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REF NO.: 183

SUBJECT: Executive seminar seeks to redefine offshore development benefits to meet the socio-economic needs of communities

DATE: March 9

What do residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nigeria and Ecuador have in common?  They are all dealing with the significant socio-economic impacts of major oil and gas developments on their countries and communities. This is the subject of an executive seminar, initiated by Memorial University’s Oil and Gas Development Partnership (OGDP) to be held in St. John’s, March 10-12, 2004, at the Fairmont Hotel.


The OGDP is offering this first-of-its kind seminar, titled Sustainable Development: Getting It Right the First Time, to assist industry, communities and the government in: understanding the concept of sustainable development; identifying the critical issues; aligning diverse points of view; and developing processes for the preparation of petroleum operations and development plans.

“Sustainable development incorporates all the social, cultural, economic and environmental factors that impact the relationship between the oil and gas industry and the communities within which they operate. It is a global issue,” said Gerrit Maureau, OGDP executive director. “Sustainable development must be included as part of the initial negotiations regarding planning of petroleum developments, and not as an afterthought. This goes beyond ‘benefits’ as defined in the Atlantic Accord and addresses critical socio-economic needs of communities.

“This seminar will highlight how critical it is that all levels of industry, communities and governments work together to ensure that stakeholders are not compromised by conflicting interests. The objective is to ‘kick-start’ the communication process and to assist stakeholders in addressing issues in a proactive manner.”

Workshop participants will develop a tool kit to deal with critical sustainability issues and benchmarks which will be of direct benefit to municipalities and will have wide application in a variety of other jurisdictions.

“We intend to develop a new concept which will be a model for future negotiations between the industry, community planners and regional governments in a variety of jurisdictions,” Mr. Maureau added. “We hope to identify the critical socio-economic parameters essential to a sustainable development program and the benchmarks required to measure their effectiveness.”

Seminar speakers include some of the world’s leading authorities on sustainable development, including Dr. Mark Wade, Shell International; Sverre Bjerkomp, Norsk Hydro; Pat Cook, Halliburton; and Dr. Randall Gossen, Nexen. Other speakers include: journalist Stevie Cameron; former grand chief of the Assembly of First Nations Ovide Mercredi; and Ross Reid, deputy minister to the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Shell established a sustainable approach to their business in 1997, subsequent to events in Nigeria and with Brent Spar,” Mr. Maureau said. “They recognized the business value of this approach and developed the business case using a sustainable development management framework to proactively ensure economic, environmental and social considerations in everything they do.

The Oil and Gas Development Partnership of Memorial University was established in 2000 to create a partnership between the oil and gas industry and associated service companies, and all levels of government. The OGDP provides the communications link between government, industry, community and other national and international academic institutions. Its activities include ensuring that Memorial continues to develop its global reputation in upstream, midstream and downstream activities. Its most recent initiative is the launch of a new master’s of oil and gas studies at Memorial.

Note: A backgrounder and full schedule follow this release.


Oil and Gas Development Partnership
Executive Seminar on Sustainable Development
March 10-12, 2004


Sverre Bjerkomp, vice-president, corporate social responsibility, Norsk Hydro ASA, Oslo
After graduating as a lawyer from Oslo University, Mr. Bjerkomp joined Norsk Hydro’s legal department, working mainly with international contract negotiations. From 1982 to 1985, he worked in oil and gas, followed by the Magnesium Division, establishing a magnesium plant in Quebec. From 1990, he worked for the fertilizer business (Hydro Agri) and Corporate (Investor Relations). Since 2000, he has worked with Corporate Social Responsibility, first for Hydro Agri and presently for Exploration and Production International within Oil and Energy. He is a member of the Anti-Corruption Sub-Committee of OGP (International Association of Oil and Gas Producers) and of the Social Responsibility Working Group of IPIECA (International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association).


