Speaker Biographies & Abstracts

Alison Scott, Nova Scotia Department of Energy

Biography: Alison Scott, BA(Hons), LLB, is a graduate of St. FX University and Dalhousie Law School. She joined the Nova Scotia Department of Justice as a solicitor in 1982. While with the Department of Justice, Ms. Scott was an active member of the Nova Scotia Bar and the Canadian Bar Association. Ms. Scott is a former chair of the Canadian Bar’s National Constitutional Law and Human Rights Section. Ms. Scott is also a former member of the part time faculty of Dalhousie Law School. In 1999, after two years in private practice with the law firm Walker, Dunlop, Ms. Scott was appointed Secretary to the Cabinet in Nova Scotia and subsequently appointed the Deputy Minster of Intergovernmental Affairs in 2002. She was appointed Deputy Minister of Energy, May 31, 2004.

Henry Jeffrey, University of Edinburgh (UK)

Biography: In 1988 Henry began his career in the energy business within the Oil and Gas industry before moving into the commercial marine renewables sector in 1998. One of the highlights of this was being part of the project team responsible for the installation of the worlds first commercial grid connected marine energy device, the “LIMPET”. In 2003 Henry took his knowledge of the commercial marine energy sector and transferred into academia. Henrys present position is with Edinburgh University where his responsibilities include dissemination of the UK Supergen Marine  program and conducting the UKERC  road mapping investigation of the marine renewables sector, which enables the identification of key technology, investment and policy requirements for the sector.

Presentation Abstract: “The UK Marine Energy Technology Roadmap”

The UKERC marine energy roadmap provides a guide for mobilising the wave and tidal energy community in the UK down a deployment pathway towards a target of achieving 2GW installed capacity by 2020. The roadmap is aimed at providing a focused and coherent approach to technology development in the marine sector, whilst taking into account the needs of other stakeholders. The successful implementation of the technology roadmap depends upon a number of complex interactions between commercial, political and technical aspects. Although this roadmap is technically focused it also considers policy, environmental and commercialisation aspects of the marine energy sector, in order to display and put in context these wider influences. The roadmap is aimed at technology developers, project developers, policy makers, government bodies, investors (public and private), the supply chain, consultants, and academics, in order to aid coherent progression of the sector. Although the roadmap has been written with the UK community in mind, it is expected that its core technical aspects will be applicable internationally, if modifications for a particular country’s policy, regulation and infrastructure context are taken into consideration. It should be stressed that the roadmap is a living document: it will evolve and be maintained over time according to technology advances, changes in policy, an understanding of the environment, and the changing overall landscape of the sector.

Dr. Scott Couch, University of Edinburgh (UK)

Biography: Dr. Scott J. Couch has been active in research into coastal processes for over 10 years with specialist expertise in the area of marine renewable energy. Scott holds an undergraduate Masters and PhD awarded by the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. He has held research positions at both Oregon State University and the Robert Gordon University prior to his current engagement as a senior research fellow at the University of Edinburgh. At the University of Edinburgh, he acts as a key member of the flagship EPSRC Supergen Marine programme. Supergen Marine is the leading international academic research work focussed on underpinning the future growth of the marine renewable energy industry through generic focussed research and development activities. Scott’s own work, particularly in the area of tidal energy resource assessment, device/resource interaction and tidal energy technology development is widely acknowledged as informing the current state-of-the-art. Alongside his research activities, Dr. Couch operates widely as a consultant to marine renewable technology and project developers, engineering consultancies and government organisations both nationally and internationally.

Presentation Abstract: “Supergen Marine Energy Consortium”

The UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Sustainable Power Generation and Supply (SUPERGEN) programme is the flagship research initiative shaping the future of the United Kingdom’s energy landscape. The potential for future exploitation of the marine energy resource is one of 13 focus areas identified within the wider SUPERGEN programme. The Marine Energy Consortium consists of five ‘core’ academic institutions, 6 ‘affiliate’ academic institutions and over 20 industrial collaborators. Phase 1 of the research programme (£2.6 million funding over 4 years, 2003-2007) enhanced understanding of the extent and nature of the maritime resource, how extraction modifies the resource and its environment, and has pointed to how technology could be developed to enhance the effective exploitation of energy. The research priorities identified for Phase 2 of the research programme (£6.5 million funding over 4 years, 2007-2011) build on experiences and questions arising from early device tests, the deployment of prototype devices, the UKERC R&D road-mapping and DTI protocol processes, and the outcomes of the original work programme. This presentation will outline the ‘consortia’ methodology underpinning the SUPERGEN research programme, highlight some of the outputs from Phase 1 of the research programme, and introduce the future focus of Phase 2.

Chris Campbell, Ocean Renewable Energy Group

Biography: Chris is a marine scientist and leader in development of Canada’s ocean economy.  He holds a BSc from Wales, a PhD from Newfoundland, and has worked in France, Newfoundland and British Columbia. Trained in biology, he worked in aquaculture and seafood industry development as a leader in research, education and consulting. In recent years he has worked to cluster BC’s ocean technology sector and to create Ocean Industries BC as an industry association to focus on economic opportunities from British Columbia’s “maritime” activity. Since 2004, he has focused on building an alliance of industry, governments and utilities to ensure that Canada is a leading player in the emerging renewable ocean energy opportunity. The 90 member Ocean Renewable Energy Group has succeeded in attracting government and utility attention toward this important resource. Chris now serves as Executive Director for this national association.

Presentation Abstract: “A Canadian Marine Energy Perspective and Roadmap”

As the renewable ocean energy sector moves forward with pilot projects, the research community will have new opportunities to engage their experience in an effort to effectively develop the perpetual wave and tidal stream energy resources. Developing a network of researchers applying their experience and skills in this new arena will launch new research directions and provide opportunities for a new cohort of engineers, scientists and social scientists.

The opportunities should be focused on critical areas that will lever this perpetual energy opportunity into a basket of climate change and low-carbon solutions. A priority should be identifying generic approaches to power systems, power take offs, materials, coatings, moorings, etc. The search is on for step-change elements of ocean energy production systems that push forward reliability and cost reduction. Efforts to streamline project assessment and monitoring are critical if the sector is to play its potential role.  Past discussions in Nova Scotia have highlighted background and strengths to address these areas of environmental interaction.

The focus is on accelerating progress and refining development directions. It is not on creating a new crop of inventors!

Dr. Andrew Cornett, National Research Council of Canada

Biography: Dr. Cornett is a specialist in the application of physical models and computer simulations to investigate and develop innovative solutions to a wide variety of engineering problems in rivers, lakes and oceans. Andrew has a proven record of accomplishment coordinating, managing and executing a broad range of complex studies, creating knowledge and providing expert guidance to public and private sector clients. He combines excellent analytic, management and communication skills together with a broad understanding of hydrodynamics, engineering and environmental issues. Andrew is certified as a professional engineer in Ontario and has authored over 100 technical reports and research papers.

Andrew earned his doctorate in Coastal and Ocean Engineering from the University of British Columbia.  As Adjunct Professor with the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Cornett is engaged with mentoring graduate students, supervising thesis research and developing collaborative applied research projects with the academic community.

