David Dickins in the Norwegian Barents Sea,  April 2009.

Experience Profile

David Dickins, P.Eng. has over 45 years of project management experience focusing on Arctic marine research, offshore oil exploration and development, and the marine transportation of oil in Arctic waters. Operating his own engineering consulting firm since 1978, Mr. Dickins has a worldwide reputation as an expert in arctic environmental studies, oil spills, sea ice conditions and air cushion vehicles. He has managed hundreds of research projects for government and industry clients and has authored or contributed to over 80 conference papers and journal articles.

During the first intense period of Arctic oil exploration from 1975 to the mid 1980’s, David Dickins participated in numerous offshore exploration and development studies, including the creation of Arctic oil spill response atlases, and evaluating marine environments along tanker routes. He played a key role in nine large-scale experimental oil spill programs in ice and cold waters in Canada and Norway, covering a wide range of spill response issues: blowouts, boom trials at sea, shoreline oiling, dispersant use nearshore, and the use of fire resistant booms for burning at sea. Many of these projects were international collaborative efforts involving scientists from Canada, the United States and Norway.

The company’s projects encompass many significant coastal mining and offshore oil and gas developments around the world: Voisey’s Bay nickel mine on the Labrador Coast; Alpine, Oooguruk and Northstar oil production facilities in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea; Sakhalin 1&2 in Russia; the Kashagan field in the North Caspian Sea; Amauligak in the Canadian Beaufort, Shell’s Sivulliq and Burger projects in the US Arctic, future lease prospects off NW and NE Greenland and the BTC pipeline running from Azerbaijan, to Turkey.

Project examples include: developing the technical program and co-chairing four international conferences on oil and ice and ice and polar transportation in Anchorage, Vancouver and London; mapping historical sea ice overflood boundaries along the Alaskan North Coast from satellite imagery and helicopter surveys; field-testing ground penetrating radar systems to detect oil under ice in experimental spills on Svalbard; reviewing oil spill response strategies for future Arctic exploration areas; assessing the impact of global warming on oil industry strategic planning; evaluating the feasibility of using hovercraft to patrol the Northwest Passage; and advising several oil majors on future development scenarios tied to upcoming lease sales in the Alaskan OCS region.

From 2003 to 2006, David participated as a committee member contributing to the development of a new Escape, Evacuation and Rescue (EER) chapter as part of the ISO Arctic Structures Standard, In 2004 his firm was contracted to develop a set of Arctic oil spill research priorities for the US Arctic Research Commission.  He acted as Project Manager for remote sensing as part of the SINTEF Oil in Ice Joint Industry Project (JIP) in Norway from 2007 to 2010, and currently plays an active role in the day to day research activities of the Arctic Response Technology JIP the largest research program of its kind (2012-2016). Representing the Chevron Arctic Center, David is a member of six technical working groups including chairing Field Research and co-chairing Remote Sensing.

He served on the National Academies, National Research Council Committee:  Responding to Spills in Arctic Marine Environments, 2012-2014 and co-authored the committee report. In 2012, he also co-authored the API publication Spill Response in the Arctic Offshore.

In 2015, Mr. Dickins prepared several key topic papers as part of the National Petroleum Council publication “Arctic Potential – Realizing the Potential of U.S. Arctic Oil and Gas Resources”. In the same year, he co-authored (with Owens Coastal Consultants) a major new guide for oil spill response in snow and ice conditions, for the Arctic Council.

Mr. Dickins received a B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver in 1971 and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the Province of British Columbia.

Education B.A.Sc. Mechanical Engineering
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1971
Professional Affiliations and Committees Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC)

National Academies NRC Committee (2012-2014) Responding to Spills in Arctic Marine Environments

ISO 19906 Arctic Structures Standard: EER Committee Member (2003-2006)

2009 – current DF Dickins Associates, LLC, California
1998 – 2008 DF Dickins Associates Ltd., California
1980 – 1998 DF Dickins Associates Ltd., British Columbia
1978 – 1980 DF Dickins Engineering, Yellowknife, N.W.T.
1974 – 1978 Vice-President of Operations. Norcor Engineering and Research Ltd., Yellowknife, N.W.T.
1971 – 1974 Research Scientist. Department of the Environment,
Ottawa, Ontario.

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DF Dickins Associates, LLC

La Jolla, CA 


Tel. 858-431-6064