NASA, Deloitte team for oil and gas risk management

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the oil and gas division of Deloitte have entered a strategic partnership to offer advanced risk-management services to energy companies, with a focus on mitigating rare but potentially catastrophic events.

Jun 28th, 2013

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the oil and gas division of Deloitte have entered a strategic partnership to offer advanced risk-management services to energy companies, with a focus on mitigating rare but potentially catastrophic events.

The alliance will offer risk modeling and simulation services to help operators identify “blind spots” in their risk management programs, officials from NASA and Deloitte said. So-called “black swan” events are often overlooked in emergency planning exercises because of the unlikelihood of occurrence, the officials said at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the agreement was formalized.

“We have experience in trying to identify and mitigate these low-probability, high-impact events,” said William McArthur, a veteran astronaut who serves as the space center’s director of safety and mission assurance.

Space exploration and the oil and gas industry share “similar risk profiles,” said John England, head of Deloitte’s oil and gas practice. Both operate in harsh, remote environments, rely heavily on contractors for services, and conduct operations that leave little room for error, he said.

The risk-management initiative will focus on developing and enhancing safety cultures within oil and gas companies, creating tools to measure and monitor the success of the individual programs, and incorporating techniques to identify and manage what Deloitte & Touche principal David Traylor called “emerging risks,” or those that may not be apparent except by observing trends and modeling potential outcomes.

The space agency has taken steps to partner with private industry in recent years. In 2011, NASA made its Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and its 6.2-million gallon pool available for survival training for offshore oil and gas workers.

06/28/2013

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