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Texas A&M at Qatar and ConocoPhillips Qatar co-host Safety Symposium

Published Mar 19, 2012

Texas A&M University at Qatar and ConocoPhillips Qatar co-hosted the annual Qatar Process Safety Symposium from 13 – 14 March. The two-day event, titled “The Importance of Leadership Commitment in Making Safety a Core Value,” featured 18 speakers presenting on topics including incident case studies, best practices in process safety, research on process safety, incident investigations and safety success stories. Over 100 attendees from Qatar and abroad participated.

Dr. Luc N. Véchot, assistant professor of chemical engineering and chair of the symposium’s organizing committee, said: “The Qatar Process Safety Symposium is a wonderful opportunity for representatives from industry, academia and regulatory institutions in Qatar to exchange ideas about process safety, an important part of the State of Qatar’s industrial and social development.

“We gathered 18 distinguished speakers from countries including the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Indonesia,” continued Véchot. “The breadth of the speakers’ backgrounds and experience demonstrates how Qatar is committed to learning from best practices in the process safety field while working to become an industry leader in the field itself.”

Dr. Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M at Qatar, echoed this theme in his opening remarks, saying: “Safety is a responsibility we all share, and the best way to promote it is to talk about it. The annual safety symposium at Texas A&M at Qatar has become an important gathering of experts and industry practitioners to discuss best practices, emerging trends and news challenges that threaten the safety – and, ultimately, productivity – of Qatar’s industrial operations.”

Mr. Toufik Benmosbah, chief safety, environment and quality officer at Qatargas, delivered the plenary keynote lecture titled “Building a Process Safety Culture.” Dr. Sam Mannan, professor and director of the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M University, offered the second day’s keynote lecture on the role of education and research in training future leaders committed to safety. Ali Rajab Ashkanani from Qatar Petroleum also presented on the second day on Oil Spill and Emergency Response in Qatar.

ConocoPhillips’ sponsorship of the symposium enabled delivery of the symposium to attendees at no cost. The company is sponsoring the symposium for five years after an agreement signed in Nov. 2011.

Mr. Erec Isaacson, president, ConocoPhillips Qatar, commented on the corporation’s involvement, saying: “This symposium derives its importance from the wealth of academic knowledge and field experience that Texas A&M at Qatar, ConocoPhillips and all of the distinguished participants bring together to share. The symposium represents a sustained platform for the exchange of knowledge on industrial safety that will have its impact on awareness, research and development, as well as more stringent safety practices in the field.”

Tying the symposium to the State of Qatar’s experience and record in process safety, Isaacson continued: “Qatar holds a distinguished record in the fields of industrial safety, health and the environment, and such gatherings have a direct impact on maintaining and enhancing this standing. ConocoPhillips begins this year its long-term partnership with Texas A&M at Qatar for the annual Qatar Process Safety Symposium, and we emphasize our commitment to help support and further this cause, to the benefit of our host country and industry.”