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G.H. Huang, Z. Chen, L. Liu, Y.F. Huang, J.B. Li, Z.Y. Hu, I. Maqsood, Y.Y. Yin


Petroleum operations range from exploration, production and refining to transportation and storage. Climate change will lead to a number of direct and indirect impacts on this industrial sector. Therefore, a challenging question faced by the industry is how they should adapt to the changing climatic conditions in order to maintain or improve their economic and environmental efficiencies. In this research, initial efforts are made to assess the interrelationships between climate change and petroleum activities in Canada’s prairies. A number of processes within the prairies’ petroleum industry that are vulnerable to climate change are examined through extensive survey, investigation and analysis. In addition to the organization of workshops, roundtable meetings and panel discussions, many questions were designed and distributed in various ways (mail, email, telephone call, interview, and internet) to collect information of perceived climate-change impacts and adaptation strategies. Many people from industries, research institutions, governments, and non-governmental organizations were contacted for information and knowledge acquisition. Multivariate statistical analyses (chi square test) were conducted to examine potential correlations among various surveying results. These analyses were helpful for identifying potential conflicts of interest, biases and interactions. Thus, more reasonable interpretation of the surveying outputs can be obtained. Based on the investigation and surveying results, an expert system (named ISSCCI) was developed for facilitating integrated climate-change impact assessment and adaptation-strategy analysis within the prairie’s petroleum industry. A vast amount of information related to industrial processes, climate-change impacts, potential adaptation alternatives, and system component interactions was integrated within the ISSCCI framework. The developed ISSCCI can provide decision support for the prairie’s energy industries and the related governmental organizations to conveniently examine issues of climate-change impacts and potential adaptation options.