Maintaining Operational Integrity

Nexen is committed to conducting operations in a safe manner. One of the tools we use to maintain operational integrity is to apply the principles of process safety management to the day-to-day management of our businesses.

Process safety incidents are unplanned hazardous releases of material or energy that could result in harm to people, the environment or assets. The use of process safety management is intended to help us reduce the frequency and severity of such incidents.

Incident Recording

Nexen’s process for reporting process safety incidents is based on the American Petroleum Institute recommended practice for Process Safety Performance Indicators (API RP 754), and identifies process safety events as:

  • Tier 1 (loss of containment events with greater consequences)
  • Tier 2 (loss of containment events with lesser consequences)
  • Tier 3 (events with little or no actual consequences)

In 2014, there were two Tier 1 process safety events. Both events were hydrochloric acid leaks at the Long Lake facility in Fort McMurray Alberta. These events were reported as required and investigated to determine the root causes and follow-up actions to prevent recurrence.

A Common Language for Change

Risk-based Process Safety Management (PSM) is a systematic framework designed by the Center for Chemical Process Safety that incorporates the experiences and best practices of the chemical and oil and gas processing industries from the last 25 years. The goal of PSM is to reduce the likelihood and severity of incidents involving unplanned or sudden hazardous releases of material or energy from operations.

Nexen developed an implementation plan for PSM integration in 2009, which involves embedding the 20 different PSM elements (below) into our operations. We've made steady progress and are now integrating the final six elements. In 2013, independent assessments of the PSM maturity level of each division were conducted. Action plans were developed to address any gaps identified; the status of these actions is reported to senior management each quarter for their review. As part of the PSM implementation, in 2011 we introduced a new electronic tracking tool – the Electronic Management of Change (eMOC) application, which provides a consistent, common language and central location for electronically capturing changes to established operating equipment at Nexen facilities. Our employees find it accessible, user-friendly and flexible. We completed implementation of eMOC across Nexen’s operations in 2013.