Safety programme to Algeria

March 6, 2006, 10:35 CET

Sonatrach, Algeria's national oil and gas company, has decided to run Statoil's safe behaviour programme adapted to Algerian conditions.

The Algerian safe behaviour programme is to be implemented in Sonatrach as a corporate initiative similar to Statoil's project. Norway's most comprehensive safety programme is thus being exported to one of Statoil's main international focus areas.

"To begin with, the programme will be held for employees in the upstream activities," says Arne Maurits Martinsen, Statoil's project manager. "Around 15,000 employees will attend up to 2009, gradually followed by the rest of Sonatrach's staff."

Sonatrach's decision to adopt the safe behaviour programme is an important part of a memorandum of understanding concluded last year by Sonatrach and Statoil. The agreement, signed by chief executives Mohamed Méziane and Helge Lund, also entails cooperation on health, safety and the environment.

The first workshop will be held at the end of November 2006. The teaching method will in principle be the same as that of Statoil's programme, but most of the film material will be new and adapted to local culture.

Mr Martinsen, along with Finn Strand, who is one of the architects behind Statoil's safe behaviour programme, will cooperate with Sonatrach representatives on making films, manuscripts for the panel and training Algerian hosts and supporting staff.

The workshops will probably take place in the cities Oran and Hassi R'Mel. Statoil will provide the necessary equipment to keep the same standard as that of Statoil's facilities.

The preparation of stage materials, lighting and technical equipment has already started in Stavanger. The equipment is to be sent to Algeria in May. Statoil will assist in organising the first workshops, informs Mr Martinsen.