Emergency Response in the UK North Sea
Nexen UK has a robust emergency response organisation in place to support its offshore activities in the UK Continental Shelf. Nexen UK uses a third party resource, Petrofac Emergency Response Services Centre (ERSC) in Aberdeen, who provide the control room where emergency response is managed. Nexen and Petrofac personnel are on call 24/7 to support offshore emergencies.
Each Nexen UK operated asset responds to incidents using site specific emergency response plans, with onshore support responding where required via the Petrofac ERSC and in conjunction with Nexen’s onshore emergency response procedures. Each offshore asset has specialized and dedicated Emergency Response Teams (ERT’s), who will respond as required depending on the incident.
Nexen UK has an annual program designed to ensure all on-call and ERT personnel exercise and retain their skills through regular practice sessions both on and offshore.
Oil Spill Prevention & Response in the UK North Sea
A large number of Nexen personnel are trained to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Level 3 – Onshore Emergency Responder, which is refreshed every three years. Nexen is required to run one major oil spill exercise every three years, which includes involvement of the UK Secretary of States Representative for Maritime Salvage and intervention (UK SOSREP), and the government representative who co-ordinates the response to major spill incidents within the UK.
Nexen UK has access to the services of Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL), which includes technical support in the event of a spill, access to aerial surveillance aircraft, aerial dispersant spraying aircraft, a UK based 500 ton dispersant stockpile, and a large inventory of booms, skimmers and other clean-up equipment. The service also allows Nexen to access a UK based capping tool – the UK Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG) Cap. This tool was built as part of a collaborative effort among the offshore oil and gas industry, regulatory agencies and trade unions to coordinate the UK’s response to the safety, environmental and commercial issues arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico.