Safety and Environmental Compliance Drive Bottom Line

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 17:24

Drilling operators are not only following safety and environmental regulations because these are mandatory requirements, they are also pursuing efficiency gains in the process. Katch Kan has managed to save money for Pemex in the company’s drilling operations by implementing safety and eco-friendly solutions. “Over a five month period, Pemex saved US$78,000 in time and labor, plus an additional US$480,000 from capturing and reusing drilling fluid,” Quinn Holtby, President and CEO of Katch Kan, Ltd. states. “This was prompted by the Rig Safety System and the Zero Spill System solutions that we installed at 16 offshore rigs and one training rig facility for Pemex.”

Katch Kan’s strategy is based on its focus on environmentally and socially sustainable development. The company created both the Rig Safety System (RSS) and the Zero Spill System (ZSS) solutions with the objective of improving health and safety for workers involved in upstream projects. “The RSS and ZSS drastically reduce pollution and facilitate production in a proactive eco- efficient manner,” says Holtby. “Our turnkey systems have been exclusively engineered to address the complex safety and environmental challenges faced by operators and drilling contractors today.” Katch Kan’s solutions are designed to retrofit any rig, both onshore and offshore, from fixed platforms to semisubmersible platforms, jack- up drilling rigs, and floating production systems.

Katch Kan introduced fluid containment technology to the upstream oil and gas industry in 1994. As the needs of oil companies and drilling contractors evolved, the company responded by designing a complete Zero Spill System. The system controls and redirects drilling fluid, making the work floor and its substructure safer and cleaner, and improving operational performance. “The Zero Spill System includes several products used sequentially to redirect and contain fluid on drilling and service rigs,” Holtby explains. “The Kelly Kan, a light-weight polymer-based unit, redirects drilling fluid downward, where the Upper Katch Kan receives it. At the same time, the Second Stage Low Pro Katch Can catches any fluids escaping through the drilling floor and the Adjustable Containment Enclosure contains the fluids that manage to escape through the cracks in the drill floor.”

“All major components that our systems include work harmoniously to reduce, reuse, recover, and recycle,” Holtby says. “When installed and used correctly, they provide total containment of drilling fluids.” Both products reduce the environmental footprint of oil and gas activities while at the same time increasing rig efficiency, reducing injury, and helping companies comply with health and safety objectives. Built under ISO & COR standards and fully encompassing in terms of safety and fluid containment, they also help by significantly reducing vacuum truck requirements and cutting back cleaning needs on the rig and around sub-structures, allowing the operation to be more efficient, safe, and environmental friendly.

Katch Kan also designed the Rig Safety System to increase personnel safety while decreasing operational hazards on the rig floor. The aim is to reduce repetitive strain, sprain, and crush injuries that occur on the rig floor, achieving improved manpower protection. The system is comprised of several components that fulfill different purposes: the Tong Handle Guard reduces hand crush injuries during tong operations; the Katch Mat, which is an anti-slip, ergonomic, temperature, and invert resistant safety mat; the Splash Guard, to keep workers’ feet out of the rotary table and foreign objects out of Kelly bushings; and the Kelly Bushing Guard, which is an enclosure placed over the splash guard.

Katch Kan is currently operating with Pemex through its exclusive distributor in Mexico – Materiales y Equipo Petrolero (Matyep) – and has recently obtained a second contract to service both onshore and offshore rigs in Pemex’s Northern and Southern regions. “There is plenty of opportunity for Katch Kan technology to be further implemented in Mexico,” Holtby explains. “We are working alongside our partners Matyep to provide both RSS and ZSS solutions on the majority of the Pemex’s Southern region drilling rigs, and we are working diligently to retrofit rigs in the north as well.”

Pemex’s efforts to improve and guarantee safety in the workplace are particularly focused on drilling rig operations, due to the catastrophic consequences a spill can bring. “Currently, Pemex is our main focus and we will continue to improve the products and services we are providing them, as well as presenting new technologies that respond to the NOC’s commitment to achieving zero spills and zero accidents,” Holtby adds.

Coming from Alberta, Canada, Holtby observes Pemex’s strengthened commitment to safety and environmental compliance. “While our current focus has been around RSS and ZSS, we recognize that there are many other areas within the upstream oil and gas industry where safety and containment are a cause for concern. We are committed to educating and demonstrating the effectiveness of our products and hope to see them on every rig around the globe, while continuing to bring innovative solutions for these areas of opportunity,” he says.