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Industry looks to mobile solutions, alternative transportation methods to reduce water management costs

The general public harbors numerous skewed perceptions about hydraulic fracturing – among them that the fracturing process requires astronomical amounts of fresh water. However, data from a 2015 Duke University study, “Water Footprint of Hydraulic Fracturing,” indicates that fracturing accounts for less than 1% of total industrial water use in the United States. Other methods of energy extraction, such as coal and uranium mining, actually use 2.5 to 13 times more water than hydraulic fracturing, according to the report.

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Safety culture taking root thanks to SEMS

Over the past six years, a quiet transformation has occurred with regard to offshore safety and environmental stewardship. The transformation is in the growth of a culture of safety that is sweeping the Outer Continental Shelf. One of the first major rules published by the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) following its formation on the heels of the Macondo incident was the Workplace Safety Rule, more commonly known as the Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS). This was further refined in a subsequent rule, generally referred to as SEMS II. The underlying purpose of SEMS has been for operators to focus on key elements within their organizations, recognize their strengths and vulnerabilities, and develop procedures to minimize the likelihood of safety and environmental failures.

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On 27 May, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued the results of a comprehensive environmental analysis on potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore California. Based on the analysis in the joint Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA), BSEE and BOEM issued a Finding of No Significant Impact from the use of specific well stimulation treatments in oil and gas activities on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf.

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News Cuttings

The IADC North Sea Chapter (NSC) gathered for its Annual Safety Awards Ceremony on 22 April in Aberdeen. NSC Co-Chairmen Ivor McBean of Diamond Offshore and Gary Holman of Awilco Drilling welcomed a large turnout to the event. Guest speakers were IADC President Jason McFarland and Steve Rae, Vice President QHSE, Archer. “Everyone is aware of the extremely difficult times the industry is facing, and despite the challenges and uncertain future in terms of oil price and activity levels, the industry will continue to focus on the most important aspect of our business – the safety of our personnel,” Mr McBean said.

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Perspectives: Siv Hilde Houmb, Secure-NOK: Fortify cybersecurity to avoid downtime

Growing up on a dairy farm in Norway outside of Lillehammer, Dr Siv Hilde Houmb learned how to ski at an early age and dreamed of competing in the Olympics. When a torn knee ligament sidelined her skiing career in 1993, Dr Houmb initially opted to forge a career in sports science and sports biomechanics. However, during her studies at Telemark University College and the Norwegian University of Sports and Physical Education from 1993-1994, she found herself increasingly fascinated by something entirely different – computers. “A computer is logically built. It is made by people, which means it has a finite defined state that it can work in, so you can learn everything about the computer. You can master it,” Dr Houmb said.

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