Oil Spill Response Equipment Stockpiles. What are the Biggest Difficulties?


Companies involved in oil exploration see some of the toughest operating conditions imaginable. These dangerous environments require that you have plans in place should the worst happen. Many organizations worldwide rely on strategically-place equipment stockpiles to ensure they’re ready to respond anywhere at anytime.

Maintaining on-site oil spill response equipment during oil and gas exploration programs is increasingly becoming a standard requirement around the world. As oil exploration expands more and more into remote geographical locations, companies face conditions where the emergency response infrastructure is often limited or nonexistent.

Whether equipment is required for a limited period during a drilling program or a more comprehensive emergency response approach is needed our customers have advised of 5 difficulties they constantly face:

1. Managing Multiple Location

Many organizations dealing with oil spills face the difficulty of managing equipment across multiple locations. These organizations need to know equipment supply levels, condition and availability instantly when a spill occurs. The difficulty in tracking this however is that the equipment also needs to be stored in a very specific way to ensure for a efficient response. Equipment is stored in a ready to use manner and can be packaged in bags or boxes preloaded on trucks or containers.

2. Tracking Maintenance

Organizations have contingency plans in place to coordinate the response to an oil spill. The plan brings together the various elements of the response and it should be kept up to date and tested on a regular basis. This plan relies on the fact that equipment is satisfactory, has maintenance plans and a recorded history. Many companies have assigned staff who have a sole responsibility of equipment inspection and ensuring equipment is in a constant state of readiness at each of their stockpiles. This is carried out in a labour intensive way by tracking this expensive equipment with an inexpensive spreadsheet or paper based system.

3. Scheduling Repairs

In order for organizations to respond effectively there is a need to have an infrastructure that enables them to track and conduct their own repairs as part of a response. When dealing with large stockpiles of equipments across a number of locations companies can find that the process of scheduling repairs and monitoring work can turn into a complex undertaking if they're not prepared.

4. Ensuring Equipment Suitability

Companies will ensure that there is robust management structures to lead the response to an oil spill. The members of response teams will be aware of their individual roles and responsibilities and trained in oil spill response. To complement this preparedness it is essential to ensure that the equipment held is relevant to the oil types handled in each stockpiles geographical area and that this equipment has the capacity to provide a sufficient response. The difficulty is ensuring that product specifications are readily available to response personnel. Ensuring the correct product is used when in a response scenario.

5.Tracking of Equipment Shipping

Organizations often have to move their stockpiles with little notice. This can be for a number of reasons, for instance exploration may have ceased in a region or they need additional equipment to support a response elsewhere. Often there will be a robust plan in place so that equipment will be successfully and rapidly deployed. However, due to the pace at which the redeployment is happening the tracking of the equipment being relocated from one location to another can be neglected and difficult to manage using paper based or spreadsheet methods.

Being able to easily manage and track your equipment isn't as difficult as you'd think!!

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