Case Study No 6 – Integration – BP acquisition of Arco Asset
ASG’s Mike George, then Senior HSE Advisor in the BP Exploration Group in BP Aberdeen was asked by BP Senior Management to undertake a risk and due diligence assessment of Arco Tunisia operations as part of the BP acquisition and merger with Arco in 1999 and the fact that this asset had already been earmarked for disposal post-merger. A visit was made to the Arco Tunisia onshore offices in Tunis where the robustness and effectiveness of safety, operations and maintenance systems and processes were examined in detail. This was followed up by an offshore visit to the Bay of Gedes, Ashtart field facilities to test and assess their implementation of documented standards and systems during actual operations. A succinct report was prepared and issued to BP senior management for them to understand HSE/Business risks associated with the acquisition of Arco Tunisia operations prior to their intended future disposal.
One learning from this exercise was that, where possible, it is worth visiting sample sites of unfamiliar/unknown operations to get a hands-on understanding of operational standards rather than rely solely on a table-top/document review.