Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Lord Cullen to give keynote address at first conference of its kind

Leading risk management experts from around the world will gather in Aberdeen on 5  March for a conference that will set the agenda for dealing with the issue and impact of human risk in the oil and gas industry.

The first international conference of its kind in the world and proudly organised by SPE Aberdeen, it will see an impressive list of international speakers and up to 400 delegates attend the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to take part in “Another Perspective on Risk – The Next Tipping Point”.

The keynote address will be delivered by Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, who chaired the public enquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster. The outcomes of the enquiry have transformed HSE operational procedures in the North Sea and the offshore oil and gas industry worldwide.

Also included in the impressive line up of speakers is David Pritchard, co-chair of the Presidential Technical Commission for the Deepwater Horizon study group (US) – this being the first time a key investigator in the Macondo disaster has publicly addressed the industry in a conference/public setting.


SPE Aberdeen’s Another Perspective Committee chair Ella Minty who has organised this major event said: “Amongst the conference’s main aims will be to address human risk and its impact upon industry operations. It is the first step towards building a genuine platform for dialogue and discussion amongst industry leaders and risk experts. The lessons learned and all the issues arising during the day will be followed up and, hopefully, built upon. There are matters where the industry is divergent but, when it comes to people or human risk/factors, the solutions need to be jointly found.


“We are absolutely honoured that Lord Cullen has agreed to be our keynote speaker, this being the first time his Lordship attends an SPE Conference. We are also delighted that so many leading authorities from the UK, the United States and elsewhere have agreed to attend the conference proceedings.”


The conference will be hosted by STV journalist Andrea Brymer. The panel session brings together a distinguished group of safety experts including Mark Griffon, member of the US Chemical Safety Investigation Board; Les Linklater, team leader of Step Change in Safety, Susan Mackenzie, Head of HSE Energy Division Hazardous Installations Directorate, Health And Safety Executive and Jake Molloy, regional organiser of the RMT union.


Plenary session speakers include Dr Tim Marsh, expert witness at the Safety Culture and Management of Change forums at the Cullen Inquiry; Lillian Espinoza-Gala, independent researcher and Member of Berkley University’s Centre for Catastrophic Risk Management (US); Jem Thomas, head of operations of Albany and consultant to the UK Government’s Stabilisation Unit and Thomson Reuters; William Libby, director of key accounts for Control Risks and the US lecturer and author Loren Steffy.


Interest in the event is already high and is expected to attract business leaders and senior managers of operators and service companies.






Notes to editors:




SPE international is the largest individual-member organization serving managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals worldwide in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry, with thousands of members in the UK, each affiliated to one of three UK Sections in Aberdeen, London and Great Yarmouth. The Aberdeen Section is the largest of these, with over 2,500 members and, last year, for the fourth time in succession, won the SPE International President’s Award for Section Excellence


SPE Aberdeen is run entirely by volunteers and has members across a range of ages, genders and nationalities, as well as four student Chapters at five universities in Scotland. The Aberdeen Section works closely with the Oil and Gas industry, Scottish universities and local schools, institutes and academia to advance the learning and technical excellence in all aspects of the industry; offshore, onshore and internationally.


For more information on the award winning SPE Aberdeen Section, please visit


Media Contacts:


Fifth Ring


Andrew Bradshaw / [email protected] / +44 1224 626288


Alan Majury / [email protected] / +44 1224 626288


Cameron McHattie / [email protected] / +44 1224 626288


Lord Cullen, risk management


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