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Published: 6th September 2022

How isolated oil and gas crews benefit from bespoke virtual learning

Learn how Stena Drilling’s bespoke virtual Process Safety Management training improved productivity – during crew’s COVID-19 isolation. The challenge Stena Drilling needed a completely virtual ...

Learn how Stena Drilling’s bespoke virtual Process Safety Management training improved productivity – during crew’s COVID-19 isolation.

The challenge

Stena Drilling needed a completely virtual training approach to make productive use of the isolation time that the COVID-19 global pandemic had imposed on their workers, who were isolating in client staging facilities ahead of travel to their offshore installation in Guyana.

That’s why Aberdeen based Stena Drilling – one of the world’s foremost independent drilling contractors (part of Stena AB group), contracted Cogent Skills to develop a bespoke Process Safety Management (PSM) training programme, specifically for their Guyana oil and gas sector exploration crews, part of the criteria was that it had to be online based only.

There is the need to operate safely within the Oil and Gas sector, Stena Drilling currently has two vessels operating in Guyana. The latest significant discovery puts recoverable oil resources to over 10 billion oil equivalent barrels – which is truly world class.

Stena Drilling needed to incorporate up to date PSM competence and compliance regulatory requirements, along with their own PSM procedures and cascade Senior Leadership messages across all of their workstream levels – from the crew deck to the Master of the vessel, into a virtual bespoke PSM training programme. This aim was to not only improve Process Safety workforce culture and senior leadership understanding, but also to help reduce the loss of life risk and prevent any environmental contamination disasters.

Stena Drilling approached Cogent Skills to adapt their major accident hazard, Process Safety training into a bespoke virtual PSM programme, which incorporated their oil and gas sector specific requirements – to help mitigate any high consequence risks.

Process Safety is especially important to our company – it is one of our cornerstones. We needed to look at all of the systems, where the major accident hazards are and move to a model which fully considers Process Safety.

We are still in the initial stages of our Process Safety Training. We do believe that this training will support out efforts in ensuring that we reduce the likelihood of a major accident hazard.

Chris Carbaugh
Chief Operations Officer Stena Drilling Ltd

The solution

A series of two half-day, Bespoke Process Safety Management Foundations (PSMF) courses, converted to 100% online delivery – incorporating Stena Drilling PSM procedures, corporate messages plus oil and gas sector specific requirements.

The Process Safety Management Foundations (PSMF) framework training standards content was chosen, as it included up-to-date regulatory competence and compliance requirements, benchmarked to comply to relevant major accident hazard operations’ regulatory requirements.

Stena Drilling’s major hazards included Major Mechanical Failure, Collision, Helicopter Crash, Structural Failure due to Extreme Weather, Loss of Stability, Accommodation Fire and Machinery Space Fire / Explosion. They had already used the bow tie method to understand their barriers and had developed their own Process Safety training booklet – but they realised that this wasn’t enough and that’s why they contacted Cogent Skills, to start them on their bespoke virtual learning approach.

Cogent Skills’ expert PSM trainers incorporated Stena Drilling’s specific Oil and Gas sector compliance requirements along with the PSMF content into a delivery plan which was suitable for a 100% remote audience – to meet the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic challenges.

Other challenges that drove Stena Drilling to opt for Cogent Skills bespoke virtual training included logistical and resourcing issues. Whilst multiple employees were in isolation and unable to commit to attending single, central location training events, they also had resourcing issues, which included the lack of in-house audio-visual specialists to produce training materials to a professional standard. Other resourcing issues included the fact that they did not have access to training management staff with the with the capacity and capabilities to oversee the training programmes.

The virtual bespoke training resulted in crew’s improvement of Process Safety systems and procedures knowledge, effective use of staff isolation time plus logistics and resources cost efficiencies.

Our challenge with developing a Process Safety training course was that due to Covid we were resource limited. Furthermore we had a goal in rolling the courses prior to the end of 2021; thus we were working under a tight time deadline.

Therefore we contacted Cogent who with their years of experience developing Process Safety courses could assist us in our Process Safety journey. Cogent was able to work with us and produce an bespoke course that fully meet our needs; additionally their highly experienced trainers were able to effectively deliver the message to our personnel.

Chris Carbaugh
Chief Operations Officer Stena Drilling Ltd

The impact

Whilst still in the pilot stage, Stena Drilling have already rolled out the bespoke virtual learning to their Drillships operating in Guyana for ExxonMobil.

The feedback to date from the two courses has been excellent from the Stena crews. The delegates on the initial courses were hand chosen to ensure all departments of the crew were participating in the initial trial.

2022 Virtual PSM Training Plans

  • The training will be rolled out to the rest of Stena’s fleet worldwide with a goal of training 25% of their offshore senior leadership in 2022.
  • Stena Drilling’s colleagues at ExxonMobil are excited to participate in further courses throughout 2022.

Stena Drilling continue to get the following key message out to all of their staff, clients, suppliers and competitors who are working with the Oil and Gas sector.

The principles of Process Safety apply to anyone, anywhere in the world – to maintain operational safety and reduce the environmental risk

Bespoke Virtual Learning has delivered the following positive outcomes for the business:

  • Budget Savings. Cogent provided professional training and logistics management – reducing external resourcing costs. Virtual training reduced the cost of onsite attendance – including staff time offsite, travel, accommodation, venue hire and administrative organisation.
  • Corporate Film Production and Branded Materials. Stena Drilling did not have internal resources to produce professional presentations. Management provided the messaging content, then Cogent developed a programme of professional slides decks and workbooks. This resulted in exceptional corporate branded training materials – which can be accessed for many years to come.
  • Equality and Inclusivity of Engagement. Providing equal training and communications opportunities for all workforce levels – especially those located in hard-to-reach places or during COVID-19 isolation.
  • Improvement of Operational Integrity. By delivering best practice training and industry framework standards content – which is benchmarked to comply to relevant COMAH / Seveso III regulatory requirements, the training has helped to improve operational safety and reduce the risk of a Major Accident Hazard to people and the environment.
  • Continued Use Across the Sector. As a responsible Operations Director, Chris Carbaugh plans to cascade key PSMF training messages to their clients and competitors – to improve Operational Integrity within Guyana’s oil exploration and development project.
  • Productivity Improvements. The virtual option continues to save travel and offsite time, along with the improvement of staff’s work / home life balance.
  • Solving of Logistics Problems. Going remote removed Stena Drilling’s problem of getting multi location staff to all attend a training event at ONE central location.

The Timeline

Nov 2020
Initial exploration meetings
between Stena Drilling and
Cogent Skills

Feb – March 2021
Scope of the project defined ad
contracting started

April 2021
Engagement call to confirm
training package and permission
to proceed the Bespoke
development work

April – June 2021
Cogent Skills develop bespoke
virtual training – tailored to suit
the requirements of Stena Drilling operations on offshore oil and gas installations

August 2021
Virtual training commenced and
is being delivered on an ongoing

The solutions used

Bespoke Virtual Training
Process Safety Management Foundations Course

The training has worked well – in fact, it’s exceed our expectations and feedback from the client has been particularly good. It’s been a really enjoyable process for us and not been too difficult to get the training together because Cogent and their trainers have really helped out – they’ve been exceptional.

Chris Carbaugh
Chief Operations Officer, Stena Drilling Ltd

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