AP NEWS

Advocates say state’s new oilfield safety training redundant

February 26, 2020 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A new program designed to streamline required oilfield safety training in North Dakota has drawn thousands of people, but some say the training is redundant and time-consuming.

More than 16,000 people have participated in the One Basin-One Way program, which began last June as an attempt to combine several oilfield safety topics into a single program. The four-hour course is geared toward workers employed by the 13 companies that produce more than half of the oil extracted in North Dakota.

Some worker advocates say because other required training programs are already in place, the One Basin-One Way program can be repetitive and hurts revenues when crews can’t work because they’re participating in the program.

“Many of these contractors were coming into these orientations and hearing all the same things,” said Steve Braden, who works for Hess and serves as chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s One Basin-One Way Committee.

Twice since the training began in June 2019, contractors have been kicked off a work site because they had not gone through the class, said Kenley Nebeker, director for technical programs with TrainND Northwest.

Alma Cook, owner of Williston-based Cook Compliance Solutions, said a situation like that tends to be the result of a lack of communication between a contractor and producer.

“You have a whole crew of people that can’t work that day,” she said. “You can’t generate revenue for your company. It’s a problem for everybody, including the producer.”

That’s true at Hess because there are some rules specific to the company that he wants contractors to know, Braden told The Bismarck Tribune.

Braden said most companies have similar rules that One Basin-One Way trying to “bring those under one umbrella” in a standardized training to reduce redundancy.

The petroleum council, safety council, TrainND Northwest at Williston State College and Diamond B have partnered to run the program.