Evaluating the Integration of Health, Safety and Environmental Management Practices in the Oil and Gas Companies
Author(s): Albert Abdel Nour, May A Massoud, Michel Mokbel, Ibrahim Alameddine
The need for Oil and Gas (O&G) companies to adopt environmental management practices is necessitated by the potentially adverse implications of petroleum related operations primarily in developing countries where the enforcement of regulatory environmental frameworks tends to be marginal. This research aims to assess the environmental management practices of national and multinational oil companies and the level of integration achieved between health, safety and environmental systems taking the O&G companies in Lebanon as case example. Accordingly, a survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews were conducted with O&G distributing companies and concerned stakeholders, respectively. Our findings asserted that the majority of O&G companies failed to systematically integrate the fundamental tenants of environmental management into their organizational and operational constructs. Almost all respondents were incapable of differentiating between health, safety, and environmental practices. An EMS was considered by various stakeholders as a tool to ensure that laws and regulations are effectively implemented. This study underscores that while the significance of implementing environmental management practices is generally recognized; most firms primarily in developing countries underrate its importance and prioritize health and safety issues over environmental ones.