Tag Archives: HM Government

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Press release: GNPC Operating Services Company (“GOSCO”) and Lloyd’s Register to deliver services to Ghana

Lloyd’s Register has signed an agreement with GOSCO, to form a joint venture dedicated to providing well project management, well engineering and associated site survey, geotechnical and rig inspection services, in the territorial waters of the Republic of Ghana.

The aim of the joint venture company, known as ‘Lloyd’s Register Wells Ghana Limited’, is to make available world-class engineering and operations, risk management and performance solutions to support operators deliver safe, cost-effective and compliant E&P activity.

Matt Rothnie, Vice-President for the Wells business at Lloyd’s Register, says: “We have joined forces with GOSCO to set up this joint venture as a response to growing industry interest in Ghana’s oil and gas potential along with the requirement to build capability in the Ghanaian E&P sector. This move is another example of Lloyd’s Register’s strategy to work in partnership with local oil and gas players to benefit from their local experience whilst providing the benefit of Lloyd’s Register’s global knowledge and technical expertise.” The new joint venture will be an indigenous Ghanaian company and based in Accra.

The potential impact of new discoveries on the Ghanaian economy has led to phenomenal interest in Ghana’s petroleum sector both locally and internationally. Amidst the excitement, the key development objective of the government of Ghana remains focused on the growth of the economy to accelerate development and industrialization; the oil and gas industry is proven to contribute significantly to strong growth in producing countries.

However, the discovery of oil in commercial quantities poses a number of challenges that must be addressed. Key of which is the need to establish a robust regulatory framework and institutional capacity in key areas of governance for effective management and oversight of the sector. This is because prudent management and policing of the sector has a significant impact on socio-economic development.

Rothnie highlights: “We believe this joint venture will create good long-term opportunities for Ghana’s E&P industry as we look to collectively achieve the highest levels of safety and performance providing the very latest ‘know-how’ and application of technology for well operations.”

Michael Amoah, CFO of GOSCO says: “We are very pleased to have formed our joint venture with Lloyds Register; we see real opportunities in key aspects of the upstream value chain for joint ventures which bring together the operational experience of Ghanaian companies with the niche high quality skills of an international partner.”

Scottish Development International, the Scottish government’s international arm, helped Lloyd’s Register in the joint venture development.

Gary Soper, Africa Regional Manager for Scottish Development International says: “Working from our West Africa hub in Accra, Ghana, we are well placed to introduce West African companies to Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain to access collaborative opportunities in the region. We are very pleased to see Lloyd’s Register forge this relationship with GOSCO in Ghana and help to develop their plans for current and future African oil and gas fields. Lloyd’s Register has a long tradition and experience in resolving and sharing solutions to complex commercial situations that can only help to bring benefits to the emerging oil and gas markets across the continent, especially at this critical time of low oil prices and the need for quality, independent cost-effective safety and performance solutions.

About Lloyd’s Register

Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global engineering, technical and business services organisation wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering. Founded in 1760 as a marine classification society, LR now operates across many industry sectors, with over 9000 employees in 78 countries.

Lloyd’s Register has a long-standing reputation for integrity, impartiality and technical excellence. Its compliance, risk and technical consultancy services give clients confidence that their assets and businesses are safe, sustainable and dependable. Through its global technology centres and research network, Lloyd’s Register is at the forefront of understanding the application of new science and technology to future-proof its clients’ businesses.

About GOSCO

GOSCO (www.gosco.com.gh) is an independent Ghanaian E&P services company. We provide services to participants engaged in oil and gas exploration, development and production activities (located onshore and offshore Ghana), including acting as operator in relation to such activities. A key tenet of GOSCO’s business strategy involves partnership arrangements with key international upstream service providers to provide services in areas that local capacity may be lacking within Ghana. These services may include but are not limited to: Seismic Acquisition, Sub-Surface Data Analysis and Interpretation, Drilling, Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Vessels, Environment, Health and Safety.

About Scottish Development International

Scottish Development International (SDI) works to attract inward investment and knowledge to Scotland to help the economy grow. It also helps Scottish based companies to trade overseas and promotes Scotland as a good place to live, work and do business. It is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and its work is guided by the Scottish Government’s strategy for economic development in Scotland.

