Alliance Offers Lessons from Space for Exploration, Production

Alliance Offers Lessons from Space for Exploration, Production

Though millions of miles apart, the environments in which the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and deepwater operates explore present similar risks. A new alliance seeks to apply risk analysis and management techniques used in space exploration to deepwater exploration and production.

Officials with the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions and NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) signed a strategic partnership June 27 that would offer Deloitte and NASA's advanced risk-management services to oil and gas companies.

Through the alliance, Deloitte's oil and gas clients can access a full-suite of Deloitte's and NASA's risk-modeling, simulation tools and techniques to help reduce the risk of low-probability, high-risk events, or Black Swan events such as 2010's Deepwater Horizon incident. 

The alliance will focus on:

  • risk culture effectiveness
  • risk modeling and simulation
  • emerging risk management
  • future science risk capabilities

 By using tools such as Bayesian networks and agent-based modeling employed by NASA, oil and gas companies can reduce uncertainty in engineering and oil and gas operations and eliminate blind spots in decision-making.

Deloitte and NASA officials said the partnership presents a perfect match. Both industries have a similar risk profile of low probability risks with catastrophic consequences such as the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010. Both industries also operate in harsh, remote environments using complex engineered systems, diverse workforces and heavy reliance on contractors, said David Traylor, principal with Deloitte & Touche, at the signing ceremony at JSC in Houston.

As the oil and gas industry continues to explore further offshore, the increasingly complex technology the industry uses stretches it beyond its comfort level when it could rely on historic practices, said John England, vice chairman and leader of Deloitte LLP's oil and gas practice, at the ceremony. This approach would be like "driving on the interstate while looking at the rear view mirror." The predictive analysis services offered through the alliance will allow the industry to look forward.


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