As Leader of CHC’s Coastal, Offshore and Ports Group, Dr. Cornett leads and manages a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers and technologists conducting applied research in the fields of coastal engineering, maritime and river hydraulics. In addition to providing strong technical and managerial leadership, Andrew is very actively involved in business development and client relations. As a member of CHC’s management team, Andrew provides leadership and direction to the Centre, participates in strategic planning, recruiting and in the creation and implementation of operational plans.

Presentation Abstract: “Modelling and Assessment of Marine Energy Resources”

The presentation will provide an overview of recent studies to quantify and characterize marine renewable energy resources due to ocean waves and tidal currents across Canada, with a special emphasis on Atlantic Canada and Nova Scotia in particular. The scale and attributes of the wave energy resource throughout the region will be reviewed. The development of a 3D numerical model of tidal flows in the Bay of Fundy and its application to identify and characterize potential tidal kinetic energy resources will be also be presented and discussed. A Marine Kinetic Energy Explorer recently developed for the Bay of Fundy named MarKE-Fundy will also be introduced. MarKE-Fundy provides stakeholders with easy access to detailed 3D information on kinetic energy resources throughout the Bay, and can also be used to forecast the power generation due to hypothetical turbine deployments.

Andrew Henry, Dalhousie University

Biography: Andrew is the Executive Director of Energy Research at Dalhousie University, where he coordinates inter-disciplinary research into conventional and renewable energy sources and their impact on the environment, economy, and society. In this capacity he coordinates and directs the activities of three energy research and teaching initiatives at Dalhousie. Energy at Dalhousie promotes energy related research among networks of Dalhousie researchers from across many faculties and departments; the Carbon Storage Research Consortium (CSRC) conducts research into various aspects of geological storage of CO2 captured from the emission streams of coal-fired power generating plants. Andrew is thrilled that the CSRC is about to embark on a major research project that will assess the potential for suitable carbon dioxide storage reservoirs in Nova Scotia; the Marine Energy Research Initiative promotes strategic energy research directed towards tidal energy conversion in the Bay of Fundy and wave energy conversion in Atlantic coastal Nova Scotia. A member of NRCan’s recently formed Marine Energy Technical Advisory Committee, Andrew has been developing C-MER, a Canadian Marine Energy Research network, bringing together academic, industry, and government researchers from Canada allowing for collaborative relationships with Marine Energy research groups in the UK, Portugal, and the US.

Presentation Abstract: “Canadian Marine Energy Research Network”

In the Fall of 2006, EPRI, the Electric Power Research Institute identified several Nova Scotia sites as some of the best prospects for tidal energy generation in North America. Earlier in 2007 Nova Scotia announced tentative approval for the design and construction of a common user demonstration facility in the Minas Passage. However, despite the improving prospects and growing interest of commercial investors, challenges remain before significant tidal electricity generation is possible in Nova Scotia. In order to optimize possibilities and minimize risks the establishment of C-MER, the Canadian Marine Energy Research network is proposed. The network will include participants from Canadian universities, federal research labs, the marine energy industry, and provincial and federal government departments. C-MER will collaborate with international research groups and test facilities located in the United Kingdom, Portugal, and the United States. In late May, 2008, an NSERC sponsored C-MER organizational workshop will determine: research priorities and knowledge gaps from the perspectives of industry, government, and universities; current research capacity and future needs; funding challenges and opportunities; existing and potential new collaborations; and the next steps for proceeding toward collaborative activities.

Presentation Abstract: “Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide in Nova Scotia”

The broad objective of the Nova Scotia Carbon Storage Research Consortium (CSRC) is to conduct interdisciplinary research into the range of issues involved in the capture, transport, and geological storage of Nova Scotia sourced carbon dioxide emissions in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner. In this regard, the CSRC will embark on a multi year, phased approach to the research and development required to demonstrate carbon capture and storage in Nova Scotia. This presentation provides background information on global carbon capture and storage options and outlines the necessary research required to determine which geological sites in Nova Scotia are suitable for long-term subsurface storage of carbon dioxide. Based on positive outcomes from this first phases of the study, the CSRC will endeavor to develop larger scale demonstration projects to examine the feasibility of carbon storage in Nova Scotia’s deep saline aquifers, unminable coal beds, and offshore hydrocarbon reservoirs. Successful demonstration will lead, ultimately, to full scale commercial storage of carbon dioxide in Nova Scotia. Identified storage capacity will allow time for alternative forms of energy to be developed and integrated into the region’s energy grid.

Frank LeBlanc, Minas Basin Pulp and Power

Biography: Frank LeBlanc is a Professional Engineer with over 34 years experience in the consulting engineering field, specializing in business and project management.

Mr. LeBlanc served a term as a Director and Vice-chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada and two terms as President of the Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia. He also served as President of the Design and Construction Institute of Nova Scotia.

Some of the projects he has been involved with include: Halifax Water Supply, Halifax Harbour Clean-up Inc, Sherwood Park Education Centre (Nova Scotia’s first P3 School), 21 kms of underground Fibre Optic cable, expansion of Halifax’s Air Traffic Control Tower, a Coast Guard Search and Rescue Facility, and Canada’s Parliament buildings.

Although partially retired, Frank is still involved on the Parliament Buildings Oversight Advisory Committee in Ottawa, and is working with the Minas Basin team as Project Manager of the Fundy Tidal Energy Demonstration project.

Presentation Abstract: “Bay of Fundy – In-stream Tidal Energy Demonstration Project”

The province of Nova Scotia has selected three candidates, representing technologies from Canada, USA and Ireland, to demonstrate in-stream tidal energy devices designed to convert mechanical energy, found in tidal stream flows, to electrical energy.

Further, Nova Scotia will establish a Tidal Institute to own and operate a tidal demonstration facility in the Bay of Fundy area.

Minas Basin Pulp and Power has been engaged to design and construct the demonstration facility infrastructure, which will connect all the tidal devices (TISEC) from the Bay of Fundy to the Nova Scotia electric grid. This includes site selection for the demonstration berths, and an Environmental Impact Assessment to obtain approvals for the subsequent installation of subsea cables, a power substation and a connection to the power grid.

Joshua Leon, Dalhousie University

Biography: Dr. Joshua Leon is the Dean of Engineering at Dalhousie University. He previously was Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Calgary. Before moving to Calgary, Dr. Leon was a faculty member in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal. He earned his BSc and Master’s degrees in Mathematics and a PhD in Biophysics at Dalhousie University. Dr. Leon is a Professional Engineer and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geologists of Alberta and the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia.

Throughout his career Dr. Leon has been a very active researcher. He has published over 80 peer reviewed articles on computational science, electromagnetics, bioelectric phenomena and cardiac electrophysiology. His current research focus is on the acceleration of numerical software using Graphics Processing Units (GPU).

Dr. Leon is a co-founder of Acceleware, a publicly traded company based in Calgary Alberta. They are the recognized world leader in General Purpose GPU computing. It employs almost 100 people, and has a number of Fortune 500 companies as customers.

