Safety Consulting Group

clayton@safetyconsultingroup.com

Vermilion Energy is an international energy producer that creates value through the acquisition, exploration, development, and optimisation of producing assets in North America, Europe, and Australia.

On 14 March 2005, Vermilion acquired the ExxonMobil-owned and operated Wandoo Field oil production assets.

The Wandoo Field operated for over 20 years, under the management of ExxonMobil systems. This was the first acquisition of an Australian asset by Vermilion and as a result, significant safety management system development work was required.

To further complicate this acquisition and the safety management transition, was the formation of NOPSA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority, now NOPSEMA), in January of 2005, which introduced added challenges and dynamics to the successful granting of the operational licenses, to Vermilion Energy.

The strategy was first to set up the corporate safety management framework for Vermilion that complied with Australian safety legislation and regulations and the newly formed NOPSA requirements. This involved a combination of using existing Vermilion corporate system standards, as well as drawing from both Australian Regulations and best industry practices.

Once this framework was established, the ExxonMobil operational safety systems that managed the Wandoo asset were identified, revised, and consolidated into the Vermilion safety management system. This ensured that the Wandoo personnel continued to utilise known and existing systems, whilst transferring responsibility, across to the Vermilion management team, and systems.

By the end of 2005, the acquisition was completed and all operating licenses were granted as a result of the successful development and implementation of a completely new safety management system, for Vermilion Energy.

A technically challenging project for us in our earlier days, but one that we learned a great deal from and succeeded due to the extensive planning undertaken, and the meaningful engagement and development strategy between ourselves, Vermilion, ExxonMobil, NOPSA, and the Wandoo operational personnel.

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