(October 2, 2013, St. John’s, NL) St. John’s has been selected as the venue to host the third plenary session of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Arctic Operations, Oct. 2-3, 2013. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) on the Memorial University Campus is hosting the event and OceansAdvance Inc. is leading its coordination.  The meeting participation list is impressive – participants are expected from eight different countries including Russia, Norway and the UK as well as Standards Associations and government departments. Oil & gas companies from around the globe and related industries who operate in the Arctic are also expected.

The ISO Technical Committee for Arctic Operations is entrusted with the responsibility of providing effective strategic policy and standards for the safe development of resources in our shared Arctic, while maintaining its environmental integrity and enhancing the lives of our Northern and Aboriginal peoples. “Arctic protection is not just a Canadian issue, it is an International one,” says Stephen Green, Canadian Chair for the ISO Technical Committee. “Many countries border the Arctic and Canada has the opportunity to ensure that international development is done responsively with respect for the sensitive environment and the aboriginal peoples.”

During the two days, members will participate in a broad range of sessions associated with the exploration, production and processing of hydrocarbons in onshore and offshore Arctic regions. In the process of standards development, their discussions will encompass diverse technical challenges, including materials for the Arctic, dealing with the physical and working environment, ice management and escape, evacuation and rescue, to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of products and services. “The development of responsible standards will help ensure the international obligation to Arctic protection remains paramount while investing in sustainable development and ensuring local cultures can continue to thrive,” explains Green.

Guest speakers at the Oct. 2 reception and dinner include the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Natural Resources, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Danny Breen, Councillor of the City of St. John’s, Ms. Liudmila Zalevskaya, ISO Russian Secretariat, Mr. Scott Tessier, Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB), Mr. Glenn Janes, Research and Development Corporation and Mr. Leslie O’Reilly, OceansAdvance Inc. Featured speakers at the plenary technical session Oct. 3 include Dr. Ian Potter, Vice President, Engineering and Business Management, National Research Council of Canada and Mr. Dave Finn, Chief Operating Manager, Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador (PRNL).

Representing a leading ocean technology cluster in Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador’s OceansAdvance has identified the Arctic in its strategic agenda, titled Outward Bound 2015, as one of three market thrusts that offer potential for industry. The province’s Arctic initiative will be driven largely by oil & gas, ocean renewable energy, marine transportation and the long-term potential for methane hydrate deposits and hydrogen.   

Les O’Reilly, Executive Director for OceansAdvance says, “This event provides an opportunity for public and private stakeholders in ocean technology to learn more about ISO activity, how the processes work, and how we can be more actively involved to create international opportunities for local technology companies.” He emphasizes that, “An Arctic focus is important for Canada and for Newfoundland and Labrador in particular. This province is Canada’s marine gateway to the Arctic.  We have long recognized the importance of this position and all levels of government have included Arctic marine standards in their agenda.”

For example, the National Research Council has been very active in the work of this technical committee.  The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador together with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency have demonstrated ongoing support to industry and research recognizing the critical role that standards play in the development of technology products and services to a global marketplace.

“The entry of the International Standards Organization into the Arctic equation can be seen as a strong affirmation that the region is on the cusp of major development, especially across the oil and gas industry, including the ocean technology sectors,” explains O’Reilly. He points out that there is a lack of standards for the oil and gas industry in the region. “OceansAdvance is proud to play a lead role in coordinating this event. The ISO’s mandate is to focus on standards, and accentuate how critical it is that we develop the resource in a safe and sustainable manner, reducing material and financial loss for industry and for communities, while at the same time setting the highest standards for the protection of personnel, equipment and the environment.”

The ISO event falls within the St. John’s 2013 Oceans Week festivities and there is a host of related activities underway to celebrate the week.


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FOR MEDIA INFORMATION: Brenda Baird, OceansAdvance, Telephone 709-738-7059, email: brenda.baird@oceansadvance.net

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Paul Steenhof email:  paul.steenhof@csagroup.org

Canada Standards Association, Secretariat, CAC/ISO/TC67 SC8 (Northern Operations)

NOTE: Please indicate your interest in attending the sessions as observers and/or your willingness to serve on working groups or Canadian mirror working groups.

About ISO Technical Committee on Arctic Operations: The Committee includes representatives from nine countries including, Canada, Norway, Netherlands, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, United Kingdom, United States and Russian Federation. The Secretariat for this committee is hosted by the Russia with significant support from Norway building on the depth of their knowledge and expertise in the Barents Sea.

About the National Research Council: The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada’s premier organization for research and development. Working with clients and partners, we provide innovation support, strategic research, scientific and technical services.

About OceansAdvance: OceansAdvance Inc. was formally established in 2005, with a mission to foster and promote the growth and development of the ocean technology cluster in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is governed by a Board of Directors largely from the private sector and represents the local ocean technology cluster built largely from companies founded to commercialize innovative products and processes developed through research and development at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the National Research Council.

About SCC: The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is the Canadian body that has overall responsibility for Canadian participation in International Standards Committees.