larry Pearlman

All crude oil is not alike. After the Lac-Megantic, Quebec disaster in July 2013, regulators began asking whether there was something different about Bakken crude. Testing determined that this oil contains more volatile elements and is more flammable than crude from other regions.

 

As production has grown in North American fields, more oil is moving to refineries by rail rather than pipeline. This has created new safety issues that aren’t likely to disappear.

“They are putting more and more trains on the rails, and some of the rail tracks, particularly near terminals, are not always maintained in the way you would expect, particularly given the risk of transporting crude.” - Susie

An Oil Sands
Behemoth

Photo: Larry Pearlman

Road transportation is a dangerous activity in the oil and gas industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 41 percent of all industry fatalities in the past five years were related to transportation.

 

This giant truck is part of oil sands production in Canada. With such enormous equipment being used in new ways, these operations face high safety risks. The Oliver Wyman team has worked with a safety association to create harmonized and common rules for all players in the Canadian oil sands.

“If I were standing next to it, I wouldn’t even come up to the lowest bolt on the tire.” - Larry
“It’s oil and gas, but it’s more of a mining industry. a number of incidents where these trucks have squished cars.” - Susie

Oil Sands
Transport

Photo: Larry Pearlman

Carloads of crude oil on North American railroads increased more than seven-fold between 2011 and 2015 — faster than industry practice and new safety regulations could keep up. Oliver Wyman is helping business leaders see the new parameters of risk.

 

Once the ore in the Canadian oil sands has been mined, it is separated to produce bitumen. That bitumen is then upgraded to synthetic crude oil. That product is then sent to refineries by rail.

Larry Pearlman’s Checklist for Oil Company Executives

  1. Do I know the properties of what I’m shipping?
  2. Are material hazards properly labeled and communicated?
  3. Do I have / Will I have the right tank cars for what I ship?
  4. Are my loading and unloading operations being done safely by competent employees/contractors?
  5. Are my railcars properly inspected and maintained?
  6. Where is my crude oil going — and how will it be routed?
  7. Do I know the risk factors for routings?
  8. Do I have proper emergency response procedures in place?
  9. Do I understand my responsibilities and liabilities in case of an accident?
  10. Can I verify the answers to questions 1 through 9?

Air Separators

Photo: Larry Pearlman

These are separators — a common feature in refineries where they are used to separate liquids from gas, nitrogen from air, and oil from water.

 

Equipment operations depend upon a wealth of data and sophisticated systems to run efficiently. Operators are extremely skilled and deal with wide ranges of issues and challenges. Production is optimized for a variety of feedstocks and end products. Production and distribution orchestrates a delicate dance to balance supply and demand.

“We tend to think of oil and gas as old school technology. But it’s not.” - Larry

Beyond the
Fence Line

Photo: Larry Pearlman

Looking beyond: Oliver Wyman research has found that safety incidents often involve areas of operational risk outside of management’s direct control. Larry is helping clients learn to lead beyond their traditional scope of responsibility.

 

Larry and Susie built their safety skills in the refining world, working on various projects for refining operations. They helped one oil major establish a new approach to risk management and create a new safety culture following a major industrial incident.

Larry took this photo from a public access road outside of a refinery’s fence. We didn’t work at this facility, but anyone near an energy location can be affected by the company’s safety processes. Larry has developed some ideas on how energy companies can extend safety practice beyond their own workers and beyond the fence line.

“As an industry, refining has made huge improvements in safety over recent years — both in terms of safety systems and safety culture. Sadly we still see about one major refinery incident in the US every year, so it shows there is still work to do.” - Susie

Sunset in
Galveston

Photo: Larry Pearlman

Jack-up rigs are floating platforms that are towed to the drilling site. The legs are then jacked down to the sea floor, raising the hull safely above wave action and ocean currents.

 

Larry snapped this photo of an offshore jack-up rig in Galveston, Texas. Our energy partners have worked on jack-up rigs around the world.

“We’re decades away from the sunset of our industry. However, the quest for energy will take people and technology to increasingly difficult environments. I compare it to space exploration. We’ll face extreme pressures and temperatures. Incredible logistics challenges. We’ll be pushing technology to its limits. All the while, keeping people and the environment safe.” - Larry
A New Safety Agenda for Big Oil

Larry Pearlman and Susie Scott have spent a combined 44 years improving safety in the petroleum industry for workers, the public, and the environment. Join them for a guided tour of how they do it.

A New Safety Agenda for Big Oil
Susie and Larry

Larry and Susie are touring a new training facility in Louisiana designed to simulate life on an oil rig. Offshore oil workers live and work as they would on a drilling platform in two-week shifts. Along with mastering the routines of startup, shutdown, and process controls, they deal with surprise what-if situations on the same equipment they will use offshore.

Susie Scott is a principal in the Energy Practice. She has 19 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, split between the US and the UK. A chemical engineer, Susie has worked extensively in the refining sector as well as offshore. She is passionate about safety and risk, and she focuses on managing change in complex environments.

Larry Pearlman is a Partner in the Energy Practice with 26 years of experience in the industry. He works with various kinds of teams, from executives to front-line workers, to create transformational change and process improvement. Larry also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A NewRole foran Old Ship

This old supertanker has been converted into a floating oil and gas processing plant off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. Larry, an amateur photographer, took this shot from a helicopter. He and his team conducted a safety effectiveness assessment on the ship.