Sandra Farwell, Nova Scotia Department of Energy

Biography: Sandra Farwell is Acting Manager of Regulatory Innovation with the Strategic Policy, Planning and Services division of the NS Department of Energy.  She has over 10 years of experience in the fisheries and energy industry.  Sandra coordinated the regulatory policy development for offshore renewable energy for the Province of Nova Scotia and participates on the Offshore Energy Environment Research Association’s Tidal Advisory Group for the Bay of Fundy SEA as well as the Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment Sub-Committee under the direction of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to develop a Canada-wide understanding of Regional SEA.  Prior to her position with the Department of Energy, she worked for the offshore fisheries industry focusing on policy issues related to offshore petroleum development and integrated oceans management. Sandra holds a B.Sc. in biology, a BA in sociology and an M.P.A. from Dalhousie.

Presentation Abstract: “Strategic Environmental Assessment as a Process and Applicability for Future Projects”

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a key tool in addressing environmental considerations as well as economic and social issues through the assessment of effects of a policy, plan, or program. A strategic EA may be applied to a defined geographical area or a specific industrial sector. SEAs lay the foundation for integrated decision making and promote accountability and credibility among the general public and stakeholders while contributing to broader governmental policy commitments and obligations.

Benefits of SEAs include broader stakeholder engagement, earlier identification of sensitive areas, establishment of development or impact thresholds, and streamlining of project-specific EA and regulatory processes, among other potential benefits.  This presentation explores what worked well from the Province’s most recent experience with the SEA of Offshore Renewable Development in the Bay of Fundy and how the principles of SEA could be applied to future energy projects in Nova Scotia.

John Osborne, HTC Pure Energy

Biography: B.Sc. Honours degree Physics Leicester University, Diploma in Management  McGill University.

Worked in all departments at BP Canada, trained as an energy economist. Manager, Corporate Planning reviewed all capital projects, coordinated operating budgets and strategic plans, including acquisitions, diversification into minerals.

Manager, Corporate Development ICI Canada developed international business opportunities for divisions including oilfield services, engineering, environmental, and R&D divisions. Conceived oil exploration program $1 billion budget off East Coast of Canada, resulting in significant oil discoveries some now producing.

Walsh Automation Vice President full service engineering & real-time software company, subsidiary of Invensys plc. Conceptualized and developed an international company to build, own and operate a 3,000 MW HVDC electric transmission line from Siberia through Mongolia to Beijing at an estimated cost in excess of $3 billion.

Business Consultant & Developer Glo•worm of energy projects, including renewable energy, gasification, landfill gas, district heating, farm methane, hydro, and power transmission. Director of publicly-traded industrial minerals company. Developed business strategy, alliances, projects and sales worldwide and commercialized regenerative multi-pollutant scrubbing (SO2, NOx and Hg) and CO2 capture technologies for Cansolv Technologies.

Currently responsible for Business Development and Strategic Alliances HTC Purenergy, a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Venture Stock exchange. Based in Regina, HTC since 1996 has focused on delivering CO2 Capture and Storage Solutions with its core focus on CO2 recovery from coal and gas fired power plants, as well as sequestration of CO2 into deep storage aquifers or depleted oil fields for enhanced oil recovery.

Presentation Abstract: “Research & Development Needs for In Situ Coal Gasification”

  • Background on Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS)
  • HTC’s CCS activities and projects worldwide
  • General potential for CCS in Nova Scotia
  • Underground (in situ) Coal Gasification
  • Research and Development Needs

Terrance Skrypnek, EnCana

Biography: Terry Skrypnek is Subsurface Lead for the Deep Panuke project. He was appointed to his current position in 2006, and is responsible for determining the project’s reservoir potential and developing the optimum reservoir development plan.

Mr. Skrypnek’s career in the oil and gas industry spans more than 30 years with a particular focus on reservoir engineering. He has been with EnCana through the majority of his career.

His expertise includes 3-D earth modeling, reservoir simulation, pressure transient analysis, reservoir management and risk and uncertainty management, reserves estimation and management, acquisition and divestiture analysis.

At EnCana, Mr. Skrypnek  spent the majority of his career working on onshore projects in Western Canada and the United States. For the last six years he has worked on offshore projects in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Canada.

Mr. Skrypnek received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the University of Alberta.  He is based in Calgary, Alberta.

Presentation Abstract: “Acid Gas Injection: Deep Panuke”

Over the past twenty years injection of waste acid gas into deep subsurface formations has become an established process in Western Canada with over 20 disposal schemes in operation. A significant portion of the raw natural gas production in Western Canada contains varying percentages of acid gas components, specifically hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The H2S and CO2 content of the sales gas must be reduced to levels at/below those deemed acceptable for the transportation and marketing of gas. Where in the past acid gas flaring has been a viable disposal alternative, acid gas injection has become the preferred alternative to reduce emissions.

Deep Panuke gas contains levels of both H2S and CO2 that must be reduced. EnCana considered a number of methods to dispose of acid gas at Panuke; subsurface disposal was chosen to minimize the impact on the environment.

In today’s presentation the focus is on the subsurface. I will discuss the criteria that EnCana used to evaluate the potential disposal formations and then introduce the key characteristics of the chosen formation. I will introduce the physical processes at work within the disposal zone followed by a brief discussion of the static and dynamic models built to predict the evolution and spread of the acid gas plume. And finally the results of the modeling will show that the acid gas will remain in close proximity to the injection well not sour the oil remaining in the Panuke Oil Pool approximately 3 km to the west.

Jack MacDonald, TriJac Geological Consulting Ltd.

Biography:  Jack began his career in petroleum in the early 1970’s when he worked for Amoco Canada Petroleum as an explorationist in western Canada.

Following a period of several years of wellsite geological consulting offshore Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, in the early 1980’s, he was lured by the Dept of Mines and Energy to help form a team of hands-on regulators all of whom had industry experience.

Jack has spent the last 25 years working with the provincial government’s various versions of the petroleum group (Dept of Mines & Energy, the Petroleum Directorate, Petroleum Development Agency, and finally the current Dept of Energy).

He has filled a variety of roles including operational responsibilities and as senior petroleum geologist, rights administrator, and Manager of petroleum resources. He has been keen on formulating progressive regulations and promoting the petroleum opportunities both onshore and offshore.

He enjoys life in the slow lane pursuing a number of hobbies, but is keenly interested in the evolution of Nova Scotia’s oil and gas industry both offshore and onshore.

Presentation Abstract: “Gap Analysis of Geoscience”

With the lack of success in offshore drilling over the last 5 – 6 years, industry has surrendered much of their acreage and have turned their attention elsewhere. Frequent consultation with industry through this period provided the Department of Energy important insight as what industry sees as the primary exploration risks. The department undertook a proactive effort to deal with these challenges by contracting Paras Consulting Ltd. to undertake a ‘Gap Analysis’ to help provide solutions. This presentation provides details of the Analysis and demonstrates the importance of local research in providing solutions.

Carey Ryan, Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada

Biography: Mr. Ryan is a professional engineer with over 30 years experience in the public and private sectors, much of it in the energy field. He has held a number of senior positions including Assistant Deputy Minister of Energy and Executive Director of the NS Petroleum Directorate. He also served on the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, the NS Energy and Mineral Resources Conservation Board (chair), the Northeast International Committee on Energy, Nova Scotia Resources Limited and the Tidal Power Corporation Board. Following a two-year secondment with PanCanadian Petroleum Limited he retired from the government in 2001 and joined Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada. He was appointed Vice President and Treasurer of the organization in mid-2004, and served as Acting President from December 2005 until February 2006. He is a 1970 graduate of Nova Scotia Technical College with Bachelors in Industrial Engineering (honours), was awarded an Athlone Fellowship for graduate studies in the United Kingdom in Operations Research and received an Executive MBA from Saint Mary’s University in 2000.

