News Release

February 5, 2015

Acorn International's Heather Boyd and Samina Jain will each be presenting papers at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) E&P Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Conference - Americas in Denver on March 16-18. In addition, Acorn International’s Kerry Ground will be at the conference as co-chair of the pilot SPE HSSE Student Challenge.

Ms. Boyd’s paper is titled “Challenges in Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment for Shale Development”. The study presented through the paper focused on one company’s operations in a North American Shale play to assess the potential impacts to physical, biological and cultural resources. The intent of the study was to define the baseline conditions across the Area of Interest and better understand the current and future footprint of operations and measures needed to avoid, mitigate or minimize potential impacts. The study was an important effort in an area facing rapid development.

Ms. Jain’s paper is titled “Social Performance in the Gulf of Mexico: Crises-Ready Stakeholder Engagement”. The paper highlights the benefits of deep and broad stakeholder engagement in the Gulf of Mexico through the lens of crisis preparedness and response. The level of understanding and response to stakeholder concerns on the local level can distinguish companies when negative incidents occur. Strong relationships with local civil society are invaluable in emergency response situations, especially when existing feedback mechanisms are well-known and utilized.

Ms. Ground is co-chair of the first-ever SPE HSSE Student Challenge to be held at the conference on March 17. The Challenge will bring together students from eight universities to compete in a quiz-type competition on HSSE topics within the oil and gas industry, with one team pronounced the winner at the end. Participating students come from various disciplines, including Civil, Environmental, and Petroleum Engineering, Fire Protection and Safety Engineering, Health and Industrial Hygiene, etc. Directly following the Challenge will be a networking event giving students the opportunity to meet and speak with industry professionals, while simultaneously giving industry professionals the opportunity to meet students interested in working in the oil and gas industry.

Our team looks forward to a successful conference in Denver, come visit our booth!

For more information on the conference schedule, visit

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