From the 2009 chairman IADC taking the lead towards ambitious environmental performance, awareness

Posted on 17 May 2009

From the Chairman

We are now well into 2009. So far, this year has been a bumpy ride. Slump in demand due to decreasing prices and anxiety for the future characterise the current market situation. But, regardless of the global crisis and the changing oil prices, the drilling industry must continuously look ahead for new opportunities because, even though the situation has changed dramatically within the last year, the world still needs energy. It is our job to help provide it.

As I have mentioned before, one of my main priorities as IADC’s 2009 chairman is to seek to raise the association’s environmental performance. The attention towards CO2 emissions and global warming has increased considerably since the beginning of the century, and we now know the consequences of reluctance towards environmental issues. Being part of the oil industry entails a responsibility; hence, demonstrating respect and care towards the environment is one of our main tasks this year and in the years to come.

Even though, at the moment, it seems more appropriate to address current problems such as decline in demand, it is still necessary to think ahead and present a long-term perspective since long-term solutions will make us benefit the most in the end. And even though green solutions for the time being can seem over-ambitious and trivial, it is precisely these efforts that can help us create growth. Our challenge is to work in an environmentally safe and yet economically sustainable way.

Introducing environmental reporting programs with the purpose of improving overall performance within crucial areas, such as waste, oil spills, releases, etc, is a step in the right direction. Still, a lot has to be done. We need to improve our technology even further and develop benchmarking systems in order to set common standards that give us a possibility of measuring performance.

Within the industry, there is a strong focus on safety, and it is our task to ensure that the attention surrounding environmental issues will be as consistent as it is when it comes to safety. In other words, we need to be as good at protecting the environment as we are protecting ourselves. It has taken many years to develop our strong safety culture, but we can now use this knowledge to build and maintain a strong environmental culture.

Safety is precisely a top priority for IADC and an issue for us to brag about. Looking at the latest statistics, LTI numbers are decreasing and the development continues in the right direction. The average LTI frequency rate went from 2.64 in 2007 to 2.35 in 2008, which is a small improvement, but nevertheless a step in the right direction. But for us to obtain zero accidents, we must work even harder.

Although this is an ambitious goal, it is worth striving for, and the way to do it is to remain focused on training to create even more awareness. Awareness is a crucial factor in reaching our goal.

Awareness is also a key factor when it comes to the environment, and that is why IADC has launched several initiatives supporting the improvement of environmental performance within the entire industry. Setting up overall guidelines for collecting environmental data is one, and establishing the Environmental Policy Advisory Panel to advise the Executive Committee regarding environmental initiatives is another.

To underline the importance given to this area, a number of programmes are planned for 2009, starting with the Environmental Conference and Exhibition in Stavanger in May, where the main focus will be drilling with integrity.

Taking the lead, it is our hope to help ensure a sustainable way of doing business and thereby facilitate a strong focus towards the environment. Hopefully, we will be able to help safeguard the environment for future generations.

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