Offshore Oil Spill Contingency Planning — A Waste Management Approach
Oil spills are both a liability burden to the industry and probably a significant contributor to public antipathy to oil industry activity.
-Liability cover is huge now that the GoM spill has set the cost level so high
-Public perception is that the industry is dirty and is unable to clean up its own mess
Such concerns will impact our ability to exploit hydrocarbon resources, particularly in environmentally sensitive areas and close to population centres. The public are concerned about the potential for oil pollution on beaches and therefore expect the industry to demonstrate that it an clean up and restore a potential spill. Therefore the onshore clean up element of spill planning is becoming more important.
One of the major issues arising as a result of an oil release at sea is the management of the waste generated from response and clean-up activities. Costs of waste management have often exceeded all other costs combined but:
-Detailed waste management contingency planning has been largely ignored - left until an incident has arisen
-The result of this has been
-Decisions made under duress and media spotlight
-Knee jerk reactions,
-Inappropriate environmental solutions,
Where waste management planning has been incorporated into contingency planning, it has often been carried out on a qualitative and superficial basis.
We present an approach developed jointly with industry that incorporates location-based waste modelling into pre-incident contingency planning to provide a much wider range of information and the ability to rapidly assess the impact of different options to assist in the pre-planning and management of a response.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90163©2013AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013