Oil and gas industry is inherently a risk prone industry and risk management is one of the most significant challenges being encountered by this strategic industry. Even a minor incident may result in a loss of billions of dollars and irreparable loss to the environment. These risks whether inherently caused or a result of external forces, need to be adequately addressed so as to ensure commercial and social concerns of an oil and gas project. However, building and implementing an effective risk management strategy could be a very complicated exercise.
In the history of more than 150 years of oil and gas industry, many catastrophic accidents have taken place at different geographical locations all over the planet. Though the reasons of such incidents were different, a thorough analysis brings forth an inter-linkage between their occurrences. A mechanism hence is essential that can provide an insight into the cause and effect relationship to help the industry to avoid and be prepared to counter problems in future. It can be observed that the lack of causative awareness and risk preparedness in the event of minor controllable incidents often results into fatal accidents. Thus creating knowledge base out of the lessons learnt through previous accidents would definitely provide the steps to be taken in future incidents.
Although a lot of work by different international organizations (OGP, WOAD, MMS, UN, DECCC, etc.) has been carried out in this direction, the efforts though sincere, leave much to be desired.
Mr. Khalid Al-Falih (CEO Saudi Aramco) warned ‘What happens to one company happens to us all’, speaking on vicious cyber attack on Saudi Aramco.
Taking this into consideration the paper brings in focus case-studies of selective incidents related to oil and gas disasters which might serve as eye-openers for future risk-reduction and preparedness. After a detailed analysis a suggestion has been rendered for establishing a global task force or committee which can promote participation and sharing of information for mutual benefit and security.