Catastrophic Failure and Risk Analysis — A Case Based Review

Posted on: July 24th, 2011 by Muze Development

Catastrophic Failure and Risk Analysis — A Case Based Review

Rarely are catastrophic incidents viewed as opportunities and even less often is there clarity regarding the potential regulatory aftermath until well after the incident has faded from the public view. For companies involved in the incident, more often than not, corporate effort and management team focus is expended physically recovering from the incident, managing the inevitable maelstrom of litigation, restructuring personnel, and restoring shareholder confidence. Regulatory and governmental oversight agencies are typically roiled in fact-finding testimonials, inter-agency questioning, rhetorically retrenching as to the specific purposes for which they were created and other bureaucratic red tape processes for a length of time. This is certainly true and with fervor often amplified when those incidents have claimed human lives. The last three decades have seen a number of catastrophic failures including the loss of the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia, nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima, and a number of plant/refinery explosions including Bhopal, Texas City and the almost complete Kleen Energy facilty. Along the Gulf Coast, the offshore oil and gas industry is currently recovering from one of the most devastating incidents of this generation. The explosion and subsequent loss of the Deepwater Horizon and the ensuing spill of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from the deepwater Macondo well currently presents a challenge to the entire industry. In an attempt to understand the potential implications to both internal corporate decision making processes and regulatory requirements, this presentation is intended to provide a review of historical incidents of significance, industry changes that occurred in their wake and risk management methods and methodologies that can assist in prevention of future accidents.

–Jim Vopelius

Trident Risk Management, LLC

Jim Vopelius, MBA, is Vice-President, CFO and Co-Founder. Mr. Vopelius specializes in the technical and commercial aspects of the energy sector in the U.S. and abroad, including financial modeling and risk analysis, feasibility studies, and market analysis.

A 14-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mr. Vopelius' experience includes vessel and reactor operations, as well as training, scheduling, administration, maintenance, safety, testing, and risk management functions relating to nuclear power generation and plant operations. He has operational experience in a variety of settings including subsea arctic conditions of temperature, salinity, and ice flow.

Former Positions: LCDR Submarine Force — U.S. Navy

Senior Associate, Houston Oil & Gas Team– Exponent

Education: B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University

M.S. equivalent in Nuclear Engineering from the DOE

M.B.A. in Finance and Operations & Information Management — Wharton School

Source: Cheminnovations


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