2015 SPE Americas HSE Conference Gears Up
The 2015 SPE E&P Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Conference—Americas, scheduled from 16–18 March in Denver, will present two keynote speakers and several first-time special sessions. The technical program for the conference will see 59 papers presented in 18 sessions.
The first keynote speaker will be 2015 SPE President Helge Hove Haldorsen, who will speak at a luncheon on 16 March. Haldorsen, vice president of strategy and portfolio, North America, for Statoil, will speak on “HSSE-SR 360°: Challenges and Opportunities.”
“In 2015, together we will drill approximately 83,000 wells and invest approximately USD 1 trillion to produce 92+ million B/D and 325+ Bcf/D,” Haldorsen said. “This energy lifts living standards, generally fuels human progress, and gives us all a huge sense of purpose. In this noble endeavor, we have a zero tolerance for error. We must carry out all our operations in a safe, secure, and environmentally sustainable manner; engaging closely with all local stakeholders, earning their trust and the license to operate.”
The conference’s second keynote address will come from Sarah Ladislaw, director and senior fellow with the Energy and National Security Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She will speak about social responsibility at a luncheon on 17 March.
“The idea that societal support is an important part of successful oil and gas development is increasingly accepted by most parts of the industry,” she said. “Yet, the art of winning and sustaining that support is increasingly complex as societal expectations, industry approaches, and regulatory and policy prerogatives continue to shift.”
Student Challenge and Movie Night
In addition to the two keynote speeches, the conference will hold the inaugural HSSE Student Challenge. The contest, planned for 1330–1800 on 17 March, will pit student teams against one another in a contest of knowledge about health, safety, and environment matters. The quiz-style contest, modeled off the PetroBowl contest held at SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition each year, will have eight teams. Each team will be made of five students from environmental or engineering departments of the following schools: Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech University, The University of Oklahoma, University of Colorado Boulder, and University of Wyoming. Unlike PetroBowl, which is a single-elimination contest, the Student Challenge will be based on a point system, with the team having the most points at the end of the competition being the winner.
The winning team will become part of another first for the conference—a movie night. The Student Challenge winners will form a panel to help lead discussion after a presentation of a film about Pinedale, Wyoming, and the effects the oil and gas industry has had on the tiny town. “Energy’s Crossroads: Pinedale, WY,” one of the latest movies in the acclaimed Rational Middle Energy Series documentary series, tells the story of a small Wyoming town as shale gas development opens up a new world of opportunity and challenge. The series has won praise from energy companies, policy makers, and academics for its thoughtful discussion of the facts of modern energy development.
“In addition to the traditional technical paper presentations, we’ve added a movie night that will provide a unique perspective into a rational conversation about energy issues that can easily translate into project delays and additional—often unexpected—costs,” said Sue Staley, conference committee co-chairperson and vice president of safety, environment, and social performance for Shell.
Jennifer Cross, a sociology professor at Colorado State University and invited speaker on sustainability, will open the movie night. She will share insights from her work on changing behaviors and ways that the industry can improve the effectiveness of communication. Her presentation and the movie screening will be followed by an interactive session with the student panel moderated by Cross.
Rational Middle director and producer Gregory Kallenberg will facilitate the screening and share how the power of film, combined with compelling experts and fact-checked resources, can become a powerful tool to incite action for the betterment of our communities, our economy, and the environment.
The conference will also present three plenary sessions, three panel sessions, and an interactive closing session.
The first plenary session will be “Assessing and Managing Our Environmental Footprint” and will have three speakers, Dan Grossman with the Environmental Defense Fund, Joe Ryan from the University of Colorado, and Jim Sewell with Shell.
The second plenary session will examine “Making Safety Personal.” Speakers at this session will be Warren Hubler with Helmerich & Payne International Drilling, Cheryl Mackenzie from the US Chemical Safety Board, and Mike West with BP America.
The third plenary session will take a look at “Unconventional Resources: Same Issues, Different Perspectives.” Speakers will be Dave Neslin from Davis Graham & Stubbs, Michael Freeman from Earthjustice, Patty Limerick from the University of Colorado Boulder, and Perry Pearce with ConocoPhillips. The session will be moderated by John Ehremann from the Meridian Institute.
The first panel session will look at “Health in the Modern Workplace: Exploring Topical Issues and Innovative Solutions With Industry Experts.” Speakers Deena Buford with Exxon Mobil, Andy Kveps from United Safety, Bradley King from NIOSH/CDC, and Wayne Fee from MiX Telematics will share observations from today’s work environment and voice concerns for occupational health.
The second panel session will examine “Security in the Oil and Gas Industry: An Overview of the Entire Threat Spectrum.” Speakers Nicole Slezak from Marathon Oil, Mark Van Staalduinen and Faisal Khan from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Jessica Falcon from the US Department of Homeland Security, and Glen Bounds from Schneider Electric will discuss a broad range of security-related topics, including facility design, cybersecurity, and anti-terrorism.
The final panel session will discusss “Constructive Engagements Over Tough Issues: Guidance Across the Oil and Gas Industry.” Panel members Dave Atkins from Shell, Doug Bannerman from Statoil, and Kelly Arnold from the Town of Windsor will inspect the current status of guidance in the industry for community engagements, specifically looking at the importance and practical realities of such engagements.
An interactive closing session will bring conference attendees, program leaders, and key speakers together to deliberate over key learnings, issues, and challenges identified during the conference. This unique setting will allow everyone to participate, respond, and get immediate collective feedback.