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17–18 March 2014

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Worst Case Discharge

Heightened worst case discharge (WCD) and related efforts, as per the notices to lessees document NTL 2010-N06, have now been part of the offshore landscape regulatory requirements since the Deepwater Horizon (Macondo) occurrence in 2010. The past few years have been a period of learning from both industry and regulatory perspectives. Now, the time seems appropriate to take stock of lessons learned and best practices, and discuss the way forward from both operator and regulatory standpoints.

To achieve this end, the participants of the summit will examine the assumptions required in calculating worst case hydrocarbon discharge values. The summit will provide a sound technical venue to explore a variety of challenging issues and opportunities that face Gulf of Mexico operators. Also, benefiting all stake holders, it will allow for robust discussion and technical exchange on scenarios that could potentially be encountered while drilling offshore wells.

The intent of this summit is to develop an SPE best practice guidelines document suitable for a wide variety of scenarios.

About the SPE Technology Summit Program

An SPE Summit is a one- to three-day, invitation-only event with specific, pre-defined objectives. It is intended to result in a deliverable that benefits the industry and may lead to further initiatives. Summits are a fast-track response to emerging issues, problems, technologies, or strategies of broad significance to the industry. The event is guided by a program committee, which selects participants on the basis of their expertise and knowledge of the topic. Written records of the discussions and conclusions are published.

Application Information

Participants at the SPE Summit are selected by the Summit Committee based on the ability to contribute to the discussion of the topic. Attendance is limited to maximize each person’s opportunity to contribute.

Accepted applicants will receive their registration form and other materials within two weeks of the application deadline. For those requiring visas to attend the summit, please ensure that you leave sufficient time for your visa to be processed.

Submit your information online. If you are having difficulties applying online, please contact registration@spe.org to request an application form.

Summit Fees and Instructions

The Summit fee is USD 700 and includes: technical session, materials, attendee list, continental breakfasts, lunches, coffee breaks, and receptions.

Please note: The base registration fee does not include accompanying persons. The registration fee is not transferable. The full fixed fee is charged regardless of the length of time a registrant attends the summit. Attendees are expected to attend the entire summit.

If the committee approves your application, you will receive registration materials, including more detailed information on hotel, transportation, and fees. After notification of acceptance, your registration form with payment must be returned by 20 February 2014 to ensure your place in the Summit.  

Preliminary Agenda

Sunday, 16 March


Welcome Reception

Monday, 17 March


Registration and Breakfast


SESSION I: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Feedback

Session Manager: Bo Cribbs

This session will be a discussion by BOEM of common errors and omissions, as well as a description of best practices that BOEM would like to see in worst case discharge (WCD) submittals.

The format of this session will be a morning meeting composed of about two hours of BOEM presentations followed by an open period for questions and discussion. During this open period, the moderator will capture significant issues to be raised during Session 2 and Session 3 discussions.

  1. Status of the NTL 2010-N06 and frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents
    1.  Current state and future plans
    2.  What constitutes BOEM’s definition of worst case for reservoir and wellbore?
    3. What is the ultimate regulatory goal for the WCD rate? Confirm oil spill response plan (OSRP)?
    4.  Is a total discharge volume required, and, if so, over what time period?
  2.  Description of most common omissions and errors in NTL 2010-N06 submissions
    1. In general, are Operators selecting appropriate input parameters and using appropriate methodology? 
    2. What specific assumption or omission might cause a permit to be rejected from BOEM’s perspective?
  3.  Recommended changes that would make submissions easier to handle?
    1. Review of new forms and format.




SESSION II: Operator Experiences and Feedback for WCD Submission Including Unique and Challenging WCD Aspects

Session Manager: Dave Pritchard

This session will explore from a broad industry perspective what successes and/or disappointments have occurred during the WCD submission and approval process highlighting atypical/challenging exploration and development scenarios.

The format of this session will be an afternoon meeting composed of a two hour session made up of actual case studies from a number of active Gulf of Mexico operators to reflect industry experience. The case studies will be followed by breakout sessions, dividing the participants into three sub-groups, for further discussion on consensus-driven “hot-topics”. The afternoon session will conclude with a one hour recap to the entire group.

The results of the breakout sessions will be used to identify unique and challenging scenarios that will be covered in the Tuesday morning, Session 3 recommended practice (RP) drafting session.


Farewell Reception

Tuesday, 18 March




SESSION III: Calculation Theory and Recommended Practice

Session Manager: Phillip Bednarz

The purpose of this session is to collaborate and document the best practices for worst case discharge modeling. Content would include determining input parameters, calculation methods, and reporting of results. The format will be one half day of presentations and one half day of breakout discussions. 

The presentations will cover the following three topics:

  1. Overview, wellbore configuration, flow regimes, and methods
  2. Estimation of properties
  3. Flow period, decline, and documentation




SESSION IV: Review of Recommended Practices Document and Breakout Sessions

Session Manager: Phillip Bednar

The half day of breakout sessions will be grouped into the same three topics as the presentations, and will focus on finalizing a recommended practice document.
Breakout Sessions:

  1. Overview, wellbore configuration, flow regimes, and methods
  2. Estimation of properties

Flow period, decline, and documentation

Applications are closed.


Bo Cribbs

Dave Pritchard


Eric Beckham
Noble Energy

Phillip Bednarz

Dan Browning
Noble Energy

Antonio Brunal
Murphy Oil

Robert Burton

Sean Cavalero

Akhil Datta-Gupta
Texas A&M University

Yan Dong

Bill Elks

Manuel Bello Freire

Dominique Frizzell

John Glenn
BHP Billiton

Sam Griffith

Richard Hughes
Louisiana State University

Mashiur Khan

Don Maclay
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Robert Ponville
Stone Energy

Kirk Rovang
Noble Energy

Jerome Schubert
Texas A&M University

Nancy Shepard
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Truitt Smith

Robert Strickling


Rob Sutton
Marathon Oil

Tore Tjomsland

Donny Torres

Eric Van Oort
University of Texas

Paul White