Shell E&P Garners Safety Honor for Mars Recovery

Shell Exploration & Production Company was awarded the 2006 National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Safety in Seas Award Thursday, recognizing their outstanding contribution to the safety of life offshore for energy workers. Shell received the award for their exceptional efforts to recover the Mars tension leg platform and pipeline after Hurricane Katrina.

Shell's award-winning nomination was selected by a blue-ribbon panel of judges from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Minerals Management Service and the National Academy of Science's Marine Board. The judges awarded the prestigious honor in recognition of the company's dramatic recovery of the Mars platform and its infrastructure. The recovery included organizing an on-site multi-national workforce of more than 500 people per day, communicating in three languages, working around the clock and recording more than one-million man-hours without a recordable injury. Shell was able to complete this technologically complex operation ahead of schedule.

During the Mars recovery project, several health, safety and technical achievements were recorded, including:

--Health, safety and environment training orientations for over 1,300 personnel.
--Daily management and weekly safety staff meetings, including management walkthrough audits and job site environmental audits.
--A behavior-based safety management process, with more than 2,600 behavior-based observations conducted, tracked, trended and discussed during safety meetings. These observations identified 365 potentially unsafe conditions that were corrected during the course of the project.

There were several first time technical innovations including:

--Lift of the damaged and toppled 1,000 ton Mars drilling rig, a fully engineered single lift executed without personnel injury or further damage to the platform;
--Mooring and bridge connection of a North Sea semi-submersible "Flotel"--a floating hotel--adjacent to the platform in deepwater to accommodate the large construction crew;
--Fully on bottom repair of the 18-inch and 14-inch export pipelines in 2,700 feet of water using special oil containment devices and procedures as well as remote operating vehicles and a specially engineered pipeline repair kit.

NOIA President Tom Fry said, "Shell's achievement is exemplary in successfully integrating safety and training together in a large scale recovery effort. We applaud the fact that the Coast Guard, the MMS and the National Academy of Sciences continue to recognize our industry's achievement and we congratulate Shell for their valuable contribution to the enhancement of offshore safety and responsible environmental stewardship."

Acknowledging the significant contributions made by modern-day pioneers in their pursuit of the ocean frontier, Compass Publications, Inc., publishers of Sea Technology Magazine, established the NOIA Safety and Seas Award in 1978. The award recognizes excellence among those who, by their actions, design or influence, have contributed to improving the safety of life offshore. The award, now in its 28th year, continues to serve as a testimony to the high standards associated with the rapid growth of the ocean industries.

NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of energy resources on the nation's outer continental shelf. The NOIA membership comprises more than 300 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering, to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance.

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