The Oil and Gas Industry is struggling. How do we promote worker safety in a lean job market?
Times are tough in the oil fields. Jobs are difficult to find and even harder to keep. Hundreds of oil rigs have been shut down. Thousands of workers have been let go, and those left behind are worried about tomorrow. Welcome to the latest economic downturn in the oil and gas industry.
"You could look a man in the eye and lie to him and tell him, 'Oh, we're not going to lay anybody off,'" said Anthony Zacniewski, HSE director at Abilene, TX-based Bandera Drilling. "But people in this industry know what's going on. Most people have been through 2008 and 2009, when oil went from $120 a barrel to $30 a barrel. This is the same thing."
When an industry slumps, two things can happen to occupational safety. It can take a backseat as organizations feverishly try to accomplish more with less. Or it can remain a priority, preventing a bad situation from becoming worse.
Articles & Info
TORONTO -- A request for the U.S. government to suspend its review of the Keystone XL pipeline could delay any decision until the next president takes office — potentially leaving the fate of the controversial project in the hands of a more supportive Republican administration.
TransCanada, the company behind the project, said Monday it had asked the State Department to suspend its review of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, citing uncertainties about the route it would take through Nebraska.
TransCanada officials fear President Barack Obama will reject the project. If the U.S. agrees to the suspension — which is not assured — that would leave the decision in the hands of the next president.
While Democratic candidates, including front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, oppose the project, Republican candidates support it.
Some pipeline opponents contend that TransCanada hopes to delay the review process in case a more sympathetic Republican candidate wins the 2016 presidential election.
The State Department review is mandated as part of the application process because the $8 billion pipeline crosses an international border.
Keystone X'd? TransCanada Asks U.S. to Suspend Application Review
State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said Tuesday that the State Department will continue its review of the project while considering TransCanada's request. She noted that the company has not withdrawn its application to build the pipeline.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that the move to delay the review appeared to be politically motivated.
News Features -
Slumping oil prices have cast a shadow over the U.S. shale oil boom, but fast-growing domestic producers and other shale firms still dominated an annual survey of global energy companies from Platts.
The Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings, which measured 2014 financial performance in a variety of sectors, showed that it was a strong year for U.S. shale players, whose earnings growth outpaced industry heavyweights.
Although corporate growth rates across the board fell slightly, America's top shale players booked significant gains. They recorded a three-year compound growth rate of 56%, up from 46.8% in 2013, according to Platts. Eight of the 10 energy firms with the best growth rates were North American shale or tight oil companies.
In the overall rankings, energy companies in the Americas accounted for 45% of the top 250, increasing their footprint at the expense of rivals in Europe and Asia.
"There is a whole suite of companies that have been brought along by the shale boom," said Robert Perkins, Senior Editor of Platts' EMEA Oil News.
Global oil prices are down more than half compared to levels seen last year. U.S. futures touched a high of around $108 a barrel in July 2014, but swelling crude inventories ignited a swift decline. The flow of shale oil, which brought U.S. production growth to its highest annual rate since 1940, was the primary catalyst.
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