Process Control & the Fracking Debate
Great attention has been paid to the tremendous shale gas boom occurring in the United States, and rightly so. According to a report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), this year the U.S. will surpass both Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons.
The rapidly changing landscape of worldwide energy production and consumption will impact lives in ways we can barely even imagine today, from national and international geopolitics to the prices at your local grocery store. However, one issue in particular has arisen over the harvesting of natural gas products through the process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
Although this process has existed since the 1940’s, its current iteration has since assumed the responsibility for giving oil & gas firms access to the incredible reserves of previously inaccessible energy. As such, it is one key to the evolution and success of the industry.
However, this significant opportunity does not exist without consequences. The negative impacts of fracking, documented in such films as Gasland 1 and 2 and by organizations like Food & Water Watch, are real and could affect communities all across America. Nevertheless, these risks and, indeed, the risks of any heavy industrial activity are a function of the process/quality control and risk management measures taken by the organization. When proper protocols are followed, documented, and rigorously applied, we drastically lessen the probabilities of accidents, danger, and irreversible damage.
Industry standards, like API Spec Q2, were developed for just this reason. Using rigorous preventative maintenance, document control, risk management, and other key QHSE components can create an organizational culture that emphasizes proactivity and prevention, rather than reaction and crisis management.
Ultimately, taking calculated risks and implementing the proper controls can allow us to reap the benefits of this tremendous economic opportunity while also ensuring the health and safety of our communities.
Let us know on Twitter how your organization navigates risk and opportunity, and contact us directly to see how we can help.
Training for a New Generation
Most of us take it for granted that employee training and education are important components to any successful organization. The history of extraordinarily successful companies is littered with stories of the ways in which organizations cultivate their human capital (Google, Anadarko Petroleum, and American Express are but a few examples).
I wanted to share a brilliant article by Jim L. Smith in Quality Magazine this month that spells many of the key components managers should consider when implementing training programs for employees. One item of note is the potentially inhibiting use of ROTI [return on training investment]: Mr. Smith notes:
“The greatest waste in America is failure to use the abilities of people...Management expects training to pay large dividends immediately. A rule of thumb is that if ROTI is less than 3:1, then training should not be considered unless it’s mandated.”
This may be an erroneous rubric for two reasons. 1) Management is responsible for removing barriers to good, productive work. Management must continually and consistently encourage and reinforce new skills and behaviors. 2) Newly trained employees will demonstrate their new skills over the course of their careers. To put an arbitrary dollar figure on an arbitrary time period is to limit the opportunities of your employees to demonstrate new knowledge and impact your organization in a positive way.
A second notable article was Leonard Vroegindewey’s great blog post about getting Millennials to buy into safety programs. Given the tremendous role Millennials will play in the workforce in the coming years, it is imperative that employers find innovative ways of capitalizing on their inherent desire for interactivity, social connection, and demand for improved workspaces. Importantly, employers must find better ways of integrating technology into training programs. Do you have any suggestions for how this can be done? Follow us on Twitter and let us know!
So, bottom line, what does this mean for your organization?
API Spec Q1/Q2 lay out strict guidelines for planning, implementing, and documenting worker training and work environment. But this is just the beginning. Knowledgeable and empowered employees are more responsible for their work and their environment. As a result, organizations see improvements in morale, attitude, and, most importantly, a reduction in the cost of quality. These employees comprehend and control their processes, which translates to fewer defects, improved customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, improved profitability for your organization.
Contact Accupoint Software today to learn how we can help transform your organization by streamlining your training process.
Q2 and the Competitive Advantage
Our friend Henry Carroll at Dokaan, LLC has some important thoughts on how Q2 can help your organization achieve a competitive advantage:
How can API Spec Q2 standards help your company gain a competitive edge?
The answer is early compliance.
Over the past few months, Accupoint Software has worked with a number of clients to prepare for the implementation of the Spec Q2 standards. These will be the predominant global standards for oil & gas service companies as early as 2016. Although implementation of these standards has been delayed , we have learned that the wheels are, indeed, in motion.
Major oil companies, such as BP, Shell, and Exxon-Mobil have already begun making preparations for the implementation of the Q2 standards. New contracts with these companies require a commitment by service providers to be in compliance by mid-summer 2014. The first step towards compliance with Q2 will require service providers to perform a Spec Q2 GAP analysis of their QMS and then to commit to a timeframe for developing and implementing compliance procedures.
While the API has yet to release the Spec Q2 guidance document, they have already begun taking applications, with the first audits to be conducted in January of 2014.
What does this mean for you?
Once your company is in compliance with the Q2 standards, not only will you be in a position to meet the requirements of the major oil & gas firms, but you will also have an edge over competitors with respect to insurance and pending governmental requirements.
To let us show you how we can help your organization take the next step, contact Dokaan, LLC at: http://www.txbop.com/ or Accupoint at: http://www.accupointsoftware.com
The American Petroleum Institute has begun to accept applications for certification to the new Q2 specification. The first audits are expected to be performed sometime after the new year (2014). This is a game changer for oil & gas service providers.
To learn more, visit our website at www.accupointsoftware.com or call us toll-free 800.563.6250.
January is right around the corner.
Accupoint Software, a global provider of compliance management software solutions, is pleased to announce our association with Dokaan, LLC. Dokaan, a Texas-based compliance consulting firm specializing in well control equipment, has selected Accupoint as a compliance management partner for manufacturers and upstream oilfield service companies.
Founded by Henry Carroll in 2007 and based in the heart of the Permian Basin, Dokaan, LLC works with some of the world’s most advanced exploration and production companies to achieve safer operations and maximize equipment investments.
“As a member company of the American Petroleum Institute and a participant in product and service specifications and standards development I know that the changing regulatory environments would be adding to already complicated compliance issues. Accupoint Software provides user friendly programs that will save time and money. Imagine compliance software organizing information and producing return on investment. Having taken the lead in the latest Q1 revision and Q2 published in 2012 Accupoint is ahead of the game - which is where I want my clients to be.” says Henry Carroll, Owner of Dokaan, LLC.
“Accupoint is extremely pleased to be working with such a progressive and successful organization so dedicated to safety and high performance in the oil & gas industry. With the tremendous impact oil & gas exploration will have on the American economy, it is imperative that companies all along the supply chain use their operational knowledge to create safer, more flexible, and more proactive environments.“ said Jeff Cianciola, CEO of Accupoint. Software.
Founded in 2007, Accupoint Software specializes in flexible, cloud based compliance management solutions for manufacturing and oil & gas focused companies.
For more information, please visit www.txbop.com or www.accupointsoftware.com.