Oil and gas is one of the most critical industries in the world and is a significant economic driver in the UAE. Oil is the world’s most important energy source, accounting for nearly two-thirds of global energy consumption. It is used in various applications, including transportation, industry, and manufacturing. Gas is also an essential energy source used in cooking, heating, and electricity generation applications. In the last decades, there have been several global incidents in the oil and gas industry. An article by Al Mazrouei et al., 2019, pp. 3216 shows that 30 employees work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Together, oil and gas are essential components of the global economy.
Established in 1971, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is a wholly owned government entity. Nearly 95% of the UAE’s oil reserves are in Abu Dhabi, which also houses the company’s headquarters (Yedder, 2021, p. 212). When it comes to enhancing the skills of the local workers, ADNOC has adopted a long-term strategy. The UAE is, therefore, home to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the largest oil and gas company in the Middle East, which is known to be the region with the lowest oil and gas production (Wang et al., 2021, p. 012113).
ADNOC is responsible for producing, refining, and marketing oil and gas and is a significant supplier to the global energy market. It is also responsible for raising its oil production by “several hundreds of thousands “ per day significantly (Paraskova, 2018). ADNOC works with international companies and partners to explore and develop oil and gas reserves and market and refine oil and gas products. ADNOC’s operations significantly contribute to the UAE’s economy, accounting for around 11 percent of the country’s GDP and providing employment for around 130,000 people.
UAE has a significantly high level of economic diversification among GCC countries and has taken several steps to diversify (Banafea & Ibnrubbian,2018, p. 43). In addition to its role as a major world producer and supplier of oil and gas, the UAE has also taken steps to develop a more diversified economy. This includes the development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, and introduction of progressive energy-efficiency policies. The UAE is also focusing on developing a robust knowledge-based economy, focusing on research and development in science, technology, and innovation.
The oil and gas industry is a hazardous environment that presents several risks to workers and the environment. These risks include fire, explosions, chemical spills, and environmental contamination. It is essential to address these hazards in order to ensure the safety of workers and the environment. The most significant hazards to address in the oil and gas industry include the following:
- Fire and explosions: Oil and gas operations involve highly flammable materials and combustible gases, which can lead to fires and explosions. This can result in severe injuries, fatalities, and damage to equipment and property. Three petroleum tankers explode in fire near ADNOC storage tanks in Abu Dhabi (Al Zaabi & Zamri, 2022, p. 14915). This poses a significant danger to the lives of humans in the region and the destruction of property.
- Chemical spills: Oil and gas operations involve using hazardous chemicals, posing a risk of spills and leakage. This can lead to the contamination of soil and water and the release of hazardous gases into the atmosphere.
- Environmental contamination: Oil and gas operations can lead to contamination of air, soil, and water, which can have severe impacts on human health and the environment.
- Worker safety: Every employee’s workplace safety and health are paramount in the ADNOC industry (Yaqoubi & Adnan, 2022). Oil and gas operations involve several potential risks to workers, such as slips and fall, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and working in confined spaces. Ensuring that workers are adequately trained and provided with the appropriate safety equipment to minimize these risks is essential.
In order to address the hazards in the oil and gas industry, it is essential to implement safety protocols, provide adequate training and safety equipment, and adhere to all applicable regulations. Companies should also develop and implement emergency response plans that include procedures for responding to fires and chemical spills. Additionally, companies should regularly inspect facilities and equipment to ensure compliance with safety standards. A questionnaire was used to collect data from 311 respondents working in ADNOC and showed a drastic improvement in risk management and employee performance in the UAE’s ADNOC National Petroleum Cooperation (Aljneibi et al.,2022, p. 4845). This is a positive remark.
Fire and explosions are physical hazards, as they release heat and pressure that can cause injury or damage to property. Chemical spills involve releasing hazardous chemicals into the environment, which can lead to soil and water contamination. Environmental contamination is an environmental hazard, as it involves the release of pollutants into the atmosphere or contaminating air, soil, or water.
Worker safety is an ergonomic, biological, and security hazard, as it involves potential risks to workers, such as slips and falls, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and working in confined spaces. Ensuring that workers are adequately trained and provided with the appropriate safety equipment to minimize these risks is essential.
In conclusion, the oil and gas industry is a significant economic force worldwide and in the UAE. It is essential to be aware of the potential hazards to which workers in this industry may be exposed and to take appropriate safety precautions. These hazards can be divided into six main categories: chemical, physical, ergonomic, biological, security, and environmental hazards. Workers should be aware of the potential for these hazards and take appropriate safety precautions.
Al Mazrouei, M. A., Khalid, K., Davidson, R., & Abdallah, S. (2019). Impact of organizational culture and perceived process safety in the UAE oil and gas industry. The Qualitative Report, 24(12), 3215-3238.
Al Zaabi, S. H., & Zamri, R. (2022). Managing Security Threats through Touchless Security Technologies: An Overview of the Integration of Facial Recognition Technology in the UAE Oil and Gas Industry. Sustainability, 14(22), 14915.
Aljneibi, M. M., Yahaya, S. N., & Husseini, S. A. (2022). Developing enterprise risk management model for employee performance within Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in UAE. Journal of Positive School Psychology, 6(3), 4845-4855.
Banafea, W., & Ibnrubbian, A. (2018). Assessment of economic diversification in Saudi Arabia through nine development plans. OPEC Energy Review, 42(1), 42-54.
Paraskova. (2018, July 3). UAE’s ADNOC Can Lift Oil Production By ‘Several Hundred Thousand’ Bpd | OilPrice.com. OilPrice.com. Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/UAEs-ADNOC-Can-Lift-Oil-Production-By-Several-Hundred-Thousand-Bpd.html
Wang, K., Zou, Q., Wang, Z., Fang, L., & Jiang, W. (2021, February). Fiscal and tax terms and economic evaluation methods for oil and gas projects in Abu Dhabi. In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (Vol. 675, No. 1, p. 012113). IOP Publishing.
Yaqoubi, R. A., & Adnan, A. A. (2022). Ethical Leadership and Organizational Safety Performance in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the United Arab Emirates. Sch J Arts Humanit Soc Sci, 6, 276-280.
Yedder, M. B. (2021). The Emiratization Policy in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). International HRM and Development in Emerging Market Multinationals (pp. 212-232). Routledge.