Risk Management at NASA and Its Applicability to the Oil and Gas Industry

Topics: Risk management/decision-making
Getty Images

On initial consideration, one might reasonably ask: What can the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contribute to the oil and gas industry?

About 3 years ago, a senior principal at Deloitte Advisory’s Energy & Resources Operational Risk Group reached out to NASA to better understand the safety culture at NASA with the intent of understanding how that culture might translate to oil and gas operations. Very quickly, the conversation expanded to the realm of risk management.

Working with Deloitte, NASA came to appreciate the remarkable similarities between an offshore deepwater facility and the International Space Station. Both exist in extremely hostile environments. Both function in remote locations where movement of crew and supplies must be carefully choreographed. Both are extremely complex engineering structures where human reliability plays a critical role in mission success, and both have a deep commitment to personal and process safety.

It also should be noted that both have dedicated teams—the onboard crew and the onshore support experts—that live by the mentality that “failure is not an option” because of the consequences to life and the environment should a catastrophic mishap occur.


This article is reserved for SPE members and JPT subscribers.
If you would like to continue reading,
please Sign In, JOIN SPE or Subscribe to JPT

Risk Management at NASA and Its Applicability to the Oil and Gas Industry

David Kaplan, Safety and Mission Assurance, NASA Johnson Space Center

02 September 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 10