Tuesday 8 April 2014
Schedule is subject to change without notice.
Palisade’s Risk Conference at the Jumeirah Creekside hotel in Dubai was our first in the Middle East. We were pleased to meet and host over 80 participants from diverse industries, including oil and gas, utilities, construction, finance, and pharmaceuticals, as well as academics representing a wide range of research and teaching interests.
The conference opened with a welcome address from Palisade founder and president Sam McLafferty, who spoke of the origins of Palisade and the @RISK software, now celebrating the 30th anniversary of its release. Sam also detailed notable recent developments in the features of DecisionTools Suite programs and their worldwide use, summarizing ways in which @RISK and other tools in the Suite are improving analysis and decision making at several large corporate clients in the region.
In the Software Presentation track, Palisade developers and trainers covered features of the DecisionTools Suite and @RISK. The Case Study track featured experts from Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company, Mubadala Development Company, United Nations Development Programme, and Alesco Risk Management Services. The conference came to a close with a keynote presentation on strategic risk quantification practices and challenges at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
Expert Sessions – short one-on-one meetups scheduled throughout the day of conference attendees and Palisade consultants – were also well received, as was the rooftop reception following the event.
“Really enjoyed the case studies and hope to attend future Conferences.”
Jenry Matanguihan, Senior Engineer WSP, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA)
“This was an exciting event with a lot of insights and interesting material.”
Eduard Khodoian, Economist, Lukoil
“Great sessions, with useful tips to get better results.”
Maria Coronado, Risk Engineer, SAIPEM
The 2014 Palisade Risk Conference is part of a global, annual series of meetings where professionals share ideas and advance the practice of risk and decision analysis. Upcoming events in 2014 include Bogotá, Madrid, Seattle, Washington DC, Chicago, Sydney, Brisbane, London, Frankfurt, and Johannesburg.
Schedule is subject to change without notice.
Iman has over 18 years of Project Management Experience in Kuwait, 17 of them within the Kuwait Oil Sector. Iman has worked as Planning Coordinator for KOC-Industrial services and Engineering Group 1995-2004. In 2004 she was relocated to KPC-Corporate Head Office to project manage the Enterprise Risk Management Program. Currently Iman is the KPC Team Leader responsible for ERM Program implementation not only at KPC Head Office but also for the interrelated integration, supervision and oversight of all ERM initiatives across KPC and its ten subsidiaries.
Mohammad Al-Hajjiri is a chartered civil engineer with 31 years of experience. He has worked as a consultant on projects in several countries including Jordan, America, Australia, and the UAE.
He joined ADWEC’s Planning and Studies Directorate just a few months after its inception in 1998. His primary role has been the preparation of the water demand forecast and other vital researches and studies for the sector. The water demand forecast he and his team produce is used as the basis of the multi-billion Dirham Production Capacity Expansion Plan. Since 2007 he has been the Head of the Water Section in ADWEC.
In addition, Mohammad is a member of several committees controlling the sector processes including The Transmission Code Committee and The Distribution Code Committee. He also served as a member of the ADWEA GIS Committee and The GCC interconnection Grid Planning Committee. Recently Mohammad has been seconded to ADWEA’s Corporate Affairs Department.
Mr. Turki AlOtaishan is a geoscientist at Saudi Aramco. He has worked as a well site geologist, exploration geologist, and carbonate sendimentologist. Recently he worked on production forecasting and economic evaluation of multi-billion dollar field development projects related to development of conventional and unconventional resources. He has extensively used Palisade’s PrecisionTree and @RISK tools to generate probabilistic oil & gas production forecasts and development strategies. Turki received a double major in Geoscience and Energy, Business & Finance from the Pennsylvania State University.
Craig Ferri was promoted to Managing Director of Palisade Europe in 2005, having joined as sales and marketing director for the region in 2003. During that time the company has shown year on year growth. In addition to increasing brand awareness in EMEA and ensuring outstanding customer service, Craig’s helm at Palisade EMEA has seen the company continue to expand throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and more recently into India. Craig built up nine years’ experience of sales and marketing roles in niche technology sectors prior to working at Palisade. Key positions included global marketing director at software company Infomax Incorporated, and European marcomms manager at networking company Anixter. Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing, and an MBA.