Presentation Abstract: “Abstract Examining the Application of Controlled Source Electromagnetic Imaging in Nova Scotia’s Offshore Area”

Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada (PRAC) has been awarded a grant by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy to examine the use of controlled source electromagnetic imaging (CSEMI) as a tool for reducing exploration risk in the Nova Scotia offshore area by identifying resistive anomalies likely to contain hydrocarbons. The application of this relatively new technology in other regions of the world has been reported to dramatically improve drilling success rates but its use is limited by water depth, reservoir depth and thickness, the presence of salts and other conditions. CSEMI has not been used as yet offshore Nova Scotia. This project is intended to identify potential prospects with conditions suitable for the use of CSEMI, carry out 1-D and 3-D modeling to confirm the technology’s ability to image prospects of interest, and develop a preliminary survey design for attractive prospects. The presentation will provide and overview of the technology, work conducted to date and expected outcomes.

Dr. Grant Wach, Dalhousie University

Biography:  Professor Grant Wach is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (B.A. Hons. Geography). He completed his M.Sc. (Geology) at the University of South Carolina and received a D.Phil. in Geology from the University of Oxford.

At Dalhousie University Wach has been Professor of Petroleum Geoscience since 2002. He was asked to come to Dalhousie from industry to develop and oversee a new program focusing on petroleum research and education. Wach and his colleagues formed Energy at Dalhousie of which he was appointed Director in 2003, reporting to the VP Research. Energy at Dalhousie provides a means of multi-disciplinary collaboration between researchers within the university to investigate energy-related problems and provides a point of contact for energy research for industry and government.

His interest in complex oil reservoirs began at Syncrude Canada, while working in the oil sands of Alberta.  Since then, Wach has held a number of positions, including Geoscience Research Associate at Chevron-Texaco in Houston, where he was directly involved with exploration and commercialization of hydrocarbons in numerous basins around the globe.

Wach’s research is in the area of sedimentology and stratigraphy, the basis for exploring and developing in any basin. This provides the framework for future development work. In these studies he works closely with the engineering disciplines. To maximize resources, we must better understand our reservoirs. This can only be achieved through multi-disciplinary, collaborative research.

In addition to his academic and administrative commitments, his particular areas of research focus have been the subsurface Scotian Basin where he supervises a number of students, examining problems that impact both stratigraphy and reservoir distribution along the Atlantic Margin. His research also includes the detailed characterization of outcrop analogues for reservoir optimization in the Triassic along the Bay of Fundy and the Tertiary of sediments of Barbados and Trinidad.

Grant would like to thank OETR for their support of his students and research program at Dalhousie.

Presentation Abstract: “Reservoir distribution & characterization: Shelf to slope linked depositional systems”

Conceptual models for marine passive margin settings have underestimated the role of shelf-slope interplay and slope processes in delivering potential reservoir rock to the continental margin.  Understanding the linkages between shelf sediment capture/delivery, the role of shelf margin deltas, sea level and slope processes is critical to detecting reservoir distribution in deep and ultra-deep water.  The Scotian Slope demonstrates a history of canyon and channel cut and fill, and sediment mass transport. These processes link to relative sea level stands in combination with seismicity and other causative factors.

Dr. Keith Louden, Dalhousie University

Biography: Keith Louden is a Professor in Marine Geophysics and has been at Dalhousie since 1982. He has published over 70 scientific papers and given numerous invited talks worldwide. He has been an associate editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research and Canadian representative on the Ocean Drilling Program and the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior. His current research is primarily directed towards studies of the structure of rifted continental margins off Eastern Canada. This work has involved making new observations at sea in collaborative programs both national and international. He directed the Canadian Mariprobe Program (2000-04), which produced new crustal-scale images of the Newfoundland and Nova Scotian margins. He has participated on over 40 research cruises worldwide. As part of this work, new instrumentation in multi-component seafloor seismographs and heat flow have been designed and built at Dalhousie. Recent commercial contracts have included use of the heat flow probe off W. Africa, the Gulf of Mexico, NE Brazil andIndonesia.

Presentation Abstract: “Analysis of Petroleum Systems on the Scotian Slope Using Thermal and Seismic Techniques”

This project is focused on constraining thermal and petroleum systems models for two deep to ultra-deep water regions of the Nova Scotia slope. Our results will lead to an improved understanding of the nature of basement and salt structures and their effect on petroleum maturation, and will provide groundwork for seismic characterization of sedimentary physical properties for improved definition of petroleum reservoirs.

In Phase I of the project, we focus on the south-western region of the slope. Work to date has included:

  • Seismic horizon interpretations and petroleum systems models along the GXT NovaSpan Line 1600 and Lithoprobe Line 88-1A seismic reflection profiles. These profiles cross regions of salt diapirs and a recently-imaged zone of early rifting sediments. Results of the modeling by P.K. Mukhopadhyay (Global Geoenergy Research Ltd.) indicate a significant potential for hydrocarbon maturation of late Jurassic to early Cretaceous source rocks, especially along Line 1600.
  • Estimates of present-day seafloor heat flow anomalies have been determined by the models along the profiles. These results predict significant variations due to the high conductivity salt that may have a significant impact on the hydrocarbon maturation. We recently have been awarded 8 days of ship time on the CCGS Hudson in July 2008. During this field program, we will undertake detailed heatflow measurements along the profiles in order to verify the model predictions.
  • We have begun analysis of pre-stack seismic reflection data along NovaSpan Line 5300 across the Torbrook C-15 well. Our goal is to test the application of seismic reflectivity techniques for prediction of sediment physical properties compared to the actual borehole observations. In this particular case study, we want to examine why the drilling target of the borehole was unsuccessful.

Additional details of this work will be summarized in the oral presentation and in accompanying posters.

Dr. Georgia Pe-Piper, Saint Mary’s University

Biography:  Georgia Pe-Piper is a Professor of Geology at Saint Mary’s University. She gained a B.Sc. (first class) in Natural Sciences from the University of Athens (Greece) in 1967 and a Ph.D. in Mineralogy and Petrology from Cambridge University (UK) in 1971. She was then appointed a Lecturer, and subsequently promoted to Reader, in the Department of Geology at the University of Patras, Greece. She came to Saint Mary’s in 1981 and was promoted to Full Professor in 1990. She was Director of Graduate Studies and Research at Saint Mary’s University from 1999-2001 and a member of the NSERC Council from 1997 – 2000. Her research applies geochemistry and mineralogy to geoscience issues and has resulted in more than 200 papers in refereed journals. She is well known for her work on shoshonitic volcanic rocks, shear zone granites, and the petrographic recognition of the Montagnais impact crater. She has managed multi-year projects on the bedrock geology of the Cobequid Highlands and on the Chaswood Formation of the Maritimes, and has published a book on the Igneous Rocks of Greece. She taught Petroleum Geology for 18 years and has published widely on Cretaceous rocks (sedimentary and volcanic) onshore and offshore Nova Scotia.

