According to a leaked internal report in 2015, the refining operations of British Petroleum are exposed to heightened safety risks that can either result into pollution or fatalities because of slack data management and lack of investment on the right tools. The report was co-authored by BP, IBM and industry consultant Worley Parsons.
The reports revealed that the British company’s refining and petrochemical business is lagging behind rivals that include Royal Dutch Shell by up to 7 years when it comes to the management of information to minimize safety risks and financial losses. The root cause or rather the contributing factor in almost 15% of 500 high risk incidents is the inadequacy in management and use of engineering information. BP’s comments to the leaked information said that the refining company has commitment to safety, reliability and compliant operations.
With its commitments in mind, BP has regularly conducted internal assessments to make sure of improvements in its operations. To say that BP is wavering from its commitment to safety is wrong According to a company spokesman, the report only focused on how potential enhancements can help manage BP’s engineering data but there was no analysis of any operational incidents.
BP’s safety record came into focus in 2005 because of the blast in the Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. Between 2005 and 2012, BP was fined $84.6 million by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration due to violations of safety rules.
One of the significant incidents in the report occurred in January 2014 at the Whiting, Indiana refinery wherein lost production amounted to $258 million. This was due to deficiencies in the management of engineering information. The lackadaisical attitude that was very apparent in major accidents in the past remains to be reflected in the management of safety information across the operations from rig to refinery.
It is critical for every business to have Data Management capabilities from capture up to the storage of operational data. Data management will ensure unlimited scaling while avoiding data duplication. Data search is enhanced as well as filtering capabilities to quickly provide insight to the business.