Lebanon’s Minister of Energy and Water discusses safety issues with Dr. Elie Daher

Dubai, UAE – December 7, 2013 – At the recently concluded Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit in Beirut, Lebanon, United Safety’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Elie Daher captured the attention of industry key players during his talk about the safety chain and the need for a solid Operational Safety and Integrity management to the industry.

More than 360 delegates attended the summit mainly composed of key stakeholders from the private and public sector including Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water, H.E. Eng. Gebran Bassil.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Levantine Basin, an area of 83,000 square km., which includes waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, holds 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

As Lebanon prepares to move toward exploring and developing its offshore oil and gas resources, Daher emphasized the role of regulators in the safety chain and presented a sample list of what needs to be completed in terms of HSE policies, acts and regulations, learning from past offshore disasters starting from the Ekofisk B Blowout in the North Sea in 1977 to the most recent Macondo – Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the recent changes mandated by the European, British and US regulators.

Daher then presented the view of the Operators and discussed their move to focus on Operational and Integrity Management in order to complement their Safety Management Systems.

“Operational Excellence and Integrity Management continuously and systematically addresses the safety challenges of operations. But its implementation requires organizational leadership that is committed to go beyond the traditional event-based model of improvement toward a long-term change in organizational safety culture,” Daher stated.

He then concluded by compiling some key HSE recommendations to the contractors and service companies wishing to prepare themselves to join successfully this lucrative but stringent industry.

The presentation was discussed with the Minister of Energy and Water H.E. Eng. Gebran Bassil and elaborated on the crucial role of safety companies such as United Safety, to act as an advisor to ensure the regulator, operator and contractors develop, comply and apply properly the policies and guidelines for a safer Oil and Gas exploration offshore Lebanon.

In April this year, Lebanon released the list of 46 companies that prequalified to bid for gas exploration. Also at the summit, the minister announced that the bidding round for the 10 exploration blocks in Lebanon’s portion of the Levant Basin will proceed in January next year.