Presentation Abstract: “OETR Geoscience Project: River sources and the transfer of sands to deep-water, Lower Cretaceous, Scotian basin”

Understanding the source and dispersion of Lower Cretaceous deltaic sandstones is important for predicting (1) sandstone reservoir distribution and (2) reservoir quality from the availability of quartz and character of diagenesis related to variations in detrital petrography. Sedimentological interpretation of conventional core will improve models of transfer of sand to deep water. I will summarize progress and the most important preliminary findings.

Detrital petrology studies have included chemical “fingerprinting” of detrital minerals, Mineral Liberation Analysis to characterize heavy mineral assemblages, LA-ICPMS dating and morphology of zircon, electron microprobe dating and morphology of monazite, and single-grain Ar-Ar muscovite dating (with Peter Reynolds). Existing bulk-rock geochemistry data have been analyzed and new data including radiogenic isotopes are being acquired to further characterize source terranes. All these data confirm that the western, central and eastern parts of the Scotian basin were supplied by different rivers, with an important component from western Newfoundland in the central and eastern rivers. Several criteria allow distinction of first cycle (crystalline basement) and polycyclic (principally Carboniferous) sources. Cretaceous zircons are common, implying a significant contemporaneous volcanic contribution to Scotian basin sediments. Muscovite and monazite dating suggest the present inner shelf was a significant source of sediment, implying steeper gradients than previously considered. All planned conventional core has now been logged, revealing new critical sedimentological data for hyperpycnal flows. Concepts relevant to the transfer of sands to deeper water have been advanced from recent studies elsewhere now being reported in the literature. Overall, the work is on target.

Paul Barnes, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Biography: Paul Barnes is Manager – Atlantic Canada, for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) based in their St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador office. Paul has over 17 years experience in the oil and gas industry. Prior to joining CAPP, he was employed with the Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) as Analyst and Deputy Registrar. He currently serves on a number of industry and national research related Boards.

Dr. Abdel Ghaly, Dalhousie University

Biography: Dr. Abdel Ghaly received his BSc and MSc from Alexandria University in Egypt, and went on to complete a PhD in Environmental Biotechnology at McGill University in Montreal in 1982. He has taught agricultural and biological engineering at universities around the world, including Alexandria University, McGill University, University of Zambia. He has been a member of the Faculty of Engineering at Dalhousie and the former Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS) since 1982. Dr. Ghaly has been involved in research in many areas, including the properties of biomass materials, biogas production and production of de-icing agents. He has won numerous honours and awards, and has given over 38 presentations at a guest speaker at conferences around the world.

Michael Main, Nova Scotia Agricultural College

Biography: Michael Main is a research associate at Nova Scotia Agricultural College. He started his agricultural career operating a mixed farm, followed by employment in the dairy service sector for 5 years. In 1999, he returned to NSAC to study sustainability of dairy systems, leading to a M.Sc. Following this, he focused on research on greenhouse gas emissions from dairy systems. For the past 3 years, he has been involved in a new research initiative at NSAC involving sustainable bioenergy supply from agriculture, focused mainly on production of solid biomass fuels and utilization of agricultural wastes. This has included a review of agricultural resources for biomass production in the Maritimes, and an assessment of net energy production of a number of bioenergy pathways at a national scale. Michael’s interest is in examining the life-cycle economic and environmental performance of production systems.

Presentation Abstract: “Agricultural Biomass Availability for Bioenergy Applications in Nova Scotia”

In Nova Scotia, up to 40,000 hectares of cleared land is currently unused or underutilized This land could supply between 300,000 and 500,000 Tonnes of dry biomass annually. The most versatile system is production of grass, coppice, or fiber crops for pellet fuels. Ag. pellets production is characterized by positive life cycle energy ratios (in the range of 6 to 10:1, out: in), and capacity to replace 20-35% of current light fuel oil consumption in NS. The same area in grain or oilseeds would provide less than 1/3 of the gross energy yield as ethanol or biodiesel, and less than 1/5 of the net energy yield. Sugar beet has high yield potential for ethanol, but available hectares for sustainable production are limited.

Up to 250,000 ha land could be developed for agricultural biofuel/bioproduct crops through conversion from current crops and land clearing, but this would require much stronger economic incentives than currently exist, and could increase the province’s current food production deficit. Much of this land would be best suited to fibrous perennials.

There are small amounts of crop residue available in the province, but this is mainly utilized for bedding or animal feed, or is needed to maintain soil carbon. Biogas production from all of NS’s livestock manure could supply about 60,000MWH/y of electricity, and an equal quantity of cogenerated heat. Small quantities of carcass waste and fats are available and are being utilized for biofuels. NS agriculture can and will have a role in the energy supply.

Veselin Milosevic, J.D. Irving

Biography: Veselin Milosevic started his career as a Research Engineer in Belgrade, Serbia, in the multi phase mixing and separation applications in 1990. He had a number of leading positions over the years in major local projects related to oil refining, polymer production as well as food industry.

He later moved to pursue his career in Canada where he found home at University of Toronto as a fellow researcher and at WTI Corporation as a technology developer in the environmental engineering field. His focus of interest at the time has been industrial wastewater treatment and advanced membrane separation processes.

In 1997 Veselin Milosevic joined the Irving Group of companies and started building the environmental side of the business. He has been instrumental with expanding company’s environmental services and activities into other areas, such as process and specialty chemicals production and applications. In his current role as Strategic Projects Manager Veselin Milosevic helps both Barrington Environmental Services and the corporate level develop and establish new businesses. In recent years one of his key areas of interest and activities is biofuels – their local production potential and incorporation into the corporate strategic direction.

Veselin Milosevic has obtained advanced engineering degrees from University of Belgrade, Serbia, and an MBA from St. Mary’s in Halifax, Canada.

Presentation Abstract: “Cellulosic Ethanol R&D Roadmap”

In order for ethanol to significantly increase its market share on a large scale, it must become cheaper. For that to happen inexpensive and plentiful feedstocks must be found and ways to utilize them outside the current corn related production. Cellulosic ethanol holds that promise. It is an environmentally friendly fuel that can be produced from a variety of feedstocks – from straw, corn stalks and stover, dedicated energy crops such as switchgrass, sugarcane bagasse, and more importantly for this region, wood products and residues.

Three relevant technology platforms for cellulosic ethanol production are going to be reviewed and key areas of research and developments activities will be discusses. One platform is the biochemical conversion of biomass into ethanol, which involves four major steps: thermochemical treatment of raw lignocellulosic biomass to make the complex polymers more accessible to enzymatic breakdown, production and application of special enzymes that can hydrolyze plant cell-wall polysaccharides to a mixture of simple sugars, fermentation of sugars to ethanol solution supported by bacteria or yeast, and purification of the beer into fuel grade ethanol. Another is a combination of thermal and biochemical processes that relies on simple gasification of biomass and use of syngas components, mainly carbon gases, as a feed to a biological reactor where fermentation to ethanol solution takes place; ethanol solution is further purified to yield fuel grade ethanol. Other one is the thermochemical platform, which is based on indirect biomass gasification, syngas formation and cleaning and a block of synthesis processes coupled together to yield a mix of alcohols where ethanol is a major product.

