Posted on September 22, 2014

Constant care and investing in the future through a focus on safety and sustainable operations is key to being a successful operator. That was the message given by gold sponsors Maersk Oil Qatar at the opening of the 7th SPE Middle East Health Safety Environment and Sustainable Development Conference and Exhibition (MEHSE) today, which was held under the patronage of H.E Dr Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy.

Maersk Oil Qatar’s Managing Director, Lewis Affleck said: “As the operator of Qatar’s largest offshore oilfield we take our responsibility towards the long-term, economic and sustainable development of Qatar very seriously.  In partnership with Qatar Petroleum we have made great steps in this regard. Not only are we are producing over one-third of the country’s oil from a field originally considered uneconomic, but we have simultaneously reduced offshore gas flaring by over 90 percent, and we are introducing a number of nationwide health and safety programmes that have a positive impact on the community.”

Speaking on this topic at the MEHSE will be Maersk Oil’s Head of Corporate HSE, Wells Grogan, who will address the critical issue of embedding safety culture in the workplace during the ‘Establishing Organisational Belief in HSE’ session. Maersk Oil has made significant steps to achieve this through the introduction of a global behavioural safety programme, ‘Incident-free’ (IF). In 2013 alone, a total of 346 onshore newcomers and more than 1,000 offshore newcomers underwent IF training in Qatar, which seeks to ensure that all personnel share a common Incident-free mind-set, culture and approach.

Maersk Oil’s long-term commitment to Qatar and to supporting the Qatar National Vision 2030 is also demonstrated in its choice of social investment programmes, which specifically target health and safety, the environment and culture, and education and capability building. Recognising road safety and diabetes as two of the greatest issues impacting Qatari society, the company has launched Action on Diabetes and OneSecond! with local partners to help tackle them.

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This year alone Action on Diabetes has already screened over 22,000 people for the condition. If no action is taken, Qatar’s diabetes prevalence rates - which are already amongst the highest in the world - are projected to increase by up to 47 percent by 2030. Over 800 healthcare professionals have been trained in conjunction with the programme to date and diabetes screening will be available throughout the exhibition. One Second! was launched in 2013 as the country’s first national road safety brand, in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar. Initiatives include youth education and awareness-raising, specifically promoting seat-belt usage and baby car seats. Already over 7,000 seats have been provided to Qatari new-borns at Hamad Women’s Hospital.

“Delivering long-term, sustainable success in the Al Shaheen field requires the right experience, expertise and the significant investment of both capital and of highly-skilled professionals – particularly in the areas of engineering, health safety and the environment. The MEHSE offers a platform for us to present some of our flagship projects in these areas, many of which are already making a positive impact across our expansive operations in Qatar and also on the lives of thousands within the local community,” added Affleck.

The conference is organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and will run from 22-24 September at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).