Occupational health and safety

Gazprom Neft operations, by their very nature, involve hazardous production processes. The operation of complex equipment, with production processes often involving high pressure and high temperatures, necessitates the use of particular techniques and technologies to ensure workplace safety.

Gazprom Neft is taking systematic measures in the sphere of HSE, and has developed a transparent, straightforward and practicable system of rules. The company acknowledges the right of its employees and contractors to stop performing or refuse to perform any operation that could cause harm to people's health or the environment.

LTIFThe Lost Time Injury Frequency is calculated as the number of lost time injuries (including fatalities) in the workplace / total hours worked × one million man-hours.
(Gazprom Neft Group employees)
LTIF (Gazprom Neft Group employees)
FARThe Fatal Accident Rate is calculated as the number of fatalities / total hours worked by all employees × 100 million man-hours.
(Gazprom Neft Group employees)

Changes in Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) and Fatal Accident Rate (FAR)In addition to Gazprom Neft assets in Russia, the injury rate is also calculated for joint ventures whose operations are managed by Gazprom Neft, as well as Gazprom Neft assets overseas (in Serbia, Iraq, Italy, Eastern Europe and Central Asia).

The company also took systematic measures to mitigate risks, which led to a significant decrease in the injury rate, despite large-scale construction projects being launched in 2019 and an increase in the scope of work done by contractors. In 2019, the LTIF (Lost Time Injury Frequency) rate decreased by 21.3% year on year.

This reflects the effectiveness of measures aimed at systematically building barriers to reduce the likelihood of accidents, ensuring that employees report unsafe actions and conditions at facilities more often, proactively addressing the lower levels of the injury pyramid across the company, and developing a culture of safety.

We are profoundly saddened by two casualties involving Gazprom Neft employees in 2019. In one instance, there was a road accident, and in the other, an employee fell from a height. In addition, despite the measures taken by Gazprom Neft, there were nine casualties involving the employees of contractors and about which we are also deeply sad.

Such events are unacceptable, and Gazprom Neft makes every effort to prevent them. If an accident happens at Gazprom Neft facilities, the company initiates an investigation, and implements action plans to minimise the risk of such accident happening again. The company takes preventive measures at all its assets in accordance with the relevant plans.

Injuries

Gazprom Neft Group employees
Contractor employees

Description of an accident involving a contractor

At about two o'clock in the morning, a drilling crew needed to open the access doors to the rig's winch unit in order to lift drilling equipment up to the rig floor. Since the prefabricated pneumatic cylinders designed to facilitate that process had been dismantled, the crew had to open one of the access doors manually. In order to open the jammed access door, one contractor employee tried to force it – losing his balance and falling from a height of more than nine metres once it opened. Employee sadly died on the spot from the injuries he sustained.

Measures taken to prevent similar accidents
  • Independent technical experts inspected work sites to find out if any structural changes had been made to drilling rigs at the facilities operated by Gazprom Neft subsidiaries in the Upstream Division, and complied a register of irregularities and structural changes. The company took measures to address the irregularities.
  • The company developed standard flowcharts reflecting hazard signage at drilling rigs, including sound alarm systems and/or warning lights, and prepared recommendations for their placement. It also added hazard signage requirements to checklists for drilling rig commissioning.
  • Training programmes on unsafe actions and conditions were tailored to the relevant types of drilling and well-intervention operations. The company improved the modules to include practical training sessions on detecting hazards at drilling and well-intervention facilities.
  • The company is putting in place a programme of measures to put in place barriers as part of the Safety Framework for working at heights, including providing safety harnesses, installing guard rails in areas where there is a difference in elevation, and using warning signs for the relevant hazards across all subsidiaries.

Contractor management

The company is taking action to involve contractors in its HSE initiatives. All contracts include requirements for compliance with the codes and rules applicable in the regions in which the company operates, as well as with corporate HSE requirements. Before signing agreements on major technical operations, the company assesses the technical condition of equipment, personnel qualifications, and HSE management systems implemented at contractors’ facilities.

Gazprom Neft holds joint meetings which aim to develop the best solutions to improve workplace safety.

In the course of operations, the company is continuously monitoring compliance with safety requirements, and the safety performance of contractors. If anomalies are identified, Gazprom Neft takes steps to address them in cooperation with contractors.

The company continues to implement the Safe Production Project designed to improve workplace safety, working conditions and amenities for the employees of contractors.

The objective of the project is to identify 'drivers' of changes in HSE performance, namely the prerequisites for creating a 'perfect production site', promoting safe behaviour and partnership.

Safety Day in the Upstream Division

The Upstream Division held one of its regular Safety Days that was attended by Gazprom Neft top managers and included all subsidiaries in the Upstream Division.

Executives from the Corporate Centre, subsidiaries and contractor organisations held an open dialogue with employees to discuss the requirements of the Safety Framework and to review example cases.

Over 8,000 employees from Gazprom Neft subsidiaries and contractor organisations took part in mini training sessions and interactive exercises. In addition to lectures, the company executives conducted behavioural safety audits at upstream assets and rewarded employees who take proactive steps to detect unsafe actions and conditions that could lead to accidents. Safety Day participants also discussed their ideas and proposals for improving workplace safety with the executives.

Safety culture

Leadership, responsibility and continuous development are all essential to improving the safety culture in Gazprom Neft.

