Goliat, the first oil field in the Barents Sea, will soon be onstream. The first full-scale exercise of Goliat’s oil spill contingency operations will take place between 10th and 14th September.
The Goliat project brings with it new organisational principles for oil spill contingency operations on the Norwegian shelf. The latest technologies and a new team of professionals (coastal fishermen) will be fully integrated as active participants in the oil industry. The exercise, which will take place between 10th and 14th September, will involve the very first full-scale test of the Goliat contingency apparatus.
The main aim of the exercise is to verify that Eni Norge’s contingency plans are fully functional prior to the field coming onstream. The principal activities will take place in Hammerfest, Nordkapp, Måsøy and Berlevåg municipalities.
“This is a milestone for the Goliat project”, says Eni Norge’s Oil Spill Contingency Adviser Ole Hansen. “The exercise will provide us with answers as to whether the Goliat contingency plans will live up to the great ambitions we have set ourselves. Our clear objective is to ensure that contingency plans are robust, effective and adapted to local conditions”, he says.
Extensive co-operation and testing
The exercise, known as “Barents Solutions 2012”, is a joint effort between the operator Eni Norge AS, its partner in the Goliat licence Statoil, and NOFO, the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies. Several public and private sector partners will be contributing with personnel and equipment. Several new concepts especially developed in connection with the Goliat project will be tested during the exercise. This applies to activities such as the use of fishing vessels for coastal contingency operations, and separate task forces linked to emergency response actions along the coastlines and beaches.
“In recent years, both NOFO and the oil industry have continued to develop and consolidate an oil spill contingency strategy for northern Norway”, says NOFO’s Operations Director Oddbjørg Greiner. “The Goliat project is contributing towards ensuring better emergency preparedness in Finnmark, especially in terms of increased resources, organisational innovation, consolidation of the contingency apparatus, as well as equipment development and investment. It is vital to conduct a large-scale exercise in order to test the strategy out”, she says.
The exercises in the “Barents Solutions 2012”, will be carried out as a combination of oil spill and other practical exercises which will involve the use of actual contingency resources during all phases of an oil spill response. As well as the practical training of crews and personnel, several vessels and other types of contingency resources will be brought into action. Oil spill exercises will take place in Stavanger and Hammerfest, while other practical activities will be carried out in Myrfjord and Eiterfjord close to Havøysund, at Gjesvær on Magerøya, and in Kongsfjord near Berlevåg.
The standby vessel Esvagt Aurora will also take part in the exercise. Aurora which will be stationed at the Goliat field will be the most advanced and modern vessel currently in use on bvthe Norwegian shelf. It will serve as a valuable resource during any rescue operations, as well as reinforcing the capacity of the towing vessels in the region. The on-board oil spill protection equipment will be stored below deck, and is optimised for cold conditions and winter operations. Advanced monitoring equipment on board will make it possible to discover and follow up any oil spills, under any light conditions. These monitoring systems are part of the modernisation of Norwegian oil spill contingency strategy.
Press Release, September 11, 2012