Using FLIR to detect leaks in the Eagle Ford

FLIR Pic for detecting gas leaks

We use this Forward Looking Infrared Camera (FLIR) in the field to detect leaks at our facilities.  So far we have one guy that goes to our field sites and looks over pipes, separators and tanks.  A large percentage of our leaks are small and very fixable items, so our field tech, who was a very experienced lease operator, can make those repairs.  I don’t know of how many other operating companies do this, but my guess is very few.  I haven’t seen it done by other operators yet, but it should become a very common practice.

Our next step is to get a drone mounted FLIR camera so we can take much more wide spread shots.

FLIR leak detected

SEMS II Webinar – Bureau Veritas, Wood Group

BVC_Wood Group – COS SEMS II Webinar Presentation – 21 April 2014


I was going through one of my flash drives and found this webinar that I co-created and delivered back in 2014.  Given the current climate for Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) I thought some people could use this today.

I don’t think this was the final copy, BV has that and I can’t find it on their website anywhere.  So, I thought I would use mine and see if it can help explain to some of those new safety guys out there a bit more about SEMS and SEMS II.

It’s really quite simple, but so many make it hard when it doesn’t need to be.  Here is the key to understanding the basics of SEMS and SEMS II.

  1. You must have a written SEMS plan
  2. It must be known by your employees (they need to know where to find it)
  3. You will be audited (both in the field and in the office)
  4. You will be held accountable against what YOUR plan states

It’s that easy.  If you say you have a way of doing things, then do it.  I’ve come across so many companies that have a written plan that state they do something this particular way, then they do it another way.  That’s when the auditors will ding you.  As your program grows, the auditors will hold you to a higher standard.

Go to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 30 part 250 and you will find what you MUST have as a minimum in your plan.  Then, you can build from there.  I’ve built a few SEMS plans for various companies, it isn’t hard, but does require thought and top management commitment, which is sometimes hard to come by with smaller companies.

Anyway, enjoy the presentation.  If I can find my copy with my notes, I’ll include it.  If you need any help with SEMS, let me know.  I am SEMS lead-auditor trained and have been involved with this for many years.

Good Luck!

A Cost Point for Safety – Brant Butler

I just completed a research paper for my Masters class, Occupational Safety, titled “A Cost Point for Safety”.  My intent was to show how oil companies make safety concessions once the price of oil drops, which is what I am dealing with now.  In just 6 months the price of oil has rapidly declined, along with the number of personnel being laid off or let go.  I have had numerous talks with several different well-known oil companies and many have discussed the fact that some sr personnel have been let go, maintenance efforts have stopped and will only resume if BSEE fines them or is about to, training budgets have been slashed and I’ve heard that old familiar slogan more in the past few months than I have in the past 2 years, “Production is KING!”

However, once I began thinking about this in depth, I came to a realization that most of us are no different than the big oil companies.  How many of you have not walked across the garage to get your safety glasses because you already had the grinder in your hand?  How many of you used a chair or box to stand on when changing a light bulb instead of grabbing a ladder?  How many of you sped up when the light turned yellow?  In each case an accident could have happened and the time taken to do the job properly would have been minimal.

We have our own “cost point for safety”.  Where the oil company might be looking at dollars per barrel of oil, we usually look at time.  It might take an extra 10 seconds to grab your safety glasses, but we went on and did the grinding anyway.

What is your cost point for being safe?

Safety at it’s finest

Do you want to know one of the reasons why I like the HSE profession so much?  It doesn’t take a genius to be a “safety guy”.  I’ve found that “common sense” isn’t that common and anyone with a little bit of it can be a very good safety guy.  On the job, I’ve seen things that are just about as crazy as these knuckleheads below.  Then when they get hurt it affects the entire company!

Do you got me?
Do you got me?

Outstanding Safety Manager – My old student – Ronnie Stelly

Here is a guy that I’m quite proud of.  Many years ago he was needing just a bit of guidance and the company we were working at wasn’t willing to give it.  Many companies these days simply don’t invest in their employees anymore.  While working offshore I had over 25 guys ask for help and guidance into becoming a “safety man”.  Of those 25, 4 actually made the cut.  Of those 4, 2 are now full-time safety guys and one has even gone as far as to get his Certified Occupational Safety Specialist (COSS), and it’s this guy pictured below.  He’s the one that set a series of goals for himself and get this, HE DID THEM!  That’s the key!  You have to break out of your comfort zone to grow and that’s exactly what Ronnie did.  Right now he’s THE Safety Man and has been for several months on a job in Virginia for Mammoet and Flour.  I think instead of calling him the safety man, he’s worked his was up to the title of HSE Professional, great job Ronnie!

Ronnie Stelly - HSE Professional
Ronnie Stelly – HSE Professional