Oil spill response tested

October 22, 2003, 15:00 CEST

Around 300 people took part in the oil spill response exercise Skorpa near Florø from Monday to Wednesday, which tested Hydro's emergency preparedness for combating major oil spills and collecting the oil from the sea.

Hydro was responsible for the exercise, which was organized from an operations centre in Florø, while NOFO, the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies, led the operation.

"I am very pleased with the result of the exercise," says Gunnar Breivik, head of HSE in Hydro Oil and Energy's Operations and Production unit. "It has been very valuable to practise oil spill response on a large scale, and not least to do so in collaboration with other oil companies and the central and local government bodies."

The exercise was based on a fictitious oil spill from the Troll C platform in the North Sea. The spill resulted in several simulated oil slicks that "drifted towards the coast near Florø".

The simulated spill gave Hydro's emergency preparedness organization the opportunity practise handling the "oil slick" in collaboration with NOFO and public emergency resources.

The exercise involved 20-30 vessels with sea and fjord boom systems. The Civil Defence and a large number of volunteers observed and practiced cleaning up the coast.

All together around 300 people took part in the operation. The shipowners  Navion provided a tanker that would receive the oil picked up from the sea in a real emergency situation.

One of the most important aspects of the exercise for Hydro and NOFO was the opportunity to practise collaborating with the county environmental department, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) and municipal authorities. 

Also involved in the exercise were the Norwegian National Coastal Administration, Navion, the helicopter service, the independent research organization SINTEF and observers from a number of public bodies.