Jason Knights Global Communications Manager Lloyd’s Register Energy

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7423 1741

Mobile: +44 (0)78 2728 2569

Email: jason.knights@lr.org

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jknights

Lloyd’s Register 71 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4BS, UK

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7709 9166

Email: news@lr.org

http://www.Ir.org

Lloyd’s Register and variants of it are trading names of Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, its subsidiaries and affiliates.

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News story: Public and crown servants can now join the GSE profession

The profession recognises the contribution made by those in public sector organisations.

In his recent blog post, Sir Mark Walport, Head of Profession, says that the board recognises the “valuable contribution made by scientists and engineers working in government arms-length bodies and public research establishments across the country”. He highlights that crown and public servants, “help us to source the best possible advice and evidence to support government decision making”.

Find out more about the GSE Profession board.

Read Sir Mark’s blogpost on welcoming crown and public servants to the GSE profession.

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News story: Online analytical tool launched to aid invertebrate conservation

Natural England and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have launched a new online database and analytical tool called Pantheon, which helps us better understand conservation status and habitat-related traits of invertebrates.

From the weevils perched on the leaves of our trees to worms burrowed deep in the earth beneath our feet, invertebrates play a crucial role to improve the ecology of our natural environment.

James Cross, Chief Executive at Natural England said:

Pantheon is a fantastic example of how we are pushing the boundaries of science and IT to benefit invertebrate conservation. Researchers, ecologists and land managers will have access to a wealth of data.

This database will play an important role in identifying trends to better protect our natural environment.

Pantheon was developed to assist invertebrate nature conservation in England. Users import lists of invertebrates into the database, which then analyses the species, attaching associated habitats, resources and conservation status against them.

This information can then be used to assign quality to sites, assist in management decisions and prompt further other ecological study. This database will help site managers, researchers, ecological consultants and is also available to the public.

With contributions from Buglife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, this project brings together 10 years’ worth of work by Natural England’s scientists to make it easier than ever to understand the importance of invertebrates in England.

Pantheon can tell users which species are typical of woodland canopies, dead wood and shaded woodland ground layers. It can identify how many species from a selected site are using flower-rich habitat and which specific flowers they need. In the future, Pantheon will also help users understand the impact of climate change on species communities in the wider countryside and protected places, such as National Parks.

Dr Hannah Dean, database and informatics specialist at the CEH, said:

CEH is working to develop innovative, world-class outputs that advance scientific knowledge and understanding. Pantheon combines an extensive online database with a set of analytical tools. Together these deliver vital information on invertebrate species and their habitats, enabling evidence-based decisions that support the conservation of natural resources.

Explore the Pantheon database, which is free to use.

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News story: Report 07/2017: Track workers class investigation

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has investigated a number of accidents involving track workers on Network Rail’s infrastructure and has identified track worker safety as an area of particular concern in recent annual reports. This report describes the RAIB’s investigation into the safety of track workers working outside possessions of the line (ie those cases in which the normal running of trains has not been blocked to allow engineering work to be carried out). It follows the publication in 2015 of the RAIB’s report into irregularities with protection arrangements during infrastructure engineering work.

Five recommendations have been made to Network Rail. These cover

The last fatality as a result of a track worker being struck by a train occurred in 2014; there have been six such fatalities over the last ten years. However, in our recent annual reports the RAIB has expressed a concern about the number and severity of serious ‘near miss’ incidents, some of which have included the potential to result in multiple fatalities. By way of example, during 2015 we identified 71 incidents in which track workers working outside a possession on Network Rail infrastructure were at risk of being struck by moving trains.

I have detected a real determination in the railway industry to address this issue, and recognise the significant number of initiatives with the potential to reduce the risk to track workers, including the use of technology to provide improved protection from trains. Another such initiative is Network Rail’s Planning and Delivering Safe Work (PDSW) programme, which is intended to ensure that every task is correctly planned, and implemented by a specially selected and trained individual, designated the ‘Safe Work Leader’ (SWL), who has been involved in the planning of the work. Although the implementation of the PDSW programme has been seriously delayed, I hope that in time it will bring further improvements to the management of track worker safety.

We undertook this class investigation because we felt that we could add some useful learning to the strategies being adopted in the industry, by analysing a sample of near miss incidents to identify recurrent causal factors.

