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Independent Forensic Team Report Oroville Dam Spillway Analysis

We just read the Appendix F From 2018 Independent Forensic Team Report Oroville Dam Spillway Analysis. So, we decided to discuss a few points from our risk perspective. It was a joy to read the statements the Independent Forensic Team made on “normalization of deviance” and the disproportionate influence some experts may exert on group deliberations. Indeed a Potential Failure Modes Analysis (PFMA) team generally includes various members bringing diverse perspectives into the process. Oftentimes one or two strongly opinionated persons,…

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Social License to Operate and Risks

Does your risk management keep a separate scale for environmental, logal, or business interruption? Do you treat separately Cyber risk from your operational risk? i.e. Do you look at Social License to Operate and Risks as separate siloes or do you integrate them? Let’s start by noting that the Social License to Operate (SLO) basic assumption is that communities/social expectations around projects/activities of mining companies usually exceed legal matters. SLO refers to non-explicit “agreement” made by industry with society and…

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Convergent Quantitative Cyber Risk Assessment to Optimize Enterprise Reliability

.Convergent Quantitative Cyber Risk Assessment to Optimize Enterprise Reliability will be the theme of our paper at CIM 2018 conference. Reportedly KPMG’s Toronto office produced a text entitled “Insights Into Mining” stating that mining companies “may be” underestimating the risk of cyberattacks. Indeed they consider this risk will increase as more companies embrace mining automation, IoT, etc. The report also emphasizes that mining executives believe based, like usual, on “feeling and perceptions”  that innovation and the risk of disruption are…

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Is Cyber Insurance the best tool to preserve corporate value?

Is Cyber Insurance the best tool to preserve corporate value? That is indeed an appropriate question to ask as Cyber attacks seem to constitute major threats to businesses today. Cyber liability policies exist to indemnify and cover losses which may generate under an attack. However they generally include numerous exclusions and conditions. Contrary to natural hazards and many “classic” hazards the frequency of cyber attacks can be/is very high. Consider for example: quakes with frequencies in the order of one…

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Geoethics, Theory of General Ethics and Risk Management

Is it possible to link Geoethics, Theory of General Ethics and Risk Management to add value to our efforts? How can we integrate a risk assessment in ethics? What qualities should a risk assessment method possess to support ethical projects and endeavours? Kim Williams, a good friends of mine, let me a wonderful book by Warwick Fox entitled A Theory of General Ethics, Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment (2006). The book is not easy to read. I was…

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Oil and gas are also victims of risk matrix

A recent paper entitled The Risk of Using Risk Matrices shows that Oil and gas are also victims of risk matrix. The paper analyses the widespread use of Probability Impact Graphs (PIGs, risk matrix) in Oil and Gas (O&G). It comes to very similar conclusions to those reached by other academics and practitioners and us! “Classic” Risk Matrices deficiencies Risk-Acceptance Inconsistency. The regions depicted in common practice PIGs (Risk matrix, Example 1 later on ) feature arbitrary stepped borders which…

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Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report

The Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report became public in January 2018. The story it tells is remarkably similar to the one we assumed, based on publicly available information in the aftermath of the accident. As risk advisers and managers we discuss below the various statements in the Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report. We aim at highlighting risk biases and potential management changes to avoid similar developments. Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report Conclusions Commented The Independent Forensic Team Report made a number…

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Unrealistic risk assessment describing a rosy scenario

Keystone pipeline has spilled substantially more oil, and more often, than indicated in the risk assessments the company provided to regulators. But why and how a common risk assessment becomes an unrealistic risk assessment describing a rosy scenario? Indeed what regulators saw in the pre-construction project risk assessment was reportedly the following. “A spill of more than 50 barrels will occur “ not more than once every seven to 11 years over the entire length of the pipeline in the…

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