Safety in deep waters

“As we go into deeper and more challenging operating environments, we continually review our procedures, improve our equipment and develop the skills of our employees.”

As we go into deeper and more challenging operating environments, we continually review our procedures, improve our equipment and develop the skills of our employees. This keeps our employees and contractors safe and helps to prevent spills and leaks from our wells.

Our standards for designing, drilling and operating deep-water wells require that we have at least two barriers to protect against sudden uncontrolled flows of oil or gas out of a well. We plan, prepare and practise emergency spill response procedures to ensure employees and contractors can respond rapidly to an incident.

3,000 METRESDepths at which MWCC can cap wells

2.5 KMWater depth of Perdido, Gulf of Mexico, USA

100,000 BOEPeak daily production of Perdido

The BP Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 underlined the need for improved response to incidents in deep water. We are working with the oil and gas industry to further develop effective oil spill emergency response capabilities. In the Gulf of Mexico, we joined with other leading oil and gas companies to form the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) to respond to any deep-water well blowout or spill. The MWCC can cap wells in more than 3,000 metres of water, with equipment for deeper depths under development. In 2014, MWCC increased its capacity to recover oil to 100,000 barrels a day.

Shell was also a funding member of the Subsea Well Response Project, backed by nine major companies. It has deep-water well-capping and spill response equipment in Brazil, Norway, Singapore and South Africa. It has added capping capability for spills where direct overhead access is not possible.

We work to embed a safety culture at our deep-water operations. For example, in 2014 our Bonga North West project reached 4 million hours worked without lost time due to injury. This was achieved by focusing on various safety measures such as frequent safety inspections, identifying hazards and running weekly safety meetings. At Malampaya in the Philippines, an employee safety club and safety training centre were among the initiatives that have helped us achieve 10 million working hours without lost time due to injury.