Advantages and disadvantages of each of these platforms are going to be discussed along with a timetable to commercialization. Current list of the cellulosic ethanol demonstration and planned commercial projects for both US and Canada will be reviewed. Given the research and technology activity level it is widely expected that all these platforms will be commercially available within the next 3-5 years.

Kevin Vessey, Saint Mary’s University

Biography: J. Kevin Vessey is the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and a Professor of Biology at Saint Mary’s University.  Dr. Vessey received his BSc and MSc from Dalhousie University and his PhD from Queen’s University.  Aside from his 16 years as a Professor of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba, he has also been a Researcher Associate at North Carolina State University, and a Visiting Scientist at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.  Dr. Vessey took up his current positions at Saint Mary’s University in 2005.

Dr. Vessey’s teaching and research area is plant physiology, particularly the functional interactions between crop plants and beneficial micro-organisms, and the optimizing of oil-seed crops as biodiesel feedstocks.  He has published over 65 peer-reviewed scholarly articles and book chapters and has co-edited one book.  He has supervised over twenty graduate students and has been awarded several regional and national research awards.

Positions in which Dr. Vessey has recently served, or is currently serving, include Grant Selection Committees of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (GSC03 &  GSC1058), Advisory Committees for the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust, Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada, and TRIUMF (the Tri-University Meson Facility), and the Boards of Directors for the Atlantic Environmental Sciences Network, the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies, the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools, Offshore Energy Technology Research Association, Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada, Plant Inoculants Canada, and Springboard Inc.

Presentation Abstract: “Are Biofuels Sustainable?”

The rhetoric around biofuels ranges from condemning them as “crimes against humanity” to lauding them as “the world’s salvation” as conventional fuels decline.  Of course, reality sits somewhere between these two extremes.  There is great diversity in the sources of materials (“feedstocks”) to be converted into biofuels.  The production of these feedstocks and their conversion into biofuels can be quite economically and environmentally efficient, or not.  Research is underway to increase the both the economic and environmental efficiency of biofuel feedstocks.  Some biofuel feedstocks and conversion processes make more sense to pursue for further research and development than others.  In addition, for biofuels to become mainstream, it is necessary that biorefineries develop from the conceptual to the reality stage.

Scott McCoombs, Nova Scotia Department of Energy

Biography: Scott graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS) –  since been renamed Dalhousie University’s Sexton Campus.

He began working for the Province of Nova Scotia in 1983 with the former Department of Mines and Energy as an Engineer in Training. Scott subsequently attained his Professional Engineering designation in 1985 and he continues to hold an active membership with the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia (APENS) at this time.

His entire Professional career has been devoted to working for the Province of  Nova Scotia in various energy related capacities – too numerous to mention here today.

As the current Manager of the Nova Scotia Department of Energy’s Energy Markets Division, his areas of responsibility include policy and regulatory issues related to natural gas pipelines, underground storage and distribution, electricity and renewable energy.

Dr. Graham Daborn, Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research

Biography: Graham Daborn was formerly Professor of Biology at Acadia University and Director of the Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research (1984-2004), and Director of the Arthur Irving Academy for the Environment (2004-2007). He has been leading research on the Bay of Fundy, with particular reference to the environmental effects of tidal power and other modifications of coastal estuaries, for the last 32 years. Most recently he was involved in preparation of a strategic environmental assessment of marine energy options for the Bay of Fundy. For his work with communities and public dissemination of scientific information about the Bay of Fundy, Daborn was awarded the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award in 1993, and the Outstanding Science Champion Award of the Discovery Centre in 2000.

Presentation Abstract: “Environmental and Socio-economic Impact Assessment of Tidal Energy Development in the Bay of Fundy”

The recently-completed Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of marine energy options in the Bay of Fundy was a first attempt to develop a context within which future prospects for energy generation in the Bay could be evaluated. Useful energy can be developed from the Bay in a number of ways: from off-shore wind farms, from waves, and from tidal currents. Because of the enormous tidal movements, the principal means of energy generation is expected to be from the new generation of tidal in-stream energy converters (TISEC) that are presently in early stages of development. Consequently, the SEA focused primarily on TISEC developments, with passing reference to other technologies, including tidal lagoons. The SEA process carried out by the Offshore Energy Environmental Research Association (OEER) attempted to meet several objectives:

  • To increase the general level of public understanding of opportunities represented by TISEC technologies;
  • To summarize the state of knowledge about the Bay of Fundy and its surrounding community, identifying knowledge gaps and issues that need to be addressed in future; and
  • Provide a robust means for stakeholder and public input into the assessment process.

The SEA process involved several steps: commissioning of a Background Document describing the present state of relevant knowledge and identifying issues; conducting of public forums in communities around the Bay, both at the beginning and the end of the process; creation of a Stakeholder Roundtable to discuss and comment on the SEA products and recommendations; commissioning of community-based activities in research or information dissemination; and preparation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment to be forwarded to the Minister.

Major issues that were identified in this process included:

  • Lack of certainty regarding the quantity of energy available in the Bay of Fundy system;
  • Lack of research knowledge regarding the behaviour of mammals, fish and birds in the vicinity of TISEC devices;
  • Lack of knowledge about the long term, long distance and cumulative effects of TISEC developments, particularly at the commercial scale;
  • Poor understanding of the socioeconomic costs and benefits, and the manner in which these would be borne by local communities; and
  • A strong consensus that renewable energies should be used to offset Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to stimulate local economic development before allowing export.

An incremental approach to testing and evaluating the prospects for tidal current energy generation from the Bay of Fundy was recommended.

Bruce Cameron, Nova Scotia Department of Energy

Biography: Bruce Cameron is the Director responsible for Strategic Policy, Planning, and Services at the Nova Scotia Department of Energy. Mr. Cameron did his undergraduate work in the social sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa and received an MBA from Dalhousie University.

In general, much of his recent work has focused on initiatives to improve the regulatory and investment climate for offshore energy activities. He has leadership roles within the Atlantic Energy Roundtable, the Frontier and Offshore Regulatory Renewal Initiative, and the process to renew the Province’s Energy Strategy.

He also has significant responsibilities for energy RandD including roles as Secretary Treasurer for both of the provinces new offshore energy research associations – one for geoscience and the other for marine science.

Sandy MacMullin, Nova Scotia Department of Energy

Biography: Sandy MacMullin is currently Director of the Resource Assessment and Royalties Division with the Nova Scotia Department of Energy, a position he has held since 1998.  His division is responsible for providing policy advice to government regarding upstream oil and gas activities, including royalties, and the promotion Nova Scotia’s oil and gas potential to investors.  In addition, his group administers offshore petroleum royalty collection for the Province as well as coordinates the regulation of onshore petroleum exploration activity.

Mr. MacMullin earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia in 1981.  Prior to his employment with the Department, Mr. MacMullin held various positions within the Nova Scotia provincial government beginning in 1991, including assignments with the Department of Mines and Energy, Natural Resources and the Nova Scotia Petroleum Directorate.  During the 1981 to 1991 time period, Mr. MacMullin was employed as a petroleum reservoir engineer for the Canada Oil and Gas Lands Administration (COGLA) in Ottawa working mainly on offshore Nova Scotia oil and gas fields.

