Managing oil and gas risks in the Arctic offshore:Emerging perspectives

By: Staff   Apr 25, 2011

ANCHORAGE, AK – One year ago in the Gulf of Mexico the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, unleashing what would end up being the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. For Alaskans, this was an acute reminder of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound and the lingering effects it had on the state. As Alaskans contemplate oil and gas development in the Arctic offshore, what can we learn from these events, and from other Arctic nations, to better manage these complex risks?
On Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. in Arts 150, UAA hosts a panel discussion where participants will address the issues and concerns involved in managing oil and gas risks in the Arctic offshore. The distinguished group of panelists includes Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Karlene Roberts, Center for Catastrophic Risk Management; Catherine Foerster, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; and Jeffery Loman, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Each panelist will present a short talk, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. This event is free and open to the public.
Karlene Roberts is the director of the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at UC Berkeley. Dr. Roberts has conducted 20 years of research on the design and management of high reliability organizations (HROs). HROs are organizations in which errors can have catastrophic consequences, but which are managed so well that errors infrequently occur.

Named an outstanding mechanical engineering graduate and an outstanding graduate of the College of Engineering, Catherine Foerster received her bachelor’s degree from University of Texas. Prior to her 2005 appointment to the post of engineering commissioner for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Ms. Foerster worked for Exxon, ARCO, BP and as an engineering consultant.  
Jeffery Loman has served as the deputy regional director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (successor to Minerals Management Service) Alaska Region for almost four years. Prior to that, he was the Chief of Natural Resources at the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 10 years. Loman is a former U.S. Navy Aquanaut and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Diver – spending 20 years in “high risk” environments. Loman is a Harvard Senior Fellow and completed the Department of the Interior’s Senior Executive Service Candidate Development.
Fran Ulmer is chancellor of Alaska’s largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). In addition to serving as UAA’s Chancellor, Ms. Ulmer was appointed by President Barack Obama in June 2010 to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The commission is charged with investigating the causes of the explosion and oil spill, and recommending changes to prevent future disasters from occurring. In March of this year, President Obama appointed Ms. Ulmer Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

Kristin DeSmith · University Advancement · 786-1263 ·