Case studies

UK flag Oil Pollution Emergency Plans, United Kingdom

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Project summary

30+ years

Environmental response experience

DECC Level 1, 2, 3

And a range of other accredited training courses

Petrofac Training Services has developed unique, operationally oriented, oil pollution emergency plans (OPEPs) that meet Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) regulatory requirements.

An OPEP is required to demonstrate an operator’s response capability for oil spills originating from all production, drilling and well intervention operations.

The Petrofac OPEP template is distinctive

It has been specifically tailored as an operational response document. This new format has historically not been associated with such documents. The plans focus on up-front, essential response information and provide enhanced checklists for both offshore and onshore personnel, providing for an effective well structured response to an incident.

Traditionally, OPEPs were lengthy, routine documents seen as more of a 'tick-box' requirement enabling offshore operators to work in the UKCS. However, the topic of oil spills and OPEPs is one which has moved to the forefront of people’s minds of late following recent events such as the Macondo spill in the Gulf of Mexico and closer to home, the Gannet Alpha pipeline spill. This is further enhanced with the development in deepwater drilling in UK waters i.e. West of Shetland.

Changes in legislation and new OPEP requirements

Many operators have been finding that complying with new DECC guidance post-Macondo has been challenging due to the frequent amendments to current requirements.

Our approach is to work in close partnership with both our clients and DECC. We aim to provide a flexible service to meet client requirements, whilst ensuring the framework of the UK regulatory regime is maintained. Our strong relationship with the UK regulators allows for us to manage all aspects of plan development, compilation, distribution and the OPEP approval process.

We have a core team of personnel specifically dedicated to the compilation of oil spill response planning, which also includes developing and running oil spill response related exercises.

Our current client base includes:

  • BG
  • BP
  • CNR
  • Enquest
  • Fairfield
  • Marathon
  • Nexen
  • Talisman

Before approved plans are rolled out, offshore and onshore personnel are offered a half-day OPEP familiarisation training session. These courses help to familiarise users with the format, content and mechanisms of the new documents in order to ensure competence.

For more information, please visit the Petrofac Training Services website.