More safety focus wanted at ONGC

Vol 25, PW 4 (27 Jan 22) News in Brief

ONGC appears determined to improve safety across its offshore and onshore installations across India.

On January 17 (2022), ONGC director technical and field services OP Singh inaugurated the first India meeting of the oil and gas safety-focused Drilling Operations Incident Review Committee (DOIRC) affiliated to the south-central Asia chapter of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC). Among the 180 participants at the online meeting were representatives from Aban Singapore, Foresight Drilling, Shelf Drilling, Greatship, Jindal Drilling, Jagson and the rig managers of ONGC company-owned rigs Sagar Jyoti and Sagar Vijay.

All gave presentations on safety, during which they detailed at least nine critical incidents between January 2021 to December 2021. "ONGC should continue what they started with these steps for increased safety," adds a rig contractor.

"But we still don't know how much will be translated on the ground." Days after the DOIRC meeting, ONGC's Jorhat office on the morning of January 23 battled a pipeline fire caused by an oil theft attempt by a local gang - a stark reminder ONGC still needs to do more.

"Safety discussions will extend to onshore areas in the coming months," says an ONGC source. ONGC's heightened focus on safety follows the deaths of 86 seamen in the P-305 barge tragedy on May 17 (2021) during cyclone Tauktae.

In direct response, ONGC hired Norwegian certification agency DNV, which on November 29 (2021) sent out a confidential questionnaire to all ONGC employees "to assess the present level of safety culture at your (ONGC) workplace" and "bring about a paradigm shift in safety culture."