Qatargas Operating Company Limited (Qatargas), Texas A&M University at Qatar (a Qatar Foundation partner university), and ConocoPhillips Qatar Ltd (ConocoPhillips), hosted last week the 13th edition of Qatar Process Safety Symposium (QPSS) which embodies the nation's commitment to process safety as a core value in safeguarding lives, the environment, and the industry's sustainable future.
The two-day event was held in a hybrid format on 5-6 September 2023, bringing together more than 40 expert speakers from industry and academia to discuss the latest advancements and challenges in process safety.
The annual QPSS gathering in Doha has become a premier gathering of process safety experts from the global energy sector. The overarching aim of the symposium is to showcase how Qatar is gearing up to meet growing global energy demands by being an industry leader in process safety. QPSS continues to promote knowledge exchange, industry partnerships, advances in the latest research, and an overall culture of process safety excellence.
The symposium's yearly agenda has always mirrored the dynamic trends and evolutions within the energy sector. The theme for this year, "Looking Ahead," underscores the vital importance of continuously anticipating and assessing new issues and challenges in process safety.
Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer of Qatargas, delivered the opening address for the event, stating, "We are honoured to co-host another QPSS event this year. Process safety remains an unwavering priority for Qatargas. This year's symposium aligns seamlessly with our dedication to upholding the highest standards of safety, operational excellence, and sustainability as we expand our Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) operations in Qatar. Our commitment to process safety reflects our dedication to the well-being of our people, and to safeguarding our environment and communities."
The keynote address, “Process Safety – Key to Qatargas Developments," was delivered by Steinar Vaage, President, Europe, Middle East, and North Africa at ConocoPhillips. Vaage spoke on the importance of maintaining best industry practices in process safety and risk management, which is critical in light of the second phase of the LNG expansion projects that are currently taking place in Qatar.
Hailing the success of the 13th edition of the QPSS, Bill Arnold, President of ConocoPhillips Qatar, said, “Throughout its proud history, the Qatar Process Safety Symposium has always attempted to create a holistic approach to safety and risk assessment. The energy industry has come a long way in enhancing process safety, but the road ahead holds new challenges and opportunities for us to seize. Therefore, in line with the key objective of this year's symposium, we aspire to look towards the future, while also building upon lessons from our past achievements and experiences, with an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of safety and operational excellence."
In his welcome speech, Khalifa Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Chief Health Safety, Environment and Quality Officer of Qatargas, underscored the significance of cultivating a resilient process safety culture and the vital role of maintaining barrier integrity. He expressed gratitude for the engagement of executive leadership and participants from diverse companies, stating, “Your presence at this event signifies your dedication to advancing progress, finding solutions, and envisioning a future where process safety is woven into the core of our industry and operations."
Industry-wide collaboration is also key to achieving excellence in process safety. This point was underscored with the participation of representatives from various regional and international companies within the energy sector, including QatarEnergy, ExxonMobil, QAPCO, Qatar Shell, Arabian Petrochemical Company, and Kuwait National Petroleum Company among others.
Commenting on the importance of industry-academia partnership in forging excellence in process safety, Dr. César Malavé, Dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said, “I believe the connection between industry and academia is central when it comes to process safety, as we also create the energy leaders of tomorrow. The natural ability of academia to tie in both technical and non-technical knowledge is crucial in forging a secure and resilient energy landscape."
Nafez Bseiso, Chief Major Projects Officer at Qatargas, delivered an overview of the ongoing major LNG expansion projects in Qatar. He also highlighted key factors influencing process safety within these expansion projects. These factors encompass safety engineering, quality assurance and people, all of which are integral to the design and implementation phases of these projects, guaranteeing the safe and reliable operations of upcoming facilities.
Additionally, the annual QPSS Process Safety Excellence Award was presented to Umair Shahab Shahid from QAPCO and Ahmad Abdulla Rashid Al- Khalifa from QatarEnergy.
The QPSS continues to be a flagship event in the energy industry calendar. This year's symposium charted the course for insightful discussions that will continue to shape the future of process safety within the energy sector.