Brian Freeman is the Team Leader, Air Regulatory Management Systems for the United Nations Development Program’s Kuwait Integrated Environmental Management project. He has been living and working in the Middle East for the last eight years. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and a Master's of Science in Environmental Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio. His twenty years of experience includes service with the United States Department of Defense and international environmental regulatory authorities. Mr Freeman is also a licensed professional engineer in the states of California and Ohio, a Project Management Professional and a Qualified Environmental Professional.
Sam McLafferty is Palisade's founder, president, and CEO. He started the company in 1984 with the release of PRISM, a stand-alone Monte Carlo simulation package for DOS on the PC. PRISM later evolved into @RISK for Lotus 1-2-3, and then for Excel. Sam is Palisade's lead developer, with over thirty years of programming experience. He works closely with the technical and sales staff, ensuring that customer feedback is heard. He personally oversees the development and evolution of every one of the fifteen software products Palisade sells. Prior to Palisade, he was a risk analysis consultant.
Doug Oldfield joined Palisade in 2008 and is responsible for sales and business development in the Middle East. In his 6 years at Palisade, Doug has worked extensively with clients in lots of different industries, and has good experience of modelling business risk and opportunity. Prior to joining Palisade, Doug worked 8 years at an IT recruitment company in London, and also managed various retail shops around the UK, including "The Busiest Shop in the World" (according to the Guinness Book of Records). Doug holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Warwick in the UK.
Dr Javier Ordóñez holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador and a MS in Project Management from the University of Maryland. Javier earned his PhD from the University of Maryland performing research on project risk analysis. His current research deals with cost and schedule integration and correlation issues through the use of Bayesian belief networks.
Javier's experience is in the areas of construction and project management, optimal project and capital investments selection, earned value management, engineering and project risk analysis, and operations research applications to engineering and management problems.
Javier has taught as an adjunct professor in the Project Management Program at University of Maryland and provides training in risk and decision analysis. He is also registered as a Project Management Professional (PMP).
Michael has more than 10 years of experience in modeling risk within the utilities and commodities industry and previously held positions at Centrica in the UK, Essent in the Netherlands, and Mighty River Power in New Zealand. He holds a Masters in Finance and Engineering, as well as the PRM professional qualification.
Sarah Sherry is a software consultant for Palisade Corporation. Sarah was previously a Senior Lecturer at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She taught spreadsheet modelling techniques and programs in the DecisionTools Suite for over thirteen years, and was nominated for the Kelley School’s highest teaching award four times, and received it once. After graduating, many of her former students and teaching assistants seek her advice and counsel in their places of work (accounting firms, loan departments, manufacturing operations, hospitals, political campaigns, and so on), on difficulties ranging from issues with data integrity to troubles in spreadsheet modelling.
Sarah collaborated with Dr Wayne Winston on two Harvard Business School Press courses, Spreadsheet Modeling and Mathematics for Management, and she is currently co-authoring an introductory business analytics textbook, to be published by Indiana University Press.
Sarah earned an M.A. in Applied Linguistics at Indiana University and completed the required coursework for a Ph.D. in Linguistics.
Derek is a founding Partner of Alesco Risk Management Services Ltd whose role is to provide analysis of exposure and loss information to assist in the structuring of complex insurance programmes for major Energy companies. Derek has many years’ experience in the optimal use of captive insurance companies, industry mutual insurance companies and other risk financing approaches. Derek also analyses broader trends within the Energy Insurance market including industry losses, premium rates and insurance capacities.
After graduating with a degree in mathematics and an MSc in statistics Derek started his career as an Analyst with Anistics in 1985 progressing to Managing Director of the London operation. In this role Derek pioneered the use of statistical and actuarial modelling to support the structuring of insurance programmes for large industrial risks.
