2-4 November 2005
Chevron; Houston, TX

This workshop was suggested by Alfredo Prelat, then an employee of The Boeing Company and now with PAR Government Systems Corporation. It was sponsored by The Boeing Company. It was organized by a steering Committee (Appendix 1) representing oil and gas and related industries, government, and academia, with major assistance from Susan Martin with Texas A&M University. Facilities for the workshop were donated by Chevron. Logistics were arranged by Sherryl Gilbert and Michelle McIntyre of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alliance for Coastal Technologies directed by Mark Luther with University of South Florida.

The workshop was announced beginning in August 2005 on the GCOOS (Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System) web site (http://www.gcoos.org) and reflected on the Ocean.US web site. Personal invitations were sent to some seventy-five representatives of oil and gas companies, insurance/reinsurance companies, marine pipeline, operations and service companies, and government. The workshop was also announced by email to the individuals on the GCOOS list serve. It was well attended as seen in Appendix 2.

1.0            Workshop Objectives and Foci

1.1            Objectives

  • Obtain agreement on a short list of recommended products of highest priority to these industry sectors.
  • Identify users for these priority products.
  • Obtain guidance regarding what observations are needed to produce these products.
  • Discuss which products are for common use, and so likely produced at government expense, and which are niche products, better produced by the private sector.

It is expected that this workshop will further engage private sector participants in the planning for and support of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), specifically in the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and its Regional Associations.

Results of this workshop will be transmitted to the pertinent Regional Associations (particularly the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System, GCOOS), the national Federation of Regional Associations (NFRA), and the Ocean.US Office.

1.2            Foci

To provide structure to the workshop foci will be placed on products related to (1) operations, (2) extreme events, and (3) other environmental issues. Speakers and breakout sessions will focus on those areas, though the first two may be treated together.

2.0            Agenda

Wednesday, November 2, 2005
6:00 pm Reception and dinner (Fogo de Chão)
  Welcome and Presentation on Alliance for Coastal Technology (Mark Luther, USF)
Thursday, November 3, 2005
8:30 am Welcome, introductions, logistics, acknowledgements, workshop goals (Cort Cooper, Mark Luther, Worth Nowlin)
  Welcome from Ocean.US (Andrew Clark, Ocean.US)
  Industry view of an ocean observing system (Ralph Rayner, Ocean Numerics)
  Overview of IOOS/GCOOS (Landry Bernard (NDBC), Worth Nowlin (Texas A&M University))
  Overview of issues related to operations and extreme events (Cort Cooper, Chevron)
  Overview of environmental issues (James Robinson, BP)
  Discussion of charge to breakout groups
Noon Luncheon; presentation by Lisa Spence on Texas Regional ROV competitions sponsored by MATE
Breakout Sessions
1:00 pm One group dealing with operations and extreme events; one dealing with other environmental events
Plenary Session
4:30 pm Industry ADCP Data at NDBC’s IOOS Data Assembly Center (Paul Moersdorf, NDBC)
5:30 Adjourn for the day; dinner on your own
Friday, November 4, 2005
8:00 am Presentation and discussion from each group; chairs prepare PowerPoint summaries for distribution.
  Facilitator, along with the panel of working group chairs, lead the discussion based on group reports. Arrive at consensus on deliverables.
Noon Adjourn

3.0            Welcome, Introductions, Workshop Goals

Cort Cooper welcomed workshop participants to Chevron’s Houston facility and reviewed procedures and logistics. All attendees briefly introduced themselves. Mark Luther acknowledged responsibilities for organizing and supporting the workshop, then reviewed workshop goals, and Worth Nowlin reiterated the desired deliverables from the workshop.

There was discussion regarding which observations and products would be made by GCOOS with public support and so be public and which would be made by private sector with private sector support. This issue was raised several times during the workshop. The general agreement was that it is not feasible to define (set) a generic barrier between these two modes. Decisions must be based on specific instances at specific times.

4.0            Plenary Background Presentations

4.1            Welcome from Ocean.US

Andrew Clark, currently an IPA employee of the Ocean.US Office, gave an overview of the Federal structure behind the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). This included prominently the new structure within the Executive guiding the Ocean.US Office and plans for formation of an IOOS Industry Panel report to the NOPP Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP) which itself reports to the Interagency Committee on Ocean Science and Resource Management (called AQUA BOX). Clark discussed the procedure used by ORAP in selecting Panel members. Members will be selected to represent trade organizations or associations rather than individual companies.

4.2            Industry View of an Ocean Observing System

Ralph Rayner, formerly president of Fugro GEOS and now with Ocean Numerics, presented his view as to relationships between industry and the ocean observing system.

4.3            The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS); a Regional Component of the U.S. IOOS

Landry Bernard (University of Southern Mississippi and National Data Buoy Center) and Worth Nowlin (Texas A&M University and Coastal Services Center/NOS/NOAA) gave a brief overview of the Global Ocean Observing System and the IOOS followed by the current status of GCOOS and next steps in its development.