Robert R. Blakely, director, Canadian Affairs, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Mr. Blakely completed his post-secondary school education at the University of Alberta and was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1978, practicing labour relations law. He completed an Alberta apprenticeship in the plumbing and gas fitting trades and has acquired a steamfitter’s ticket. He joined the Canadian Forces (Naval Reserve) in 1969 and rose to the rank of Captain in 1997. Currently he is the director of a Joint Reserve Command and Staff Course for Canada and several other allied nations. Currently, he is director of the Canadian Affairs of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

Stevie Cameron, journalist and author
Ms. Cameron graduated with a BA in English literature and fine arts (honours) from the University of British Columbia and attended graduate school at the University of London, England, studying philosophy and English literature. She has held various positions with the National Research Council, the department of External Affairs, the Royal Anthropological Institute in London, England and as a lecturer at Trent University. She is a veteran, award-winning, investigative journalist and accomplished author. Her books The Last Amigo and Blue Trust earned Best True Crime Book of the Year 2002 and Business Book of the Year 1999 respectively. Currently, she is a digital culture columnist for Elm Street Magazine, an antiques columnist for Canadian Home and Country Magazine and continues to write books.

Pat Cook, director of Sustainable Development and Health, Safety and Environment, Halliburton Energy Services, Houston
Mr. Cook began his career with Halliburton as a cement equipment operator in Morgan City Louisiana. His field experience grew over the next 10 years as he worked in various operations roles across the U.S. In 1990, he accepted the role as district health, safety and environment [HSE] supervisor for the west coast. Since then, he has worked in a variety of HSE-related roles, from bioremediation projects coordinator to global environmental auditor. He is the HSE representative on the Halliburton Corporate HSE Executive Committee which is responsible for the development and communication of the company’s HSE strategy. Recently, he was given a second role leading the company’s efforts in sustainable development. His current title is global director, HSE and sustainable development for Halliburton Energy Services Group.

John Drexhage, director, Climate Change and Energy Strategic Objective, International Institute of Sustainable Development [IISD], Ottawa
Mr. Drexhage holds a master’s of arts, international affairs, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs; Carleton University; a bachelor of education, University of Toronto (Canadian history/political science); and a bachelor of arts, Calvin College, Michigan (political philosophy and history). Formerly associate director, International Relations Directorate, Environment Canada, co-ordinating the government's policy positions in formal negotiations on climate change, his other roles with Environment Canada included manager, Climate Change-International, Global Air Issues Branch; and senior policy advisor, Domestic Climate Change Program representing Environment Canada in federal-provincial negotiations on domestic actions on climate change. Mr. Drexhage was one of the core negotiators for the Kyoto Accord with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of the Kyoto agreement. He has been engaged on the climate change issue over the last seven years for the government of Canada.

Dr. Randall Gossen, vice-president, Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility, Nexen Inc.
Dr. Gossen holds a PhD in soil microbiology, University of Calgary, and has 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, both domestically and internationally. He is considered an industry pioneer in the area of corporate social responsibility, and led development of the International Code of Ethics for Canadian Business which addresses key values and principles relative to human rights, community participation and environmental protection, business conduct and employee rights, and health and safety. He is the current chairman of the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) and chairman of the Congress Program Committee for the World Petroleum Congress (WPC), and an active participant in the United Nations Global Compact.

Ovide Mercredi, advisor, Grand Rapids First Nation
Mr. Mercredi is a graduate of the University of Manitoba Law School. During the ‘80s, he was deeply involved in constitutional law reform issues, and aboriginal and treaty rights negotiations. He also acted as a key adviser in First Nations opposition to the Meech Lake Accord and, in 1989, was elected Manitoba vice-chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He was first elected national chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 1991, and served two terms as national chief, completing his term in 1997. During this time, he earned a reputation as a skilled negotiator; an articulate and eloquent spokesman; a statesman; a political activist, committed to traditions of non-violence and peaceful conflict resolution; and as a tireless advocate on behalf of his people. He led the First Nations negotiations in the Charlottetown Accord. Since 1997, he has held visiting professorships at the Universities of Lethbridge, Sudbury, and McMaster, lecturing in the areas of philosophy, political studies, religious studies, and native studies. He is currently advisor to the Grand Rapids First Nation.

Greta Raymond, vice-president, Human Resources and Environment, Health and Safety, Petro-Canada, Calgary
Ms. Raymond holds a BA in human biology, Stanford University, and a master’s in environmental health, University of California at Berkeley. She worked in applied research, the mining industry, and in government prior to joining Petro-Canada in 1983 to start their industrial hygiene program. In addition to roles in environment, health and safety, she has also worked in business planning and in human resources training and development at Petro-Canada. Currently, she is responsible for providing the resources, services and advice to ensure Petro-Canada’s human resource and environment, health and safety capability in the successful delivery of business strategies. She is on the advisory board for the Sustainable Enterprise Academy, Schulich School of Business, York University; the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; and the board of The Learning Partnership.