Our analysis has shown that, in more than half of the incidents, circumstances on site had changed from those envisaged by the pre-planned safe system of work. We also point out that even the best of plans cannot predefine every detail of the system of work that is to be implemented on site. This is particularly true of red zone working where safety is dependent on the correct assessment of the required sighting. Consequently, we are recommending that the industry should consider the extent to which those with safety leadership responsibilities are able to recognise and respond appropriately to the circumstances they find on site and any subsequent changes. The RAIB has concluded that the safety of track workers is best achieved by a combination of good pre-planning and the local management of risk by the person responsible for safety on site.

Our analysis has also found that the behaviour and attitudes of track workers, including those with responsibilities for leading safety, are major factors in the causation of incidents. Given that behavioural and cultural issues can lead to breakdowns in site discipline or loss of vigilance, the RAIB considers that the industry should reinvigorate the training it provides to track workers in the ‘non-technical skills’ needed to work safely on the railway (ie generic skills such as the ability to take information, focus on the task, make effective decisions, and communicate clearly with others).

For me, the most striking finding of our investigation is the absence of normalised data to allow a direct comparison of incident rates for different safe systems of work. Since I believe that the first step in the management of safety is always to understand the risk, I think it is vital that Network Rail and its contractors find ways of collecting reliable data that allows these comparisons to be made (such as incidents per thousand hours worked). With this objective in mind, we have made a recommendation to Network Rail to address this gap in its understanding. I hope that the resultant normalised data will support the move towards a more risk based approach to track worker safety.

I am sometimes asked for my view on whether it is still appropriate for workers to be solely reliant on warnings of approaching trains provided by one or more lookouts – ‘red zone working’. The evidence we have collected over the last 11 years suggests that the industry needs to continue looking for reliable systems of work that separate people from trains whenever practicable. Although supportive of the industry’s intention to minimise the extent of red zone working, I am concerned that the industry needs also to carefully analyse the risk implications of extending the number of temporary blockages of the line, which are vulnerable to errors made by signallers as well as by those leading work on the track. I am encouraged that the industry is continuing to research and develop systems and processes designed to reduce the chance of a human error (whether by track worker, lookout or signaller) leading to an accident.

I believe that, informed by this class investigation, now would be a good time for the industry to review and debate the steps needed to maintain recent improvements in track worker safety, while also reducing the number of near miss incidents. This debate needs to encompass ways of improving planning, how and when to apply different methods of protection, the potential benefits of new technology and how to better equip safety leaders on site to adapt to circumstances not covered by the plan.

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News story: Women in Business event at the British Ambassador’s residence

The British Ambassador Mr Jon Wilks, alongside British Entrepreneur Rekha Mehr MBE and Omani Businesswoman Malak Al Shaibani, hosted a Women in Business Afternoon Tea at the Ambassador’s Residence.

Over the past four decades, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has encouraged the women of Oman to work side by side with men and pursue their careers, ensuring they have the same rights to education and employment.

Following on from the previous women in business event hosted by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall last November, this event aims to recognize women in business in Oman, and highlight their contributions towards the nation. H.E. Jon Wilks said ‘On behalf of the British Embassy in Muscat, I am delighted to celebrate the contribution of Omani women to the success of the modern development of Oman in accordance with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’ vision. Our guests are inspiring in what they have achieved for the Sultanate. We invited Rekha Mehr who was awarded an honour by Her Majesty the Queen for services to enterprise and entrepreneurship, to be guest speaker so that she could share with our guests her passion for business, specifically ideas for building a support infrastructure for early stage businesses to grow and thrive.’

Rekha is a British Entrepreneur and founder of Pistachio Rose London and Monrekha Academy. She was appointed as the first Startup Entrepreneur in Residence for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy where she works to inform policy and better shape the business support landscape. Rekha said ‘Successful entrepreneurial ecosystems are built upon the foundations of strong communities. I am looking forward to meeting the local ladies who are the driving force behind supporting Omani Women in Business and sharing our stories.’

The National Business Center (NBC ) provides office facilities as well as value added services to Omani entrepreneurs and has more than 40 startups operating in safety services, interior design, oil and gas services and media. The NBC has also initiated a program to recognize and support business women in Oman.

Mrs. Malak Al Shaibani, the Director General of the NBC who has worked closely with the Embassy to organize this series of events says that NBC is delighted to support and be part of these initiatives. She said ‘It gives us an opportunity to interact with successful local business women and professionals, and also the opportunity to meet Rekha and learn more about her experience as an entrepreneur. Her knowledge and skills of working to improve the ecosystem is extremely valuable to us as a business incubator.’

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