In July 2012 the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) held a two-day summit on human factors to create a common understanding of the strategic challenges for the oil and gas E&P industry, to identify what is known and unknown in the field, and to explore possible actions to accomplish the needed change indicated by the U.S. National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling report.
This Technical Report is based on discussions and conclusions at the summit and is intended to provide guidance on the human factors risks in E&P operations and what can be done to reduce those risks and increase safety.
The challenges industry faces as it tries to move further to an organizational culture in which process safety is as well managed as personal safety is currently managed in the industry is defining what a safety culture is and working on human factors risks that could impact this culture. In civil aviation, a series of major accidents led to the introduction, mandatory requirement and acceptance of human factors methodologies called Crew Resource Management (CRM). Similarly, the nuclear power industry identified and acted upon the concept of its safety culture after a small number of major incidents. The challenge to the E&P industry is to achieve a similar breakthrough by confronting the human factor as an issue in process safety both onshore and offshore.