The 4th ROSEN Energy and Innovation Forum (REIF) came to a conclusion after three days of thoughtful discussion and innovative ideas, resulting in a new standard for our industry.

“I am very pleased to see representatives from many industries and, most of all, from all parts of the world. The global factor in this collaboration will drive ideas,” said the founder and CEO of the ROSEN Group, Hermann Rosen, in his welcome speech at the ROSEN Innovation Center. Over 100 professionals, from more than 20 different countries, with experience and expertise in fields including operation, regulation, academia, consultancy, technology and services attended the event at ROSEN’s location in Lingen, Germany.

The theme of this year’s REIF, “Zero Incidents — Learning from other industries,” was carried throughout the days’ events. The diverse group of keynote speakers gave presentations and held an open dialogue with the attendees. Specialized workshop sessions were also held, in which key topics surrounding the idea of zero incidents were discussed and debated in smaller groups. On the last day of the REIF, the results of the workshops were presented. They were then examined by a panel of experts in various fields in an open forum. Additionally, the REIF attendees had the opportunity to explore the latest developments, technologies, facilities, and areas of expertise of the ROSEN Group by participating in a “hop-on, hop-off” tour of the grounds between sessions.

From the wide range of topics discussed, three of the most reoccurring themes under the zero incidents umbrella were; the opportunity that other industries’ experiences present to the oil and gas industry, the importance of collaboration within the industry, and the importance of creating a safety culture within an organization.

Keynote speaker, Kimberley Turner, with extensive experience in risk management for the aviation industry, gave an engaging presentation about how the airline industry managed to evolve in their attitude towards risk management. She said that in addition to learning from past incidents, the industry had to change from a reactive approach to a proactive one, and this took commitment and collaboration between industry leaders. “I would like to encourage you to continue to come together, as industry leaders, to drive this global change in your industry,” she said.

The message of collaboration was further emphasized by Chris Bloomer, President and CEO at CEPA, an industry association for Canada’s transmission pipeline companies. He talked about the importance of coming together, as an industry, to share experiences and promote the zero incidents mentality. “We don’t compete on safety, we are going to collaborate to better ourselves and our industry,” Mr. Bloomer said of the commitment that CEPA members make when joining.

Jesus Soto, Senior Vice President at PG&E, operator of the second largest natural gas system in the United States, opened an honest dialogue of company experiences. In his presentation, he showed how PG&E has learned about safety and risk management from both the oil and gas industry and other industries, and has seen the benefits after implementing certain measures. He explained, “safety and affordability can go hand in hand.”

Other compelling keynote presentations were given by Bryce Lord, Vice President of Canadian Gas Operations at TransCanada; Brigham McCown, safety expert and the Chairman and CEO at Nouveau Consulting; Marcelino Guedes Gomes, Senior Pipeline Engineer at PETROBRAS and ASME fellow; Prof. Philip Anderson, Senior Lecturer and Programmer Leader for Computer and Digital Forensics at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK; and David Turnherr, Safety & Risk Consultant at Suisseplan Ingenieure in Switzerland.

On the last day of the forum a panel discussion took place, hosted by industry experts Heinz Watzka and Dr. Phil Hopkins. Panel members, Marion Erdelen-Peppler, Ruedi Wendelspiess, Brigham McCown, Dirk Strack, Joe Zhou, and Chris Alexander, discussed the results of the specialized workshops, and opened up questions to the entire group of attendees. Topics debated included; the cost of life, safety culture, collateral damage, failures, human behavior and human errors. From an organization standpoint, mentoring and instilling a zero incidents culture were reoccurring points in the discussion. However as an industry, global collaboration was the clear conclusion. One panel member said, “REIF-like events are great example of pulling together international decision-makers, to make a difference.”