The newly formed Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI) held its first major event at the University of Houston on May 12 and 13. This first forum focused on risk in oil and gas operations and how OESI could best benefit offshore safety and reliability through “dialogue, shared learning and cooperative research.”
OESI has been funded by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and is a collaboration of Texas A&M University, The University of Texas and the University of Houston.
The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) agreed to fund the establishment of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI).
The Institute will be a collaborative initiative between the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center, partnering with Texas A&M University, University of Texas and University of Houston.
The institute will facilitate research and development, training of federal workers on identification and verification of Best Available and Safest Technology (BAST), and implementation of operational improvements in the areas of offshore drilling safety and environmental protection, blowout containment and oil spill response.
There was a great turnout and discussion at the event with many participants passionately expressing the importance of continuous improvement. Some of the topics discussed for improving the safety of operations were:
- Quantitative and qualitative approaches
- Identifying gaps and needs
- Increasing work on human factors
- Fitting competencies into processes, especially with advancing technologies
- Improving the understanding of hazards and consequences of decisions
It was pointed out at the forum that 80% of all offshore accidents are caused by human failure.
OESI plans to coordinate focused cooperation “among academia, government, industry, and other non-governmental organizations, in offshore energy-related technologies and activities that ensure safe and environmentally responsible offshore operations.”
You can learn more about OESI on their website, http://oesi.tamu.edu/.