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Gulf of Mexico Workshop

November 13, 2009
ExxonMobil Exploration Co. – Houston, Texas

On behalf of all the sponsors, thank you to all of those who attended the Small Sea Changes: Big Infrastructure Impacts workshop on November 13, in Houston, Texas. Participants demonstrated a great appetite for establishing relationships and partnerships to begin addressing uncertainty, coastal hazards, and the need for better ocean observations.

Planning for subsequent events is underway with workshops tentatively scheduled for the Pacific Coast and the Great Lakes regions.


Referenced Documents

Workshop Overview

“A workshop to explore improved management of Gulf assets through better understanding of coastal hazards.”

Friday, November 13th, 2009
ExxonMobil Exploration Co.
Houston, Texas

*View the agenda*

The broad focus of this workshop is the effect of uncertainty on infrastructure decision-making within the Gulf of Mexico region. Specifically, this event will highlight traditional means of addressing uncertainty and provide new strategies for coping with uncertainty during changing environmental conditions through leveraging ocean observing systems. 

The workshop seeks to engage Gulf asset managers from the following industry sectors: offshore oil and gas, refineries and processing plants, ports and terminals, water supply and waste water treatment, rail roads, highways, airports, hospitals, power generation and distribution, hospitals, and urban or industrial developments.

Gauging Uncertainty through Leveraging Forecasts

The Gulf Region is exposed to a unique combination of coastal hazards.  Hurricanes, rising sea levels, rising temperatures, extremes in precipitation, and a subsiding coast pose substantial and growing risks to infrastructure offshore and on land.  Extensive offshore facilities and a highly developed low lying coastal region mean that coastal hazards have large safety and economic implications.

Long-term changes in resilience and environmental conditions, not captured in historic records, are driving the need for a risk based approach to engineering design and a pressing need to realize the benefits of better observations, forecasts and projections to support long-term asset management.

By better understanding the connections between the oceans and weather we can improve predictions of when and where severe weather will strike.  Reducing the uncertainties in projections of changes in climate and sea level can significantly improve strategies for safe and economic infrastructure design and the long-term management of existing and future assets.

A sustained Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) enhancing, coordinating and connecting information at global, regional, national and local scales is a key to unlocking these benefits.

The workshop will provide delegates with:

  1. A review of coastal hazards and their impact on offshore and land infrastructure;
  2. An introduction to strategies for accommodating uncertain long-term environmental trends into engineering design and asset management;
  3. An understanding of the importance of long-term ocean observations in monitoring regional change;
  4. An exploration of how global and national ocean observations can drive improvements in regional weather forecasts and climate projections;
  5. An opportunity to network with scientists, engineers and asset managers across a range of disciplines and sectors

Big Infrastructure Impacts Page 1

Big Infrastructure Impacts Page 1