Abstract

The April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill (Macondo), and the earlier Montara incident in Australia, prompted the entire industry to re-examine both the operational aspects of offshore activities, and their preparedness for an oil spill or well blowout.

To meet this challenge, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) formed the Global Industry Response Group to translate the learning from the incident and subsequent response, into practical recommendations for the future. The oil and gas industry's international environmental association - IPIECA - managed the joint industry project (JIP) to progress the nineteen recommendations on emergency management and oil spill preparedness. Discreet projects were initiated, or other trade associations’ projects supported, to deliver a series of practical guidelines, tools and techniques for the industry.

This paper reviews the products from Phase I of the project and how they are changing the way that organisations plan for, and respond to, incidents. Progress on Phase II, which started in 2015, will also be presented, concentrating on incident management, oiled wildlife response, and satellite remote sensing technology for identifying and tracking spills.

The Joint Industry Project is comprehensively revising the way industry prepares for emergency response and has made several new techniques available. These range from methodologies such a Net Environmental Benefit Analysis (NEBA), through response technologies such as In-Situ Burning and Sub-Sea Dispersant Injection, to comprehensive emergency management tools such as the Common Operating Environment.

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