Emergency response plans
The oil and gas industry is very clearly aware of its responsibilities with regards to producing oil and gas offshore in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. A vast amount of work has been done to minimise possible disasters especially on the platforms themselves. Possible disaster scenarios have been analysed to prevent them and to optimise the emergency response if this would be required in the unlikely event of an emergency situation.
Disasters may include fire, explosion, uncontrolled escape of oil or gas and a vessel adrift colliding with an offshore oil and gas installation. Annually some 200 vessels are found adrift on the Dutch continental shelf.
To address these dangers NOGEPA members have created their own emergency response plans and systems for both on land and offshore. Emergency exercises are performed regularly.
One of the tasks of the Coast Guard is managing and coordinating maritime emergency assistance. The Coast Guard is thus a critically important partner of the oil and gas industry. NOGEPA and the Dutch Coast Guard annually organise one or two offshore exercises with NOGEPA members being involved in turn. The exercises underline the fact how important it is that involved parties understand how to work together so that in the case of a real disaster a rapid and effective response can be provided.
OCES stands for Operators Co-operative Emergency Services. The name refers to the OCES agreement between the branch organisations representing offshore oil and gas companies in North West Europe. The agreement states that whenever a disaster involving an offshore installation occurs at sea, all will cooperate to bring the necessary means to bear to rapidly and effectively respond to it.
Details are set down in the OCES agreement.