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OESI to hold Workshop on Risk Awareness in Houston

May 7, 2014

The Ocean Energy Safety Institute will host a two day Forum entitled, Risk Awareness, Risk Perception and using the Awareness and Perception in Making Operational Decisions on a Continuing Basis in Oil and Gas Operations, in Houston, TX, May 12-13.  This is a first in a series of events OESI announced. The forum will promote  dialogue and shared learning among academia, government, industry, and other non-governmental organizations. The forum will cover topics like risk informed decision making, Quantitative Risk Analysis methodology, aspects of operations concerned by risk based decision making, case histories of decision making, risk informed decision making on design phase vs. day-to-day basis, failure rate and other data needs, and how risk assessment can best be used in performance based regulation to improve safety culture on the OCS. Speakers and participants include owners, operators, regulators, government agency representatives, consultants and academia. To view the agenda and learn more about OESI visit the web site http://oesi.tamu.edu/.

On November 7, 2013, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Department of Interior announced that the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center had been selected to manage the Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI). Establishment of this institute is in direct response to the Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

OESI stems from a recommendation from the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee, a federal advisory group comprised of representatives from industry, federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the academic community. OESI is intended to be an important source of unbiased, independent information and will not have any regulatory authority over the offshore industry. OESI is a collaborative venture that will also include involvement on science and technology issues from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The Institute will provide recommendations and technical assistance to BSEE related to emerging technologies and the best available and safest technologies (BAST).  In addition, it will develop and maintain an equipment failure monitoring system and train Federal employees to enable them to remain current on state-of-the-art technology.  The Institute will also promote collaboration among Federal agencies, industry, standards organizations, academia, and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  Information on issues related to offshore research and best practices will be shared with industry, government, and the public through Institute held forums.

Since the November 2013 announcement the partner universities in consultation with BSEE have developed strategies to establish the various programs. This newsletter provides a description of the planned activities and the schedule for the next 200 days. As envisioned, each of the OESI activities will involve intensive collaboration and interaction with the stakeholders. A summary of the planned activities for the first 200 days is given below:

  1. An item of highest interest and significance is the hiring of a full-time OESI Director of Operations. Currently, a nation-wide search is being conducted and applications are currently being accepted by the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center through the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) employment website. More information on the position and responsibilities can be found in this newsletter. Interested candidates are encouraged to complete applications as soon as possible.
  2. Another important topic is the development of outreach and relationship building opportunities among OESI, industry, academia, and governmental agencies other than BSEE and BOEM. To address this, OESI will host a series of forums in 2014, covering topics such as risk, research, failure data reporting, best available and safest technologies, and human factors related to risk. More information on the forums will be announced as details become available.
    • On May 12-13, 2014, a two-day forum will be organized in Houston, entitled: "Risk Awareness, Risk Perception and Using the Awareness and Perception in Making Operational Decisions on a Continuing basis in oil and gas operations." The objective of this forum is to promote dialogue and shared learning among academia, government, industry, and other non-governmental organizations on topics like risk informed decision making, quantitative risk assessment (QRA) methodology, case histories of decision making, risk informed decision making on design phase vs. day-to-day basis, failure rate and other data needs, and how risk assessment can best be used in performance based regulations to improve safety culture on the OCS.
    • On June 19, 2014, a one-day forum entitled: "Increased Sustainability through Reliability Data Collection and Analysis" will be held. Similar to the risk forum, the objective of this forum is to promote industry-wide data exchange opportunities. The dialogue and shared learning among academia, government, industry, and other non-governmental organizations on topics like data gaps, responsibility for data collection and analysis, voluntary vs. regulatory approach, breakdown barriers of data exchange, and incentives from BSEE and other organizations. Dedicated session on the voluntary near miss reporting system will also take place which represents an additional managerial tool to improve the safety culture on the OCS.
    • On August 12-13, 2014, experts in offshore energy-related technologies and activities will be invited to discuss and develop a "Roadmap for the Ocean Energy Safety Research." Research related to offshore oil and gas exploration, development, and production technology, including technology specific to deepwater and artic exploration and development, that is being performed by industry, academia, and governments throughout the world will be discussed in order to identify key technological and regulatory gaps in that research.
    • Finally, two additional forums will be organized in the Fall of 2014, one forum to focus on the Best Available and Safest Technologies (BAST) and another highlighting the role of human factors in ocean energy safety. More information on all these forums will be announced as details become available.

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