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Statoil uses Synergi Life for risk management

Operating in some 40 countries, Norwegian oil company Statoil has ambitious goals for further worldwide growth. Synergi Life is the group's risk management system wherever it goes, regardless of geography and language.

International orientation

Statoil has always had an international orientation, but the character of its operations has been changing. Much respected for its deepwater drilling expertise, the group has primarily been a partner to other operators when it is outside the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Over the last few years, however, it has been acquiring operatorships in various countries, including the US Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and Canada. The overall quality, health, safety and environmental (QHSE) strategy thereby becomes Statoil’s responsibility and allows it to explore some new challenges.

“We’ve been a big Synergi Life user since the beginning, and we get a lot of good output,” says Arne M. Martinsen in Statoil. “Continuous improvement of this user-friendly tool is vital for a successful roll-out into new areas.” He knows what he is talking about. Involved in exploration and production since the 1980s, Mr Martinsen now heads the department for analysis, monitoring and support in the group’s International Exploration & Production business area, and Synergi Life is part of his everyday life. 

“We have no exceptions in Statoil – everyone uses Synergi Life in every country,” Mr Martinsen explains. “If they don’t have PCs, we must accept that they need to use paper forms. And if they can’t read and write, we’ll have to solve that as well.” “That’s because a key criterion for success in the HSE area is a country manager who’s dedicated to HSE work and who realizes the importance of good quality reports,” he says. “One particular enthusiast in Iran has now been nominated for our internal HSE prize.”

Quality of data

Since Statoil has used Synergi Life for such a long time, it works hard on the quality of the data being entered because of the significance for further analysis.

One of the group’s base values is to be open. Where Synergi Life is concerned, this means that even the chief executive has access to every single case entered in the system and can look into the details if he feels the need to do so.

“We’re generating statistics on a monthly basis and checking the validity of the input beforehand,” Mr Martinsen says. “A group of people with the relevant operational background open each case and, in an unaggressive way, send an email proposing some adjustments to the people who haven’t got it right. That works.”

He adds that simply reporting near-misses and accidents is not good enough either. “If we notice that the reporting culture somewhere fails to accord with internal or external expectations, we initially have to provide support for a cultural improvement. But we also follow up the progress being made through regular verifications.”

Managing and understanding risk

To manage risk is to understand risk. That is what Synergi Life, risk management software, helps Statoil do. Working in so many different cultures makes it essential to comprehend the different contexts that may be involved in a single drilling operation.

Mr Martinsen talks about a more unusual risk example, very different from those experienced in the North Sea. Fishermen in small fishing boats use production platforms in the Persian Gulf as a good spot to fish and secure protection in bad weather, entirely unaware of the risk when cooking their food over open flames.

Synergi Life has been and will remain a useful tool in Statoil for managing risk. However, different cultures, practices and environments constantly present new challenges, which call for constant evolution and improvement for a tool originally designed for use on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Top reason why we chose Synergi Life:

  • Continuous improvement of this user-friendly tool is vital for a successful roll-out into new areas

This is what we gained:

  • A lot of good output
  • To manage risk is to understand risk. That is what Synergi Life helps Statoil do

STATOIL IN BRIEF

Statoil is a Norwegian-based international energy company with operations in 40 countries. Building on more than 35 years of experience of oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf, the group is committed to accommodating the world’s energy needs in a responsible manner, applying technology and creating innovative business solutions. It has 29,000 employees worldwide.