Week 30 in Review: Aviation flying high, fighting flaring, beating the heat and more
“Although the Aramco Aviation Department is privately operated by the company, it benchmarks itself against other industry segments, including chartered aviation companies, of which just 5% have achieved this ARGUS Platinum status.”
Here are some of the top headlines over the past week.
Aramco’s Aviation Department has scooped a prestigious ARGUS award that places it as one of the world’s top aviation operations.
The ARGUS Platinum Award is the highest level award that can be achieved within the ARGUS system.
To achieve the platinum level, an aviation operator must demonstrate adherence to the highest levels of effective policies and procedures that govern and control its flight operations, along with maintaining an exceptional safety record. This is no different than any other company operation and is consistent with the company’s commitment to excellence, according to Khalid H. Al Natour, manager of the Aviation Department.
“Although the Aramco Aviation Department is privately operated by the company, it benchmarks itself against other industry segments, including chartered aviation companies, of which just 5% have achieved this ARGUS Platinum status,” said Al Natour.
Spectacular achievements result when we combine our innovative thinking with Aramco’s decades of maintenance experience.
Pioneering work from the team at the ‘Uthmaniyah Gas Plant has avoided the need to flare approximately 600 million standard cubic feet (MMscf) of gas during the final maintenance process for a natural gas liquids (NGL) train. During the final testing and inspection (T&I) of an NGL train, gas is customarily flared at its start-up to dry out the infrastructure.
Instead of flaring the gas, ‘Uthmaniyah added piping modifications and valves to an ethane train, allowing most of the gas to be recovered instead of flared. This approach was unprecedented for this type of natural gas processing process, and required expert evaluation and analysis before implementation.
When the air temperature is close to or higher than normal core body temperature, cooling of the body becomes more difficult. If the body’s temperature deviates from normal (37 °C), even by a few degrees, vital organs can be damaged.
In addition to heat illnesses, there are other safety hazards common to hot environments. Heat tends to promote unsafe acts due to slippery and sweaty palms, dizziness or the fogging of safety glasses.
Working in hot environments can lower mental alertness and physical performance, which may cause workers to overlook basic safety procedures or to divert their attention from hazardous tasks.
As with any hazard, primary prevention measures include engineering controls first (e.g., shaded areas and ventilation that make the work environment cooler); administrative practices second (e.g., scheduling work/rest cycles and ensuring the availability of drinking water); and personal protective measures as a last resort (e.g., ensuring availability of cooling vests).
Supervisors should monitor and communicate current heat stress dangers, and implement a heat management plan that includes three key factors: water, rest, and shade.
Employees should be trained to recognize heat illness in themselves and others. There should also be regular safety meetings emphasizing heat stress hazards and precautions.
It takes coordination to decarbonize.
Aramco’s Upstream business line recently brought together more than 85 professionals to align efforts in line with the company’s ambition to achieve net zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its wholly owned operated assets by 2050.
The gathering, which was broadcast virtually to maximize participation, provided subject matter experts a platform to discuss decarbonization initiatives, share knowledge, best practices, challenges, and lessons learned from across organizations.
“Our Upstream professionals possess the technical skills, knowledge, and expertise to drive change and reduce Aramco’s environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Upstream Business Support Department (UBSD) manager Yousif M. Tahan.
Environmental Protection (EP) recently hosted the first virtual quarterly Well-Being Coordinator Workshop. The workshop, part of Aramco’s Contractor Well-Being Program (CWP), is focuses on the company’s new contractor well-being requirements found in the Aramco Environmental Health Code.
The virtual event was attended by over 170 trained well-being coordinators across the company. These workshops are planned to be conducted quarterly for knowledge sharing and skill enhancements.
Targeting the contractor workforce themselves, EP has worked closely with the trained coordinators to roll-out the on-site workshops directly to contractor employees in several areas. Most recently, EP has continued its partnership with Project Management to sponsor events in Haradh and Ras al-Khair.