Clean Gulf Associates has been established by the petroleum operators in the Gulf of Mexico to provide the capability for fast, effective cleanup of oil spills in both coastal and offshore waters. About $1.5 million has been expended for containment and cleanup devices. Equipment stockpiles are maintained at three bases along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Two new bases will be located on the Mississippi-Alabama-Florida coast. The organizational structure of CGA and the design criteria, description, and operating characteristics of the equipment stockpiled are reviewed. Discussions of operational training and other services provided to assist member companies in the use of the equipment are also included.
For many years the operators in the Gulf of Mexico have been concerned about the cleanup of oil spills. Prior to 1972, the Offshore Operators Committee maintained an inventory of oil spill containment, cleanup and auxiliary equipment owned by each company operating in the Gulf to provide mutual assistance among the companies. In the event of a spill, the affected company could utilize this equipment by making arrangements with the individual company having the particular item needed. The system worked satisfactorily. However, as experience was gained, new devices became available, and in view of expanding operations, it became clear that a more formal arrangement to provide supplemental oil spill containment Gulf Associates (CGA) was organized in August 1972 to supply additional equipment and training to greatly increase the industry1s capabilities to help further insure environmental protection.
The objectives of CGA, organization, management, relationship with the Contractor (Halliburton Services), funding, and the various types and locations of containment and cleanup devices stockpiled and the reasons for their selection are described here. The training and other activities of Clean Gulf Associates are also reviewed.
CGA has three basic goals:
To provide oil spill containment and cleanup capability for use by member companies,
To maintain the equipment at strategic locations in a state of 24-hour readiness, and
To evaluate technological advances for possible inclusion in the Clean Gulf stockpiles.
Current membership includes 37 companies (Table 1) which operate over 98% of the total production in the Gulf Coast area membership is open to other companies at any time.
Clean Gulf's Area of Interest, shown on Figure 1, includes the entire Gulf of Mexico from the Rio Grande to the Florida Keys, and adjacent bays. However, the present Cost Participation Area (described under Funding) encompasses only the coastal waters of Louisiana. The Cost Participation Area is the shaded portion of Figure 1. Present equipment bases are located on the Louisiana coast.
The three bases, Venice, Grand Isle, and Intracoastal City are indicated on Figure 1. They were selected to provide optimum coverage of the Cost Participation Area, with minimum response time. All are associated with Halliburton's marine facilities, which customarily provide various contract services for the offshore drilling and production phase of the oil and natural gas industry.