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Spill Commission Hires Science Adviser


By JOHN M. BRODER July 9, 2010, 3:02 pm

The seven-member commission assembled by President Obama to investigate the BP spill has hired Richard A. Sears, a longtime Royal Dutch Shell scientist, engineer and offshore drilling expert, to be its chief technical adviser. Mr. Sears is on loan to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a visiting scientist at the university’s Laboratory for Energy and the Environment.

Richard A. SearsRichard A. Sears

Mr. Sears, whose most recent title at Shell before his retirement last year was vice president and external research coordinator, has broad experience with offshore oil operations.

He has been a senior Shell executive on deepwater exploration, a project manager on operations in the Gulf of Mexico and head of exploration evaluation for the North Sea in England and Scotland. He has written and spoken frequently about the search for alternative fuels as well as the challenges of ultra-deepwater drilling.

Mr. Sears lives in Houston and describes his current position as “consultant/gamechanger” at LeadingEnergyNow, a consulting firm in the energy industry.

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