Recent events in the Gulf of Mexico have highlighted the importance of effective spill response strategies and contingency planning. Oil Pollution Emergency Plans are operational documents that provide both offshore and onshore response strategies, relevant information and support to ensure that the most effective response is implemented in the event of a spill.
An OPEP is required for all drilling and production activities, and must be approved by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), prior to any operations commencing on the UKCS.
BMT Cordah is ideally placed to inform and support operators with the preparation, review and update of their OPEPs. Our OPEP services cover a range of activities, including:
- Preparing an OPEP that is fit for purpose and clearly sets out the procedures for responding to an offshore oil pollution incident
- Co-ordinating multi-disciplinary teams to capture operational response requirements
- Facilitating the process of gathering all relevant information and providing advice
- Communicating with DECC and any other relevant authorities on behalf of the Operator
- Providing environmental sensitivities assessment and data
- Providing the Metocean data necessary for oil spill modelling, prediction and forecasting
- Modelling the movement, behaviour and shoreline impact of a potential oil spill.
Oil Spill Modelling
Oil spill modelling is an important tool used for predicting areas and associated environmental sensitivities that could be impacted during a spill event. Our skilled personnel are experienced in using both BMT’s Oil Spill Information System (OSIS) and SINTEF’s Oil Spill Contingency and Response (OSCAR) models, as required within DECC Guidelines for input to OPEPs and EIAs.
The team of environmental specialists at BMT Cordah draws on a wealth of experience and knowledge from key industry sectors including operational spill response, shoreline response methodologies, emergency response management and spill modelling and has participated in numerous national and operator led spill response exercises. We continue to develop a comprehensive knowledge of the requirements of operators, regulators and stakeholders.
Metocean Data and Weather forecasting
BMT Cordah can assist in the determination and provision of the relevant Metocean data in predicting the movement, fate and extent of an oil spill.
In addition we can provide 24 hour weather forecasting during a spill event.
Environmental Sensitivities Identification and Mapping
BMT Cordah has many years of experience in the preparation and presentation of environmental sensitivity data required for OPEPs. This includes coastal sensitivity mapping and Shoreline Protection Plans.
Our experienced team is skilled in engaging technical discussion, facilitating data gathering and aiding decision making within multi-disciplinary teams through the organisation and facilitation of workshops.
Communicating with relevant authorities
Our environmental specialists are skilled in engaging, consulting and liaising with the relevant authorities and stakeholders during the preparation of OPEPs.
BMT Cordah has extensive experience providing environmental support to operating companies at any stage of the project life-cycle. Preparation of OPEPs can be provided as part of a comprehensive package of environmental services to operators supporting exploratory drilling, new developments, existing operations and decommissioning.
BMT Cordah can offer emergency spill modelling support, should the worst happen, and can facilitate in the review and updating of existing OPEPs to align them with current DECC requirements.