“They drill the wells on the ocean floor, and they have producing wells coming up into the ship. The ship is processing oil and gas and separating the water. Oil is stored on the ship and offloaded to larger tankers.” - Larry
Floating oil processing facilities like this are common in new exploration areas because they are easy to bring on site and don’t require a pipeline infrastructure.
   
Photo: Larry Pearlman

A NewSkyline inNorthDakota

This oil pump jack and storage battery are in the Bakken region, where oil production has grown rapidly. Larry conducted an environmental health and safety project at this location outside of Tioga, North Dakota.

“There are loads of these things popping up. From a safety perspective, the producers are having to bring in very inexperienced people to run these rigs. While they don’t look very complex, there are still an awful lot of safety issues. A key issue for our clients is accelerating the maturity of safety processes while relying on workers with no experience in oil and gas.” - Susie
Help wanted: Complex geology, new technology and inexperienced workers are an uneasy mix. We help producers evaluate and mitigate potential operational and environmental risks.
   
Photo: Larry Pearlman

OilOnRails

As production has grown in North American fields, more oil is moving to refineries by rail rather than pipeline. This has created new safety issues that aren’t likely to disappear.

“They are putting more and more trains on the rails, and some of the rail tracks, particularly near terminals, are not always maintained in the way you would expect, particularly given the risk of transporting crude.” - Susie
All crude oil is not alike. After the Lac-Megantic, Quebec disaster in July 2013, regulators began asking whether there was something different about Bakken crude. Testing determined that this oil contains more volatile elements and is more flammable than crude from other regions.
   
Photo: Larry Pearlman

An OilSandsBehemoth

This giant truck is part of oil sands production in Canada. With such enormous equipment being used in new ways, these operations face high safety risks. The Oliver Wyman team has worked with a safety association to create harmonized and common rules for all players in the Canadian oil sands.

“If I were standing next to it, I wouldn’t even come up to the lowest bolt on the tire.” - Larry
“It’s oil and gas, but it’s more of a mining industry. There have been a number of incidents where these trucks have squished cars.” - Susie
Road transportation is a dangerous activity in the oil and gas industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 41 percent of all industry fatalities in the past five years were related to transportation.
   
Photo: Larry Pearlman

OilSandsTransport

Once the ore in the Canadian oil sands has been mined, it is separated to produce bitumen. That bitumen is then upgraded to synthetic crude oil. That product is then sent to refineries by rail.

Larry Pearlman’s Checklist for Oil Company Executives

  1. Do I know the properties of what I’m shipping?
  2. Are material hazards properly labeled and communicated?
  3. Do I have / Will I have the right tank cars for what I ship?
  4. Are my loading and unloading operations being done safely by competent employees/contractors?
  5. Are my railcars properly inspected and maintained?
  6. Where is my crude oil going — and how will it be routed?
  7. Do I know the risk factors for routings?
  8. Do I have proper emergency response procedures in place?
  9. Do I understand my responsibilities and liabilities in case of an accident?
  10. Can I verify the answers to questions 1 through 9?
Carloads of crude oil on North American railroads increased more than seven-fold between 2011 and 2015 — faster than industry practice and new safety regulations could keep up. Oliver Wyman is helping business leaders see the new parameters of risk.
   
Photo: Larry Pearlman

AirSeparators

Equipment operations depend upon a wealth of data and sophisticated systems to run efficiently. Operators are extremely skilled and deal with wide ranges of issues and challenges. Production is optimized for a variety of feedstocks and end products. Production and distribution orchestrates a delicate dance to balance supply and demand.

“We tend to think of oil and gas as old school technology. But it’s not.” - Larry
These are separators — a common feature in refineries where they are used to separate liquids from gas, nitrogen from air, and oil from water.
   
Photo: Larry Pearlman

BeyondtheFenceLine

Larry and Susie built their safety skills in the refining world, working on various projects for refining operations. They helped one oil major establish a new approach to risk management and create a new safety culture following a major industrial incident.

Larry took this photo from a public access road outside of a refinery’s fence. We didn’t work at this facility, but anyone near an energy location can be affected by the company’s safety processes. Larry has developed some ideas on how energy companies can extend safety practice beyond their own workers and beyond the fence line.

“As an industry, refining has made huge improvements in safety over recent years — both in terms of safety systems and safety culture. Sadly we still see about one major refinery incident in the US every year, so it shows there is still work to do.” - Susie
Looking beyond: Oliver Wyman research has found that safety incidents often involve areas of operational risk outside of management’s direct control. Larry is helping clients learn to lead beyond their traditional scope of responsibility.
   
Photo: Larry Pearlman

SunsetinGalveston

Larry snapped this photo of an offshore jack-up rig in Galveston, Texas. Our energy partners have worked on jack-up rigs around the world.

“We’re decades away from the sunset of our industry. However, the quest for energy will take people and technology to increasingly difficult environments. I compare it to space exploration. We’ll face extreme pressures and temperatures. Incredible logistics challenges. We’ll be pushing technology to its limits. All the while, keeping people and the environment safe.” - Larry
Jack-up rigs are floating platforms that are towed to the drilling site. The legs are then jacked down to the sea floor, raising the hull safely above wave action and ocean currents.
   
Photo: Larry Pearlman