Nancy Rondeaux, Nova Scotia Department of Energy

Biography: Nancy Rondeaux is an engineer with the Nova Scotia Department of Energy. Her role is to provide policy advice regarding the development of renewable energy sources, including tidal energy and bioenergy.

Mrs. Rondeaux earned her environmental engineering degree at the University of Guelph. Prior to her employment with the Department, Mrs. Rondeaux worked with the district heating company, Suez Energy Services, developing centralized, cogeneration and district heating bioenergy projects.

David Stewart, High Performance Energy Systems Inc.

Biography: David Stewart is a professional engineer with his mechanical engineering degree from the University of Waterloo (1974) and his Masters of Science in Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island (1978).

He has expertise in the area of energy simulations and is responsible for business development, energy management strategy development and energy audits for potential clients with High Performance Energy Systems, Inc., holding the position of Principal.

David has been involved in the development and marketing of energy management and renewable energy for the last 27 years. He has been involved with leading edge green building projects such as Horton High School, which was Canada’s nominee in the school category for the Green Building Challenge ’98.

He was one of the first consulting engineers in Canada to offer energy simulation services to reduce the demand for electrical and fossil fuels under the Commercial Building Incentive Program. He has been recognized by Natural Resources Canada as an Experienced Consultant. David is an accredited LEED consultant.

Presentation Abstract: “Integrating Renewable Energy Into Building Retrofits”

The Alderney Five project demonstrates the first application of a concentric borehole system thermal cold energy system in the world.  The complex consists of the Alderney Gate Office Building, Alderney Gate Library, Alderney Landing Theatre, Dartmouth Ferry Terminal and the Halifax Regional School Board Office. This low energy cooling thermal storage system uses a very limited temperature difference to provide air conditioning to the complex.  Circulating chilled water through heat exchangers from the ocean in winter to the boreholes initially will cool the borehole system. The configuration of the borehole-drilling pattern is 6 sets of rings so that the thermal energy can be entered or extracted at various temperature regimes.  The purpose of the cooling storage system is to provide cooling energy for a short period 6 to 8 weeks when the direct cooling from seawater is not feasible.

Rob Bennett, Nova Scotia Power Inc.

Biography: Rob Bennett was appointed Executive Vice President, Revenue and Sustainability, in September 2007. In this new role, he is responsible for leadership focus on environmental performance, customer service excellence and commercial relationships. In particular, he is accountable for execution of Nova Scotia Power’s focus on Cleaner, Greener performance.

Mr. Bennett returns to Nova Scotia Power from Bangor Hydro-Electric Company, where he served for two years and President and Chief Operating Officer. During his tenure, he made significant contributions to the success of the company, especially relating to safety and operational excellence. Prior to his appointment as President of Bangor Hydro, Rob was General Manager of Transmission and Delivery Asset Management. He was active in the community, serving on the boards of the Bangor Y and the United Way of Eastern Maine. He continues to serve as a Director of Bangor Hydro.

Mr. Bennett began his career with Nova Scotia Power as a staff engineer and later a protection engineer. He served as Superintendent of the Annapolis Hydro station, one of only three tidal generating stations in the world. He was also Regional Manager for Northeastern Nova Scotia.

Mr. Bennett is a native of Halifax. He is a Registered Professional Engineer. He holds an undergraduate degree from St. Francis Xavier University and an engineering degree from the DalTech School of Engineering in Halifax.

Presentation Abstract: “Transformative Change: New Energy Options for Nova Scotia”

Wind, tidal power and biomass – Why do they matter so much to a power company and to many Nova Scotians? Nova Scotia Power’s strategy is to diversify into new energy sources with a strong emphasis on renewable energy options and cleaner fuels. Reducing energy demand is also important. The company is investing in new  energy conservation and efficiency programs. The search for solutions also means looking outside our  province to our nearest neighbours. There may be a role for nuclear power from New Brunswick or imports of hydro power from Newfoundland. All options are on the table and many are being actively pursued. It all adds up to a different energy future for Nova Scotia Power and its customers.

Steve Fudge, Jacques Whitford

Biography: Stephen M. Fudge, M.Sc. is Senior Vice President, Energy and a Principal with Jacques Whitford. He has over 25 years of experience as an Environmental Consultant.  He has managed, co-ordinated or acted as Senior Advisor for many major environmental projects in Canada and Internationally including: the Lower Churchill Hydro Project EIS, Voisey’s Bay EIS; Hibernia Offshore Development EIS; the Cohasset/Panuke Development Plan EIS;  SOEI Onshore and Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Programs and the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Limited Halifax and Point Tupper Lateral Pipeline EA’s.  He also acted as Senior Advisor to the project team that worked on the Anadarko Bear Head LNG Project, the Kitimat LNG Project and the Enbridge Rabaska LNG Project. Recently, he managed the environmental assessment of the Deep Panuke Offshore Development Project for Encana.  In addition, he has most recently been involved with wind power and tidal power projects in NS and NB. He is a specialist in environmental management and liaison with both public and private sectors. Mr. Fudge has given evidence in front of both provincial and federal hearing panels, and has also given expert testimony on behalf of clients to the National Energy Board on several environmental panels. Mr. Fudge has a thorough understanding of both Provincial and Federal project development requirements from pre-Regulatory Application submission through post-release and post-sanction.

Presentation Abstract: “Wind Power – Evolving Environmental Issues”

Mr. Steve Fudge is pleased to speak on behalf of Jacques Whitford on the topic of evolving issues in wind power. His brief discussion will highlight the multilayer planning and permitting process for wind development and issues surrounding it while focusing specifically on the debate regarding noise, separation distances, and impacts on avifauna.  Jacques Whitford understands the strategic position in Atlantic Canada of renewable energy in helping utilities and government at all levels to address the issues of sustainability and climate change. The company has advised many municipalities on development, infrastructure, energy efficiency, climate change and adaptation, and beyond. Recently, Jacques Whitford completed the Model Wind Turbine By-laws and Best Practices for the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and is currently working on similar reports elsewhere. As wind developments are still relatively new in North America, regulations are not standard and there is sometimes little scientific or societal consensus on some impacts.  Mr. Fudge will help to clarify the debate and provide a viewpoint on the environmental regulatory process.

Dr. Mark Fleming, Saint Mary’s University

Biography: Dr. Mark Fleming is on the board of the CN Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax. Dr. Fleming holds an MA in Psychology and an MSc in Human Factors and Ergonomics from the University of Aberdeen and a PhD in Offshore Safety Management from the Robert Gordon University. His PhD research was funded by the UK Health and Safety Executive and offshore oil industry. Dr. Fleming was a member of the team, who were the first to measure safety culture in the offshore oil and gas industry.  He has carried on his research in safety culture development and improvement, and behavioural aspects of safety for a number of industries (including aviation, petrochemical and healthcare).