4.4            Overview of Issues related to Operations and Extreme Events

Cort Cooper (Chevron Fellow) gave a presentation "Thoughts on GCOOS Deliverables (Operations and Extremes)". This was designed to set the stage for a breakout group discussion of products and measurement required for improved handling of industry operations, including notably situations of extreme events.

4.5            Overview of other environmental issues

James Robinson, the British Petroleum, gave a presentation dealing with potential environmental science benefits of an ocean observing system to the offshore exploration and production industry. This talk set the stage for discussions by a second breakout group on required measurements and products for improved industry handling of environmental issues in addition to operations.

5.0            Luncheon Presentation on MATE and Texas Regional ROV Competition

Lisa Spence, with the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, gave a luncheon presentation describing the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center and the Texas and National Student ROV Competition. This competition, open to high school students, is held annually and jointly organized by the Marine Technology Society’s ROV Committee and MATE. The Texas competition is organized by Alvin Community College and held at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.

6.0            Breakout sessions

Two breakout groups were given an afternoon to consider specific charges and provide to the subsequent plenary expected deliverables.

6.1            Charges and Expected Deliverables

Charges to Breakout Groups
What are the highest priority products for the oil and gas and related industry sectors?
Who will be the end users?
What observations are needed to produce these products?

Expected Workshop Deliverables
1. Prioritized list of needed products with users
2. Suggested observations needed to produce these products

The breakout groups also were asked to consider which products might be produced by GCOOS and which by the industry.

6.2            The Two Breakout Groups

One group dealt with measurements and products needed in support of industry operations, including effects of extreme events. It was chaired by Cort Cooper with Mark Luther as rapporteur. The other group dealt with measurements and products needed in support of other environmental issues of concern to the industry. It was chaired by James Robinson, with Ian Voparil as vice chair and Ann Jochens as rapporteur.

7.0            Synthesis of Results

The chairs of both breakout groups reported their recommendations to plenary on the second day of the workshop. Following open discussion, Cort Cooper agreed to act as facilitator to combine priorities from both breakout groups for both measurements and products. This proved surprisingly straightforward because many priorities coincided. The resulting suite of recommended products and measurements is available. However, it should be considered as interim because the workshop decided to vet these recommendations with the CASE/EJIP group and the Offshore Operators Council. The final recommendations will take into account suggestions of these groups.

The workshop was adjourned at noon on November 4, 2005.

Appendix 1. Workshop Steering Committee

Landry Bernard NDBC
Robert Brovey Exxon Mobil
Andrew Clark Ocean.US
Cort Cooper Chevron
Mark Luther USF/ACT
Robert "Buzz" Martin Texas General Land Office
Tony Mayer Marsh
Worth D. Nowlin, Jr. Texas A&M University
Alfredo Prelat PAR
Khalid Soofi Conoco Phillips
Ray Toll SAIC
Jan van Smirren Fugro GEOS

Appendix 2. Workshop Attendees

Heather W. Atkinson BP Exploration & Production Inc.
Gail Baxter Marathon Oil Co.
Mr. Landry Bernard National Data Buoy Center
Dr. Lisa Campbell Texas A&M University
Andrew Clark Ocean.US
Bob Cohen Weathernews Americas Inc
Dr. Cortis Cooper Chevron
Dr. Steven DiMarco Texas A&M University
David Driver BP America Inc.
Mr. James Feeney Horizon Marine Inc.
Dr. Sergey Frolov Accurate Environmental Forecasting Inc.
Mr. Michael Gamble The Boeing Company
Ms. Sherryl Gilbert The Alliance for Coastal Technologies, GoM
Tom Gustafson Nova Southern University
Jill Hasling Weather Research Center
Fred Hefren Minerals Management Service
Jim Hiney Texas Sea Grant College Program
Dr. Ann Jochens Texas A&M University
Jim Kruse TTI/Texas Sea Grant
Dr. Mark Luther University of South Florida / ACT
Mr. John Macleod Evans Hamilton, Inc.
Dr. Robert Martin Texas General Land Office
Dr. Thomas McGee University of Mississippi
Michelle McIntyre Alliance for Coastal Technologies
Dr. Tom Mitchell Consultant
Dr. Paul Moersdorf National Data Buoy Center
Mr. Geoffrey Morrison International SeaKeepers Society
Prof. Worth D. Nowlin Texas A&M University
Anthony Pesek U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston
Mr. Henry (Tucker) Pierce SAIC
Dr. Alfredo Prelat PAR Government
Mr. Ralph Rayner Ocean Numerics
Mr. Glenn Roach Citgo Petroleum
Mr. James Robinson BP Exploration & Production Inc.
Dr. Dail Rowe Accurate Environmental Forecasting Inc.
Mr. Kenneth Schaudt schaudt.us
Prof. Alex Soloviev NOVA Southeastern University Oceanographic Center
Mr. David Szabo Ocean Numerics
Ray Toll SAIC
Dr. Rex Tracy PAR Government
Mr. Jan van Smirren Fugro GEOS Inc.
Mr. Michael Vogel Shell International EP
Dr. Ian Voparil Shell
Mark Walquist Wilkens Weather Technologies
Prof. Robert Weisberg University of South Florida