Safe, reliable operations
Safety is our core value. To drive a consistent safety culture across bp, we’ve instituted a harmonized set of principles for the whole of bp.
Our commitment to safety
bp is committed to the safety of our people and the communities where we operate. This requires constant vigilance and dedication.
Our safety leadership principles apply to all — whether we work at the front line, in the office or in the laboratory, and whether we have formal leadership responsibilities or not. They guide our behavior and how we interact with each other, supporting safe work and fostering a culture of care. Anyone, anywhere, can and should stop any job for any reason if they think it is unsafe. This is the most important responsibility our workers have.
bp deploys leading-edge technologies across our operations to help predict safety challenges and prevent incidents from occurring.
Producing and transporting hydrocarbons
Our Remote Collaboration Center in Houston provides round-the-clock support for deepwater well operations in the Gulf of Mexico, ensuring that bp’s offshore teams receive 24/7 assistance from onshore experts.
In addition, we deploy a suite of intuitive computers that use sensory technology to gather data on our well operations and then translate the data into simple, real-time indicators that help rig crews and office-based experts enhance safety and performance.
We also use drones and robotic crawlers to inspect our Gulf of Mexico facilities, reducing potential risk to people.
In fact, drones are a key safety tool across bp. Our US onshore business — bpx energy — inspects equipment using hand-held devices, and a combination of drones and fixed-wing aircraft which can efficiently cover multiple well pads.
Likewise, using drones and other technology to conduct US pipeline inspections has fine-tuned our data collection. The technology enables bp analysts to create and store models of each flight, helping them visualize and monitor for environmental changes that could affect our pipelines over time. It has also delivered safer conditions for our technicians, allowing them to avoid walking hundreds of miles through difficult terrain. Since 2020, the program has grown from five technicians certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to nearly 40. The team expects to complete about 6,200 flights this year — covering thousands of miles of pipelines — and we plan to double that number by 2023.
Our US refineries use drones to monitor elevated structures — rather than have workers climb up temporary scaffolding — while using robotic technology to perform other critical safety inspections.
The bp-Husky Toledo refinery uses a robotic underwater “swimmer” to inspect a boiler feed water tank, and other types of robotic crawlers to perform ultrasonic thickness scans on other equipment. Both technologies have strengthened the quality of our inspections while reducing the risks to our people.
At our Whiting refinery, we use state-of-the art robots to clean tanks which would have previously required multiple cycles of flush material to be used along with hundreds of man-hours spent manually cleaning. The new method removes risk and prepares the tank for maintenance in a much more efficient way.
Our Cherry Point refinery uses phased-array ultrasonic testing technology to check our equipment and piping. This technology sends sound waves to verify structural integrity and provides early detection of corrosion damage.
bp is constantly exploring new methods of monitoring our refinery infrastructure for corrosion, fouling and process upsets. We want all our teams to have the tools necessary to make real-time risk evaluations and take actions to promote safe, optimal performance.
Generating renewable energy
In our wind energy business, every bp-operated wind farm receives round-the-clock support from on-site personnel and/or our Remote Operating Center (ROC) in Houston. Using advanced technology, ROC teams centrally monitor all bp sites while working with colleagues in the field to enhance performance, reliability and safety.
We’re also using drones to complete detailed and one-off intensity management inspections of blades. Drones allow us to take high-resolution images of any blade damage and then schedule the appropriate repairs and maintenance. Their use also reduces risk by eliminating the need for people to access the blade directly.
Lightsource bp uses panels that are constructed to achieve long-term field durability to withstand harsh environmental conditions for 35 years or more. Solar panels are mostly glass, aluminum, silicon (refined sand) and semi-conducting material. By weight, more than 80 percent of a typical solar panel is glass and aluminum – both common and easy-to-recycle materials. The glass is designed and tested to withstand hail and is tempered, like the windshields of cars, and resistant to breakage.
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bp’s safety goals are clear: no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment. That is a huge responsibility – one we do not take lightly.
Our worker training combines rigorous standards, world-class instruction and sophisticated tools to prevent incidents and injuries. This training includes both classroom instruction and hands-on simulation. We replicate scenarios our teams are likely to encounter, as well as potential challenges that, though unlikely, we expect people to be ready to handle.
For example, through our partnership with Maersk Training, bp employees and contractors train on lifelike, state-of-the-art simulators that can replicate nearly every critical job on an offshore drilling rig. This enables our offshore teams to practice scenarios relevant to specific wells and to prepare for a wide range of contingencies.
We also use simulators to train our field workers. These systems allow people to practice different tasks — such as unit startup and shutdown, and pump and valve operations — under both normal and abnormal conditions.
While bp instructs, trains and practices to prevent incidents, we also prepare our teams to respond should one occur. This way, we are prepared to act quickly to minimize the impact of an incident and protect people and the environment.
Even as we have prepared to respond to an incident, we also have worked hard to prevent any need for such a response. Among our many initiatives, we continue to work with industry members to improve standards on the safety and reliability of subsea blowout preventers and other critical equipment.
Our health, safety, environment and carbon (HSE&C) teams consisting of HSE and discipline experts provide help; the safety and operational risk assurance (S&ORA) teams provide assurance to all bp businesses if they have questions about how to do their jobs safely. While frontline workers are most responsible for safe and reliable operations, the HSE&C and S&ORA teams offer additional and valuable layers of assistance and expertise.