The Opening Plenary kicks off the three-day conference that includes seven panel sessions to choose from offering insight and perspective into Arctic themes.

08:45–10:00 Plenary Session

Location: Bannerman 4
Co-Chairs: Walter Kuehnlein, Managing Director, SEA2ICE Ltd & Co. KG and Peter Noble, President and Principal Advisor, Noble Associates Inc.

Opening Remarks:

  • Walter Kuehnlein, ATC Program Chair
  • Peter Noble, ATC Program Vice-Chair
  • Joe Fowler, OTC Board Chair
  • Gary Kachanoski, President and Vice-Chancellor, Memorial University

ATC's fifth conference moves to Canada for the first time and continues to discuss Arctic development opportunities all around the world. The Plenary promotes the understanding of the cold regions of the earth through environmentally compatible design and construction, safe operation, maintenance and integrity of both offshore and onshore structures and operations in these fragile regions. Going towards Arctic is one of the most challenging and fascinating topics for engineers, researchers and environmentalists of various disciplines. Not alone, but only together we can make this happen.


  • Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister for Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
  • Joseph Ahmaogak,Chairman, Board of the Olgoonik Corporation, Alaska
  • Judy Foote, Minister for the Government of Canada
  • Jim Keating, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services and Offshore Development, Nalcor Energy
  • Catherine Jahre-Nilsen, Advisor Strategy and Portfolio, Statoil Arctic Unit

10:40–11:55 Panel: Objectives and Expectations of Local Stakeholders in the Development of Frontier Areas

Location: Bannerman 4
Chair: Sudhir Pai, Managing Director, Schlumberger Robotic Access

Regulations, both international as well as domestic play a key role in the short term and long term implications of energy exploitation in a region. This panel will discuss the perspectives from stakeholders, regulators, operators, and technology developers on challenges and opportunities that are available respecting people and the environment and setting a clear path for safe exploration activities in the Arctic.


  • Scott Tessier, Chief Executive Officer, Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB)
  • Joseph Ahmaogak,Chairman, Board of the Olgoonik Corporation, Alaska
  • Garth Pulkkinen, Director of Technical Marketing, Noble Drilling

14:00–15:15 Panel: The Future of Arctic Engineering Education: Needs, Challenges and Opportunities

Location: Bannerman 4
Co-Chairs: Peter Noble, President and Principal Advisor, Noble Associates Inc. and Rocky Taylor, Assistant Professor and CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics, Memorial University, St. John’s, Canada

Arctic Engineering Education plays a crucial role in capturing, sustaining and growing the technical expertise needed to support the safe, economic development of the vast resource potential of Northern regions. This applies not only to the training of new graduates, but also to the continuing education and ongoing professional development of industry practitioners, as well as the capture and transfer of knowledge arising from past and present industry achievements. In this session, an international panel of experts from across academia, industry and government institutions will discuss needs, challenges and opportunities faced by this sector.

The schedule for this this panel has been organized into three 20 minute segments:

Part I - Current Practice: To set the stage and provide context for current international education practices in Arctic Engineering, invited representatives from the International Academic Community are asked to provide a 2-3 minute highlight of the main features of the Arctic Engineering Education approach employed by their institution. This may include a summary of the technical areas, programs (e.g. undergrad, masters, PhD, Postdoc), and approach (field work, laboratory, theoretical and numerical, co-operative education/internships, international exchanges, etc.) employed. Particular challenges faced (e.g. IP restrictions, logistics, student recruitment) may also be identified.

Part II - Needs and Challenges: To discuss the needs and challenges faced by different segments of this sector, invited representatives from Industry, government institutions and professional societies are asked to provide a 4-5 minute overview of the main needs (e.g. specific skills, knowledge, experience) required by practitioners in their segment, as well as challenges (e.g. knowledge capture, demographics, confidentiality).

Part III - Opportunities: An open discussion, moderated by the session chairs, will be held to discuss strategies that can be employed to foster increased collaboration and alignment across different segments of the sector to address identified challenges and overcome barriers so as to better meet the needs of industry and support realization of future offshore opportunities in Northern regions.

Representatives from International Academic Community (Part I):

  • Knut Hoyland, Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Pentti Kujala, ‎Professor of Marine Technology (Safety), Aalto University
  • Aleksey Marchenko, Professor, University Centre in Svalbard
  • Alexander Sakharov, Professor, Moscow State University
  • Erland Schulson, George Austin Colligan Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Chair of Engineering Sciences Department and Director of Ice Research Laboratory, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth
  • Brian Veitch, Professor and Husky Energy Chair in Oil and Gas Research, Memorial University
  • Vladimir Zhmur, Professor and Head of Department, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

Representatives from Industry, Government Institutions and Professional Societies (Part II):

  • Ken Croasdale, President, KRCA Inc.
    • Needs and Challenges: Industry Perspective – Arctic Engineering Design
  • Bill Maddock (invited), Director Subsea Systems Institute, UH Energy, University of Houston
    • Needs and Challenges: Industry Perspective - Arctic Engineering Operations
  • Anne Barker, Arctic Program Leader, National Research Council of Canada
    • Needs and Challenges: Government Institute Perspective – Arctic Engineering Research and Development
  • Peter Noble, President and Principal Advisor, Noble Associates Inc.
    • Needs and Challenges: The Role of Professional Societies in Bridging Industry and Academia

08:45–11:55 Panel: Providing Logistics Solutions for Remote Oil and Gas Operations

Location: Victoria Room 1+2
Co-Chairs: David Molyneux, Director of Operations, Oceanic Consulting Corporation and Rocky Taylor, Assistant Professor and CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics, Memorial University

Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted as saying 'an army marches on its stomach', which was his way of recognizing that an army in action was dependent on a long and possibly fragile supply chain behind it to provide the basic supplies. The same is true for the offshore oil and gas industry, in that it needs a complex supply network for people, equipment and supplies to maintain successful operations. As oil and gas exploration considers moving into harsher and more remote locations, the implications on the logistics chain must be considered.

