Oil currently supplies more than 40% of our total energy demands and more than 99% of the fuel we use for cars and trucks. Petroleum products and natural gas are projected to account for almost 65% of domestic energy consumption in 2025 with U.S. natural gas consumption expected to grow from 22 trillion cubic feet in 2003 to almost 31 tcf in 2025. Twenty years ago (1988), nearly 75% of federal lands were available for private lease to oil and gas exploration companies. Since then, the share has fallen to 17 %.
According to 1999 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Minerals Management Service (MMS) figures, the injury and illness rate was 6.3% for the entire U.S. private sector (6.3 injuries or illnesses per year per 100 full-time workers) while only 2.3 percent for the offshore industry. Over the past three decades, MMS has established an enviable environmental and safety record. We have seen the oil-spill rate continue to drop from decade to decade resulting in a 67% decrease over this 30-year period. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, between 1985 and 2000, 6.3 billion barrels of oil were produced in federal offshore waters with less than 0.001% spilled – a 99.999% record for clean operations. The most recent MMS and Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that the offshore industry’s injury and illness rate was almost 50% less than the petroleum industry as a whole.
The petroleum industry has an admirable health, safety and environmental (HSE) record. The industry consistently holds out safety as the top concern. Yet, this number one priority is not reflected in the number of papers submitted for presentation at the annual Society of Petroleum Engineers conference. Out of the 1,285 abstracts submitted for the 2008 conference, only 2.3% (30) were related to HSE.
The industry needs access to environmentally sensitive areas in order to meet the future U.S. energy demands. Getting the word out about the industry’s HSE track record could help educate stakeholders on industry’s concern about balancing energy and environmental resources in a safe manner. As we go about our daily work, we can identify case studies, processes and procedures that would make excellent HSE-related papers. Please consider how you can help get the word out about the industry’s great HSE track record.
To submit your abstract by January 26, 2009, please click here: http://www.spe.org/spe-app/jsp/siteFunctionality/callForPapers.jsp.