Ross Reid, democratic development consultant and deputy minister to the premier, St. John’s
Mr. Reid graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Huron College, University of Western Ontario. From the mid-1970s until 1993, he mainly worked in various levels of both the provincial and federal governments, culminating in his election as member of parliament for St. John’s east in 1988, and subsequent federal ministerial appointments as minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and minister of fisheries in 1993. In more recent years, he has worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, including Ukraine, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Currently, he is deputy minister to the premier, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dr. Mark Wade, Leadership Development Group, Shell Learning, Shell International, London
Dr. Wade joined Shell in 1979 as a research scientist in the chemicals business. Since then, he has served in a variety of posts, including technical graduate recruitment manager, Shell International, and head of external affairs for Shell Chemicals. In 1997, he moved to the Corporate Centre of Shell International as a founder member of the Sustainable Development Group. He and his colleagues continue to help Shell deliver on the commitments to sustainable development. They have developed a range of practical tools for integrating sustainable development into business processes and are currently promoting their implementation in Shell's businesses. He relinquished his position as head of Sustainable Development Policy, Strategy and Reporting in 2003 to concentrate on internal Sustainable Development Learning at the Shell Learning Leadership Development Group.

Andy Wells, mayor of the City of St. John’s
Mayor of St. John’s since 1997, Mayor Wells was Deputy Mayor from 1990 and member of City Council since 1977.  He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and at New Mexico State University.  Mayor Wells works to encourage investment in the tremendous potential of the maritime expertise and facilities that make St. John’s a centre of ocean excellence.  As the emerging offshore oil and gas industry develops, Mayor Wells continues to be a strong advocate of maximizing economic opportunities from oil and gas resources in the province.

Fairmont Hotel, St. John’s

Wednesday, March 10

Session I: Redefining Sustainable Development

8.30 a.m.Opening Remarks: Axel Meisen, President, Memorial University of Newfoundland
8.45 a.m.Gerrit Maureau, Executive Director, OGDP: Sustainable Development: Putting a Vision into Practice.
9:00 a.m.Andy Wells, Mayor, City of St. John's: David and Goliath: When Global Industry Comes to Town
10.30 a.m.Dr. Mark Wade, Shell International: Defining Sustainable Developme Shell’s Experience Worldwide
12 noonLunch. Keynote Speaker: Pat Cook, Halliburton Energy: Are Sustainable Companies Sustainable Companies? [See below to book seat]
2.00 p.m.Workshop session [open to registrants only]
6.00 p.m.Reception and dinner. Guest speaker: Stevie Cameron: World Media: Impact on Global Industry [See below to book seat]

Thursday, March 11:

Session II: International Perspectives and Corporate Social Responsibility

8.30 a.m.Sverre Bjerkomp, Norsk Hydro: Norsk Hydro and Sustainable Development
10.00 a.m.Dr. Randy Gossen, Nexen Inc.: Value in Sustainable Development
11.00 a.m.John Drexhage, International Institute for Sustainable Development: Kyoto and Climate Change: The Canadian Context
12 noonLunch. Keynote speaker: Ross Reid, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Democratic Development Consultant: The Challenge of Developing Democratic Institutions: Post Conflict and Emerging States [See below to book seat]
2.00 p.m.Workshop session [open to registrants only]

Friday, March 12:

Session III: Global Policy, Local Operators, Community: Is Dialogue Possible?

9.00 a.m.Greta Raymond and Gordon Carrick, Petro-Canada: Social Aspects of Sustainable Development
10.00 a.m.Robert Blakely, Director of Canadian Affairs, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, Introduction by Bill Parsons, Newfoundland and Labrador Building and Construction Trades Council
11.00 a.m.Workshop session [open to registrants only]
12.00 noonLunch. Keynote Speaker: Ovide Mercredi, former Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations: Is Sustainability for Oil and Gas Development Compatible with Aboriginal and Treaty Rights? [See below to book seat]
2.00 p.m.Workshop session [open to registrants only]
3.30 p.m.Gerrit Maureau, OGDP. Seminar Conclusion: Putting our Vision into Practice: How did we fare?

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