Division of Spill Prevention and Response


North Slope Spill Analysis Expert Panel


An Expert Panel was established to provide independent review of the North Slope Spills Analysis. The primary purpose of the ARA Expert Panel was to:

Provide input on the type and level of analysis to be performed on the selected spill data;

Review the analysis and develop recommendations for possible mitigation measures that address the analytical findings; and

Review and validate the final draft of the Analysis Report, which will summarize the findings of the spill analysis and include recommendations for mitigation measures.

Panel members were selected based on their demonstrated knowledge in one or more of the following areas:

  • General knowledge of crude oil production operations and measures used to

    • Inspect for aging conditions

    • Detect leaks

    • Prevent leaks and spills

  • Knowledge of loss-of-integrity root cause investigations and common cause analysis

  • Knowledge of analysis of leak data and general engineering practices

The charge of the Expert Panel was to provide recommendations on measures, programs, and practices to monitor and address common causes of failures identified in the analysis of spill data. These recommendations focus on issues associated with the age-related factors. The Expert Panel was not charged with providing a critique of past or present integrity management and spill mitigation programs on the North Slope.

There are five Expert Panel members:

Dorian S. Conger, General Manager of Conger & Elsea, Inc. Dorian Conger is an internationally recognized expert in incident investigation, root cause analysis, safety behavior, and human performance. During his more than twenty-five years in business, he has participated in projects or training involving clients in Antarctica, Australia, South America, Asia, Europe, and North America. He has led major investigations at commercial and government facilities including nuclear, manufacturing, chemical, and petroleum. He has conducted training programs involving more than 200 client organizations. He developed the Model Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action Program that has become the standard for the nuclear and oil industries.  Mr. Conger has expertise in safety behavior improvement, corrective action program development and assessment, and incident investigation/root cause analysis. He has a Master's degree (1978) from Purdue University in Organizational Communication (with a minor in Organizational Behavior) and is certified by the Department of Energy as an instructor in Management Oversight and Risk Tree (MORT).

Michael B. Cusick, Director, QA/QC - Americas, CB&I Lummus. Michael Cusick has 34 years of experience in quality and project management for construction and maintenance of oil and gas production infrastructure, including pipelines. Mr. Cusick has expertise in quality development/implementation, inspection, auditing, root cause analysis, risk assessment, welding program/procedure development, ASME piping code stamps, NACE based cathodic protection, and regulatory compliance. Mr. Cusick is Director of quality assurance and quality control for CB&I Lummus with oversight of all North, Central, and South American operations. Mr. Cusick’s past Alaska experience includes developing and implementing quality and integrity management programs for BPXA, Unocal, and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

Andrew T. Metzger, PhD, PE. Andrew is an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at University of Alaska Fairbanks. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Master of Science degrees from Ohio University.  Thereafter, he worked in the consulting industry for approximately eight years as a structural engineer and engineer diver.  He returned to Academe and completed his Ph.D. degree at Case Western Reserve University.  Andrew’s dissertation dealt with characterizing the accumulation of fatigue damage in highway bridges. Dr. Metzger teaches courses in structural engineering design and design of engineered systems, in general.  He has experience and academic training in risk and uncertainty as applied to engineering practice. A specific example is development of a methodology for prioritizing infrastructure repair work due to mission-risk; based on facility condition. 

William R. Mott, Jr., PE, Principal Engineer, Taku Engineering. William Mott has been actively involved in corrosion engineering for the past 23 years.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Alaska, has National Association of Corrosion Engineer (NACE) training in Cathodic Protection and Coating Inspections. He is a member of NACE and the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC).  Mr. Mott has expertise in pipeline cathodic protection design, testing and evaluation; coating engineering; API 653 inspection and repair of above ground storage tanks; and incident investigations.  Mr. Mott Alaska experience includes design and project engineering for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company on portions of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the Valdez Marine Terminal, design for LCMF on Barrow Gas Field road crossings, and design and testing of cathodic protection systems for the North Slope Borough village fuel lines.

Shirish L. Patil, PhD. Dr. Patil is a Professor of Petroleum Engineering, Director of the Petroleum Development Laboratory, and Associate Director of Institute of Northern Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  He holds a Ph. D. in Mineral Resource Engineering and M. S. degrees in Engineering Management, Petroleum Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.  Dr. Patil was a member of the National Academy of Science, Transportation Research Board technical peer-review committee, which reviewed the Proposed Risk Assessment Methodology produced in Phase I of the project.   He was selected as the 2005 Alaska Engineering Societies, "Engineer of the Year". He has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on over twenty research projects related to oil and gas production in Alaska.

Nuka Research and Planning Group, LLC is the Facilitator of the Expert Panel assisted in planning and coordinating meeting activities.