Petrobas Keynote Speaker at International Marine Contractor’s Association Seminar

Delegates from around the world are registering for next month’s International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) Safety and Environment Seminar, with its theme ‘Risk and impact in marine operations’ (Rio de Janeiro, 21-22 March) which will focus to a large extent on process safety/asset integrity challenges in marine construction. The seminar is endorsed by IBP (Instituto Brasileiro de Petróleo).

“We have a strong opening session featuring all-important input and views from Brazilian speakers, including the Brazilian regulator ANP and Baker & MacKenzie Int, with the most recent addition to the programme being keynote speaker Lauro Antônio Puppim, Subsea Maintenance & Inspection Manager of Petrobras, an important area for IMCA members in Brazil, explains Hugh Williams, Chief Executive of IMCA.

“This year we have moved slightly away from occupational health risks the normal core topic of this annual Seminar, and will be looking at the impact of high risk/low probability issues, believing the time is right for this sort of content. This is the eleventh in the annual series which started in the UK and has since travelled to the USA, Netherlands, Abu Dhabi, Italy and Singapore and is being held for the first time in Brazil.

“Next month’s event will look at the situation globally, but also home in on Brazilian activities – a good number of our speakers are from Brazil and we will have Portuguese-English and English-Portuguese simultaneous translation. In the opening plenary session, following an introduction and welcome by Giorgio Martelli of Saipem, chairman of our South America Section, Mr Puppim’s keynote address and an introduction and ‘icebreaker’ by David Forsyth of Bibby Offshore, Chairman of our Safety, Environment and Legislation Committee (SEL), Raphael Neves Moura of the Brazilian regulator ANP, will address the seminar’s theme, while Luciana Vianna Pereira of Baker & MacKenzie Int will address the important topic ‘What would be the legal consequences if the Macondo accident happened in Brazil?’ – a topic that will be the subject of one of our workshops.

The first day’s programme also includes presentations on ‘A method for the evaluation of environmental risks on offshore activities considering the Brazilian licensing process’; ‘Understanding vessel environmental compliance as per Brazilian legislation’, and ‘The adequacy of vessels for importation to work in Brazil’. The seminar is sticking true to its roots and not totally ignoring occupational health as the presentation ‘Workforce involvement – the story of NINA (no injuries, no accidents)’ attests. Other topics coming under the conference spotlight on the first day are ‘Corporate social responsibility’, and ‘Insuring the risk, risking the insured’; as well as the first ‘learning from incidents’ workshop in which case studies are shared.

Day Two
Jim Knight, Heerema Marine Contractors and Vice-Chairman of IMCA’s SEL Committee and David Forsyth of Bibby Offshore will co-chair the second day’s proceedings, and following their introduction and another icebreaker event, Jane Cutler, CEO of the Australian oil and gas regulator NOPSA will get the seminar off to a flying start with her presentation on ‘Design a facility rather than build a vessel’. Presentations on ‘Safety case implementation experience – lifting operations’; ‘Human reliability applied in emergency evacuation in a marine oil terminal’; and ‘Challenges faced on the GASCAC pipeline construction’, will follow before the second ‘learning from incident’ workshop session.

Following lunch, presentations will look at ‘Technip’s approach to HSE – How the PULSE program is leading HSE climate change’; ‘Process safety challenges in marine operations’; ‘Novel approach linking management system and barrier failure root causes’; ‘Offshore diving and marine operations in Brazil’, and ‘Results from the Horizon Project on the impact of fatigue on watchkeeping officers’, before the final workshop on process safety/asset integrity is held.

“Learning from incidents and round table discussions, in addition to formal presentations, are key to the format of this annual seminar,” explains Hugh Williams. “And, as has become traditional it will feature a safety share fair. Delegates will be encouraged to bring a display of their company’s safety promotional materials to the event, enabling those present to review and discuss successful safety initiatives with each other.

“Networking always plays a key role at IMCA events and there will be a registration drinks reception on 20 March between 18.00 and 21.00hrs and a seminar dinner on 21 March. We are looking forward to a highly stimulating and successful two days, which very much mark the ‘coming of age’ of our South American Section which is nearing its second anniversary, and which has established its modus operandi with local officers from member companies and regular Section meetings.

Further information on the Seminar and on membership of the association is available at; and from IMCA at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; and

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