Derek is a regular visitor to the Middle East and has supported some of the larger Energy companies in the region to implement and capitalise their own captive insurance subsidiaries.
Download zip file of presentations from the Palisade Risk Conference in Dubai
(Individual presentations are also linked below.)
Palisade's President, Sam McLafferty, will open the conference by giving a brief overview of Palisade and the importance of quantitative risk analysis and decision making today.
Palisade’s European Managing Director, Craig Ferri, will address the questions you’ve likely been faced with: “What is risk analysis, and why do I need it?” Today many companies are still trying to figure out how to grapple with risk, and how to unlock the power of probabilistic analysis. Craig will explore these concepts using case studies to illustrate how some companies have been particularly successful in this area.
Doug Oldfield, Palisade’s Business Development Manager for the Middle East, will then illustrate how the ideas discussed by Craig can be easily be translated into a model, using @RISK.
In this session Doug will follow on from the previous introduction with a presentation that looks at some of the newer features contained in the software, such as probabilistic time series forecasting and integration with MS Project. Doug will also take a look at some features of the software that customers sometimes aren’t aware of, but which can make modelling uncertainty a lot more flexible and straightforward.
Probabilistic analysis, as compared to deterministic sensitivity analysis or scenario analysis, is becoming popular to appropriately handle uncertainties in decision-making. Since interest in unconventional hydrocarbon resources has dramatically increased during the past decade, decision makers are facing a growing number of potentially highly lucrative business opportunities regarding unconventional hydrocarbon plays. To accurately evaluate such risky investments, informed decision makers are utilizing probabilistic forecasting to generate probabilistic production type curves and associated economics.
The objective of this case study is to show how @RISK is utilized in forecasting unconventional gas and condensate production. The study incorporates individual well data from an analogous play and leverages on @RISK forecasting ability to generate probabilistic production type curves. Moreover, the results of this study provided interesting results which are used as the basis in determining gas and condensate recoveries and associated economics.
@RISK and DecisionTools Suite software ship with fully-featured development environments that allow you to create custom applications using Palisade technology directly in Excel (Excel Developer Kits or XDKs). You can customise the application interface to include only what the users need, hiding unused @RISK functionality and preventing user access to the underlying model logic. You can also automate processes like reporting, generating only the charts and data you want. The result is a perfectly tailored application ready to roll out to your workgroup. And because the application is in Excel, the training required for users is minimal.
Palisade Custom Development has written applications for cost estimation, asset management, retirement planning, oil and gas prospecting, and more – all utilising @RISK technology in Excel. In this presentation, we will cover as many examples of custom applications as time allows.
Forecasting in general is an inexact science/art wrought with challenges and controversy. For achieving good (acceptable) results, the forecaster must have a balanced combination of numerous fields of skills and knowledge including statistical techniques, experience, and deep understanding of the subject matter.
Forecasting the water needs for a country of 2.5 million inhabitants – with no natural water resources – makes the forecasting exercise especially challenging. Getting the forecast too low or too high therefore has severe consequences in such an environment.
The Water Forecasting Section in the Planning and Studies Directorate of The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (ADWEC) is responsible for estimating the water demand forecast for the country. The Water Section has adopted @RISK since 2006 as a tool for modeling the multitude of uncertainties and presenting them in a way that makes it easy to express and analyze the results in a clear and concise way.
Basically the software enables the Water Section to model each and every uncertainty in the forecast components, combine them, and then calculate the overall demand forecast range of possible results. With the hundreds of uncertainties involved in the forecast, it is impossible to manually do this task. This is where we totally depend on @RISK to perform this task. The results are expressed statistically in terms of percentiles. The software has a vast array of results analysis possibilities including summary charts, tornado graphs, reports, etc.
This uncertainty modeling process is also repeated for the calculation of the Desalination Security Standard (DSS), in which water desalination plant shut-down risks are modeled. The uncertainties in the demand forecast are combined with the shut-down risks, and this combination results in the calculation of the capacity required to meet the DSS.