In order to develop the safety culture, the company has built a training system that complies with Russian legislation, Gazprom Neft corporate standards and best practices. The Gazprom Neft Corporate University has a dedicated HSE department, where training is provided by both external experts and in-house coaches.

Corporate training programmes cover not only Gazprom Neft employees, but also those employed by contractor organisations.

Gazprom Neft recognises the crucial role that employees play in maintaining a safe working environment. Accordingly, it places a particular emphasis on its internal communications. Every year, the company holds Safety Days, and Gazprom Neft top managers take part in them. During these events, Gazprom Neft employees and contractors express their opinions on workplace hazards. This enables the company to receive high-quality feedback, and promptly address any issues arising in the workplace.

First SPE Workshop on Health, Safety and Environment in Russia

In 2019, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) held its first Workshop on Health, Safety and Environment in Russia. This event was held in Moscow, with support from Gazprom Neft.

More than 80 specialists from leading oil, service and mining companies attended the conference, including those Gazprom Neft, Zarubezhneft, LUKOIL, Rosneft, Sakhalin Energy, Baker Hughes, Halliburton, OMV, Salym Petroleum, Schlumberger, Shell and others.

Using IT solutions in HSE

To make substantive progress in the sphere of HSE, it is vital to introduce information and digital technologies.

The digital element plays an important role in managing the Gazprom Neft corporate HSE system. The company is putting a number of projects in place to introduce digital methods for performance review and HSE risk management.

In order to assess the effectiveness of HSE measures, the company is creating a new information system for analysing the status of HSE barriers put in place at company facilities. Gazprom Neft plans to put this system into operation in the first quarter of 2020. The system is based on an HSE platform, which consolidates information from existing sources. This platform will enable executives at different levels—from a shopfloor manager to a director in the Corporate Centre or the head of a subsidiary—to assess the condition of safety barriers, from an individual production site to a subsidiary or the Corporate Centre level, and make decisions taking into account HSE focus areas.

Production processes need to be digitalised for the HSE platform to operate. Production facilities are the principal source of data for analysis. The company is implementing digitalisation programmes to introduce information technologies across the board and actively engage end users in the process.

For example, the design of a platform for collecting information from employees at Gazprom Neft facilities about unsafe actions and conditions means that the company can promptly report such actions and conditions to the relevant executives in order to take corrective measures. Process automation not only reduces response time, but also prevents the risk of loss of sensitive information. The platform accumulates large volumes of data collected on site. By analysing this raw data, the company is able to identify areas of concern in order to make consistent workplace safety improvements.

Gazprom Neft continues to research how it can apply advanced digital technologies in the sphere of HSE.

The company is conducting large-scale tests to assess the potential for using video analytics and wearable technologies to monitor workplace safety. This includes digital monitoring of the use of personal protective equipment by employees, their health status, and the presence of people in high-risk areas; detecting falls/instances of panic among employees; monitoring compliance with operating procedures, including during cargo handling; air pollution monitoring using multi-spectral machine vision and so forth. This information helps to identify risks promptly and so prevent accidents.

Another focus of IT research is on migrating HSE and emergency behaviour training to a virtual reality environment, and on automating the monitoring of the effectiveness of training.

Transport safety

Gazprom Neft's business includes a large-scale transportation section. The company places a particular emphasis on preventing risks related to road accidents.

Road transport safety

As part of its road traffic safety management system, the company has developed and is introducing a Vehicle Tracking System (VTS).

As part of this initiative, Gazprom Neft is equipping its own vehicles and those of its contractors that are in a high-risk group (used for transporting people, hazardous cargo and so on) with special monitoring systems that can identify drivers, record conditions and factors that have an impact on road traffic safety, and provide feedback to drivers.

The company uses this system to monitor, on a weekly basis, factors relevant to safe driving, including drivers exceeding speed limits, sudden acceleration or braking, driving hours and rest times. It does this using a traffic light system (with red indicating drivers in the high-risk group, amber indicating a medium risk level, and green indicating a low risk level). The system also generates monthly reports on traffic safety performance.

In the future, new data will be added in the VTS, including information received using machine vision technologyMachine vision is computer processing of video information received from surveillance cameras. This technology enables automation of certain aspects of production, including monitoring the number, quality and locations of objects..

Air transport safety

The company is implementing a long-term strategy for contracting air transport services. As part of this strategy, Gazprom Neft has made the following key changes:

  • The company has stopped using Mi-8T helicopters because of their thrust deficit and has switched to more advanced Mi-8MTV helicopters;
  • Crews have been provided with additional training, using a mobile full-flight helicopter simulator;
  • Air transportation has been centralised, and all Gazprom Neft contractors have shifted from contracts arranged directly with airlines to agency arrangements.

Safety at sea

Gazprom Neft has developed and introduced a Marine Operations Safety Management System. This system is designed to reduce the probability of incidents at sea that could cause damage to people's lives and health, the environment, the company’s reputation and its property.

The system is based on the requirements of over 100 international rules, resolutions, federal laws, and industry HSE recommendations for sea transport.

The new system is integrated into the company process model as part of Marine Operations Safety Management processes. To support its operation, Gazprom Neft has created a competency centre—the Maritime Safety Service—and has appointed employees who are responsible for this in the relevant subsidiaries.