Dr. Fleming’s current research projects focus on helping high hazard organizations become ‘ultra safe’. This research includes adapting occupational safety techniques to improve process safety and asset integrity.   Effective risk management relies on people implementing appropriate risk control strategies.  The likelihood that managers, supervisors and frontline workers will act appropriately is determined by their appreciation of the risk and tolerance for risk.  These are fundamentally psychological issues and can be addressed using interventions, such as behavioural safety and safety culture improvement programs. His recently developed and validated a Safety Culture Audit Tool. The tool consists of a list of organizational practices that are associated with the creation and development of a positive safety culture. It is ultimately a list of safety processes that indicate the maturity of an organization’s safety culture.

Through his work, Dr. Fleming hopes to provide best practice guidelines to industry and criteria for successful safety programs.  He seeks to translate his work on safety culture into usable practices and guidelines by producing practical tools such as Changing Minds Guide and the Cultural Maturity Model.

 Presentation Abstract: “Risk Management from the Perspective of Asset Integrity”

This presents psychological approaches to risk management using Asset Integrity Management (AIM), as a specific example. It is important for organisations to understand employee perceptions of risk as this influences their behaviour. In addition, employee perceptions are a useful source of information for low frequency high consequence events. A newly proposed AIM maturity model is described. This model is designed to enable organisations to identify the maturity of their AIM practices to assist them in improving performance.

Michael Taber, Dalhousie University

Biography: Michael’s interest in human factors stems from his 7 years as an aviation technician and ship’s team diver in the Canadian military. While serving in the air force, Michael became interested in training aspects related to survival and it was this focus that led him to the instructional team at Survival Systems Training where he spent 8 years as the Senior Instructor and a further year as the Research and Development Project Coordinator. Michael has completed an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s degree in kinesiology. He is currently pursuing an Interdisciplinary PhD at Dalhousie University and his research efforts are focused on cognitive engineering aspects associated with human system integration and offshore emergency response training.

Presentation Abstract: “Emergency Response Improvements for the Offshore Industry”

Anecdotal examples of inappropriate responses during an emergency are abundant throughout the relatively long history of offshore oil and gas production.  Reason (1990) proposes that industrial accidents are often the result of complex interactions and the accumulation of several separate events.  Vincente (2003) indicates that individuals often work outside the boundaries of safe practices because catastrophic consequences rarely occur. Related to this line of thinking, Booher (2004) suggests that without using a human systems integration (HSI) approach that incorporates the effects of variables such as personnel selection, training and human factors engineering, it is difficult to truly understand how individuals integrate systems constraints.  This presentation outlines research directed at investigating human systems integration (HSI) related to dynamic decision-making within the offshore oil and gas industry. Specifically, the proposed research will explore the current training and evaluation methods used for certification of emergency response team members. In addition, the research will offer possible interventions that may be used to empirically validate safety management strategies implemented during indoctrination of new offshore installation managers. This project which includes researchers from five different faculties at two different universities is funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Menno Dinkelman, ION-GX Technology Imaging Solutions

Biography: After receiving degrees in Natural Sciences and Geology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Menno came to the USA for post-graduate studies in Geological Oceanography at Oregon State.  After eight years on the Faculty at Florida State’s Geology Department he joined Conoco’s Exploration Research division in 1980 as Senior Research Scientist and then became Principal Research Geologist for Arco Oil & Gas in 1984.  In these capacities he carried out research in seismic stratigraphy and evaluated exploration projects in many of the world’s petroleum basins.  In 1987 he was appointed the Special Technical Advisor for Exploration and Production to the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources in the Republic of Yemen with its emerging oil and gas sector.

In 1991 he joined Gaffney, Cline & Associates and became involved in a broad range of projects in onshore and offshore petroleum basins worldwide, including grass-root exploration studies, integrated reservoir studies, reserve audits and certifications and asset valuations.  In 2003 he became an independent consultant working exploration and production projects in South Texas, the Rocky Mountains, Mexico, and the Far East.

He joined GX Technology in 2005 as Chief Geologist where he leads the interpretation teams of GXT’s basinSPAN 2-D surveys.

Douglas Keefe, Nova Scotia Department of Energy

Biography: Douglas J. Keefe QC is a private consultant and lawyer.  He retired from the Nova Scotia government in 2007.  In his last seven years he was deputy minister of justice, the head of a department of 1,400 employees, and responsible for the justice system, as well as legal services, court administration, corrections, and policing generally.

Doug has extensive experience in negotiation, change management, and crisis response: “There’s hardly a disaster in the last quarter century I haven’t been involved in.”1

Doug presents seminars on leadership. “Helping people see how daily activities embody values and contribute to strategic goals is the best way to lead – unless grim compliance is all you want.  Connect the grind to the grand and people want to contribute.”

He is married with three grown children and is a practicing member of the Barrister’s Society.

1: Including; the Marshall Commission; the Westray mine disaster & Commission, the Swissair flight 111 crash; and the Nunn Commission.

Presentation Abstract: “Parallel Processing: the SEA and the RFP”

At the same time as the SEA considered, among other things, whether any tidal project should go ahead at all, the Province selected parties for a demonstration facility.  Bob Green argues that, despite some misgivings in some quarters, the process worked transparently and effectively.  He will explain how this was accomplished and discuss some of the benefits and pitfalls of parallel processes in public policy making.

Gary Karasek, EnCana

Biography: Gary Karasek has worked as an engineering consultant in the offshore oil and gas industry for twenty-five years,  specializing  in Loss Prevention, Project Engineering and Safety Management.

Following the completion of his Bachelor of Engineering from Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador and a Masters of Engineering (Process Safety) from Sheffield University in England, Gary has worked on a variety of offshore projects, providing input on numerous safety studies, system designs, risk assessments and vendor packages.  He has worked on Hibernia, Sakhalin II, Sakhalin I, Sable Production Operations, Sable Tier II and is currently working on the Deep Panuke offshore gas project for EnCana.

With his extensive experience, Gary provides in-depth knowledge of offshore safety and process systems, platform operations and project engineering. Gary strives to achieve pragmatic resolutions to technical issues at the micro and macro levels, recognizing that changes are inevitable and solutions require a broad input when dealing with complex offshore project issues.

Presentation Abstract: “Safety and Risk Engineering for Deep Panuke”

The Canadian offshore oil and gas industry continues to mature. The EnCana Deep Panuke project represents the most recent in a string of offshore projects, which have all come into play in the last 15 years. This is a relatively short time frame when compared with other offshore sectors and is notable, since these projects were all developed after the watershed Ocean Ranger (February 1982) and Piper Alpha (July 1988) disasters. They have therefore incorporated the lessons learned from the respective Marshall and Cullen reports on those disasters, as will Deep Panuke. By circumstance, the current offshore regulations in place were also developed after these major accident events. An initiative within the NS and NL Offshore Petroleum Boards is to begin to move away from the current prescriptive regulations to goal setting regulations. This approach is aligned with other offshore sectors and complements the methodologies in place for the design and operation of Deep Panuke.

Reducing the potential for major accident events is a key focus for any large asset such as Deep Panuke. By establishing safety target levels, utilizing best available technology, employing experienced personnel and leveraging their collective design and operations knowledge, EnCana is confident this project will be able to meet and exceed the established target levels. During the design phase, the project will conduct a suite of proprietary safety studies utilizing many specialized engineering skill sets, software and databases with the results fed into a Concept Safety Assessment that will demonstrate how our targets will be met for all project phases.