Texas A&M University at Qatar, ConocoPhillips, and Qatargas Host Decennial Qatar Process Safety Symposium

Marking a decade of cooperation between industry and academia, the 10th Qatar Process Safety Symposium (QPSS) opened its doors to experts and visitors at the Intercontinental Doha Hotel yesterday. This year’s event saw Texas A&M University at Qatar and ConocoPhillips partner with Qatargas, the World’s Premier LNG Company, to host the two-day forum. The institutions signed a commemorative Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the conference to officiate their collaboration.

To celebrate its successful ten-year run, this year’s theme — “Human error happens. How do we overcome the inevitable?” — tackles an important challenge in process safety circles. Todd Conklin, an internationally-renowned expert in organizational safety and human performance, joined expert panelists and industry leaders to debate current concerns and advances in the field.

When asked about the significance of this event, Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer of Qatargas, said: “We are honored to become part of the annual delivery of QPSS, which has grown into an important event for Qatar’s human capital development. Our partners are globally-distinguished institutions in their respective fields of energy and academia. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, we can jointly implement superior control processes to mitigate the adverse effects of human error in the future.”

This homegrown niche event — which brings together industry and academia — offers a unique opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from leading local and international subject matter experts. Every human-made process poses an element of human error, which necessitates the implementation and continual review of control parameters. Over the course of the event, 22 international and local speakers from companies such as Dolphin Energy, Qatar Chemical Company (QChem), Qatar Fuel Additives Company (QAFAC), Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO), and Qatar Petroleum will debate crucial topic such as human factors engineering, organizational safety culture, safety management systems, and process safety competency.

Dr. César O. Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, remarked: “Our connection to the local oil and gas industry stems from a strong academic focus in engineering. At Texas A&M at Qatar, we prepare the next generation of leaders with not only a high competency in engineering but an overall capacity to enter the workforce with a strong sense of hazard awareness and process safety culture. Establishing a dialogue between business and academia is a substantial part of our efforts.”

Since 2010, Texas A&M at Qatar’s branch campus and the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center has worked to promote process safety and organize QPSS together with ConocoPhillips.

“With Qatargas, we are adding a major national industry player to our successful alliance with ConocoPhillips. I am confident that our combined knowledge and dedication will contribute to the success of QPSS today and for years to come,” Dr. Malavé concluded.

The importance of QPSS is to promote the sustainability of the business, protect the safety of the people, and secure the future of our environment.

Todd Creeger, president of ConocoPhillips Qatar, said: “Qatar’s rapid industry expansion follows the country’s commitment to the aspirations outlined in Qatar National Vision 2030. This year, we acknowledge the inherent issue of human error and its effect on overall safety, growth, and production volume. More importantly, we are able to work towards the overall design of processes to help ensure that human error does not lead to any major catastrophe. We are collectively confident that we can make meaningful strides towards innovative methods of prevention and mitigation that include fail-safe design in the industry.”

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