For 30 years IPIECA has been working to harness the oil and gas industry’s collective expertise and technology on oil spill preparedness and response. As part of this work, for the past five years IPIECA and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) have collaboratively worked a Joint Industry Project on oil spill response (OSR-JIP).
The Macondo oil spill incident, and other similar incidents, such as the Montara incident that took place in the Timor Sea, off the northern coast of Western Australia, have had far-reaching consequences in prompting the re-examination by industry not only of operational aspects of offshore operations, but also of an operator’s ability to respond in the event of an oil spill incident or blowout.
The OSR-JIP was established in response to the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico (Macondo) oil spill incident, and tasked with identifying learning opportunities from the response to the incident. The OSR-JIP was managed by IPIECA on behalf of IOGP in recognition of its long-standing experience with oil spill response matters and was officially formed in December 2011. It is now in a process of drawing all the work to a close and work is expected to be complete by end-June 2017.
Over its lifespan, the OSR-JIP produced:
- 24 Good Practice Guides (GPGs), covering response, strategy, preparedness and impacts, which replaces the long-established IPIECA Oil Spill Report Series published between 1990 and 2008.
- 11 technical and research reports, developed to communicate technical good practice or to make it accessible to external parties. Subjects included work on dispersant licensing and approvals, dispersant logistics, In-Situ Burning equipment, post – spill monitoring, oil spill response preparedness for offshore installations, Oil Spill Response Organization (OSRO) assessment and volunteer management case studies, amongst others.
- 11 small research projects e.g. to find better methods of bench scale testing dispersants for their efficiency against various crude types and in areas such as residue characterization from In-Situ Burning operations.
- Several outreach and communication materials, including a range of simple videos/animations, 'Glance/Scan' sound-bite size PowerPoint presentations and 'inreach' materials; the 'Confident Ambassador' programme was used to train hundreds of industry staff worldwide.
The OSR-JIP also carried out over 140 visits, workshops and seminars in over 25 countries. By then end of June 2017, the OSR-JIP will complete the translation of all the GPGs into French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian: some are also being translated into German and Italian.
IPIECA Technical Director Rob Cox, who managed the project from its inception, commented: 'It’s gratifying when projects such as this deliver real value both for IPIECA members as well as the wider response community. We are seeing a step change in understanding, in turn leading to new strategies, better preparedness, and more efficacious responses. Our thanks go to the nineteen funding companies as well as the countless numbers of people who contributed to writing and reviewing the final manuscripts'.
A full list of all of the OSR-JIP GPGs can be found in the Resources.