Companies in Newfoundland and Labrador have developed expertise for moving people and equipment in the harsh conditions of the North Atlantic Ocean, where strong winds, high waves, poor visibility, pack ice and icebergs are routine occurrences. Each panel member will present their point of view on the challenges to be overcome in moving to even more remote and harsher environments, such as the coast of Labrador, Greenland and even into the Arctic. This will be followed by a question and answer session.

  • Geoff Cunningham, Director of Offshore Operations, A. Harvey and Co.
  • JJ Gerber, Director of Flight Operations, Cougar Helicopters
  • Tom Swift, Offshore Operations Manager, Atlantic Towing Ltd.

10:40–11:55 Panel: Insurance and Legal Aspects of Projects in Ice Covered Waters

Location: Bannerman 4
Chair: Walter Kuehnlein, Managing Director, SEA2ICE

The "Insurance and Legal Aspects of Projects in Ice Covered Waters Panel" is a must for people dealing (or planning to deal) with ice related projects, as it is providing knowledge and information of all kinds of important and relevant ice related issues, necessary to improve their performance and avoiding expensive errors. How can/have insurance and legal issues to be integrated in the project planning? Learn also what partners you might need and meet some of them already at ATC


  • Thomas Friedrich, Underwriter, Munich Re (Re-Insurance)
  • Henning Jessen, LL.M., Professor, Law of the Sea and Maritime Law, World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö
  • Wylie Spicer, Counsel, McInnes Cooper
  • Per Olav Moslet, Senior Principal Engineer, DNV GL – Oil & Gas Representatives from Operator and Contractor Companies

14:00–15:15 Panel: Building R&D Capabilities and Infrastructure for Future Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador

Location: Bannerman 4
Chair: Mark Ploughman, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador’s location in the extreme North Atlantic operating environment makes the province ideally suited to develop the solutions that will advance the efficiency, productivity, and safety of Canada’s offshore oil and gas industry. This session will explore how government, industry, and research and development partners have shaped the expansion of the province’s offshore resources and how these solutions can be applied to other harsh environment developments.


  • Dave Finn, Chief Operating Officer, Petroleum Research Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Nancy Winchester, Vice President of Research and Development Solutions, Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Bill Carter, Assistant Head, School of Ocean Technology (Interim) and Assistant Director, Centre for Applied Ocean Technology, Marine Institute (Holyrood Marine Base)
  • Mike Taber, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Falck Safety Services Canada

15:55–18:30 Panel: New U.S. Arctic Regulations – (Part 1): Implications for the Pan-Arctic

Location: Bannerman 4
Co-Chairs: Teresa Imm, Executive Vice President, Regional and Resource Development, Arctic Slope Regional Corp. and Sudhir Pai, Managing Director, Schlumberger Robotic Access

The U.S. Federal Government has finalized a set of new U.S. Arctic Regulations explicit to operating in the offshore environment of the U.S. Arctic waters. There has been much debate regarding the value to the environment versus the economic implications of the new rule. This panel will discuss the pros and cons of the new regulations and positive and negative impacts to the future offshore oil and gas activities and the influence in the Pan-Arctic.


  • Mark Fesmire, Alaska Region Director, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Mitch Winkler, Arctic Senior Technical Advisor, Shell
  • Garth Pulkkinen, Director of Technical Marketing, Noble Drilling
  • Drue Pearce, Senior Policy Advisor, Crowell and Mooring, LLP

New U.S. Arctic Regulations – (Part 2): Ask the Experts: The Arctic Rule, Question and Answer Session

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will provide a brief overview of the Arctic Rule, which was released earlier this year. Finalization of the Arctic Rule resulted in reforms that ensure any future exploratory drilling activities from Mobile Offshore Drilling Units on the U.S. Arctic Outer Continental Shelf in the Beaufort and Chukchi Planning Areas are conducted under the highest safety and environmental standards and subject to strong and proven operational requirements. This panel will provide audience members the opportunity to ask specific questions about how to comply with the rule.


  • Mark Fesmire, Alaska Regional Director, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Jim Kendell, Regional Director, Alaska, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • David Moore, Chief, Oil Spill Preparedness, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

13:40–16:20 Panel: National Petroleum Council Arctic Potential Report

Location: Bannerman 4
Co-Chairs: Mark Fesmire, Alaska Region Director, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and Mike Prins, Senior Advisor – Arctic, ExxonMobil Upstream Engineering Skill Center

In 2013 the U.S. Secretary of Energy requested the National Petroleum Council (NPC) to conduct a comprehensive study to identify the research and technology opportunities to enable prudent development of U.S. Arctic oil and gas resources. An extensive study involving more than 250 stakeholders worked on the study in 2014 and a report titled “Arctic Potential – Realizing the promise of U.S. Arctic Oil and Gas Resources” was presented to the Secretary in March 2015. The report includes recommendations in three main areas: Environmental Stewardship, Economic Viability, and Government Leadership and Policy Coordination. This session will present the main recommendations from the NPC report and provide an opportunity for the audience to ask questions to the panelists who participated in the study.


  • John Guy, Deputy Executive Director, National Petroleum Council
  • Mitch Winkler, Arctic Senior Technical Advisor, Shell
  • Tim Nedwed, Oil Spill Response Senior Technical Professional Advisor, ExxonMobil
  • Drue Pearce, Senior Policy Advisor, Crowell and Mooring, LLP