In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the seven programs in the DecisionTools Suite. The discussions of TopRank and @RISK will assume some familiarity with the software; our goal will be to shine a light on a few lesser-known aspects of those programs. We will also deliver a basic introduction to Evolver, for optimization; RISKOptimizer, for optimization in the presence of uncertainty; PrecisionTree, for mapping out problems with a branching structure of sequential decisions and/or chance events; StatTools, for both powerful and user-friendly statistical analysis of a dataset; and NeuralTools, for data understanding and forecasting using artificial neural networks.
In this presentation a simple model for evaluating basic puts & calls is shown. This is then expanded to extend to exotic types through the use of @RISK. The presentation will be hands on, and very interactive with direct input from the audience to suit the needs of the participants.
The DecisionTools Suite is widely used in oil and gas exploration, production, and project decisions. For decades, @RISK has helped engineers and finance managers estimate unknown reserves, value new projects against each other, and craft optimal strategies. PrecisionTree, another tool in the DecisionTools Suite, is commonly used for drilling strategy discussions, production siting problems, and other multi-stage, sequential decisions. RISKOptimizer comes into play when companies need to determine the best “mix” of projects in their portfolio in order to maximize overall returns.
In his six years looking after the Middle East for Palisade, Doug has worked with numerous oil & gas companies throughout the region. In this session, he will draw on his experiences to demonstrate how @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite can be applied to common types of issues faced by oil and gas producers.
Vehicle concentration is an essential part of transportation network management. A finite amount of cars, trucks, buses and lorries can exist on a unit length of road. This number is dependent on the average speed of the vehicle and the separation distance each driver feels comfortable with. Using random variables to estimate the type of vehicle and the separation distance at given average speeds, a method was developed to determine expected outcomes of vehicles on 1 kilometer of road along with a distribution of individual vehicle classes. This methodology is part of a larger project looking at estimating air quality impacts of transportation systems as part of an initiative with the UNDP and Kuwait Environment Public Authority.
This session covers the choice of the appropriate distribution in @RISK. A variety of approaches are presented and compared, including pragmatic, theoretical and data-driven methods. We will discuss the use of different distributions to address a wide range of risk modelling situations.
Most large oil and gas companies have established captive insurance company subsidiaries to facilitate their risk financing and risk transfer programmes. For these buyers there are a range of options available to manage risk including direct retention, traditional insurance, structured or multi-year products (which blend risk retention and risk financing) and industry mutual pools.
In this presentation we illustrate the use of @RISK to test the impact of alternative reinsurance strategies upon the financial statements of the captive insurance company; to achieve an optimal position in terms of minimising external (reinsurance) premium within a target level of capitalisation and acceptable levels of volatility.
For those companies who are new to the captive insurance company concept we will demonstrate and discuss how a captive insurance subsidiary can add value to a risk financing/risk transfer programme for major corporate clients.
As an NOC, KPC is a major player in the energy business. It has an ambitious strategy requiring significant investment with attendant uncertainty. For the past decade the business has dealt with risks on a semi-quantitative basis, that is until recently when it moved to risk quantification of the entire supply chain, both “as is” and when overlaid with the array of strategic assumptions. The transition has been steady but challenging. This session will examine the approach to this work, the process adopted, the tools deployed, the metrics derived, the insight imparted and the issues that have been encountered and resolved on the way.
Craig Ferri and Paul Bolt of Palisade EMEA.
Sam McLafferty networking with conference delegates.
Paul Bolt welcomes delegates.
Delegates enjoying a break and networking.
Michael Sewalt from Mubadala describes modeling options in @RISK.
Doug Oldfield describes oil & gas applications of Palisade software.
Javier Ordóñez and Sam McLaffery speak with a conference attendee.
Sarah Sherry addresses questions about the DecisionTools Suite.
Salah Al-Ramadhan from Kuwait Petroleum Corporation presents "Strategic Risk Quantification and its Challenges within a Major Oil Company."