Contingency & Response Planning
Careful planning is essential to effectively prepare for oil spills. Developing a strategy and an operational plan before the event will result in a far more efficient and considered response.
The process of producing a contingency plan identifies roles and responsibilities, priorities for protection, effective response strategies and operational procedures without the added pressure of a real spill incident. A well exercised contingency plan promotes trained and practised personnel, and maximises the preparedness of the organisations and individuals involved in a response.
Once a response to an oil spill has been initiated, continuous planning remains an important process to guide operations and monitor their effectiveness. It ensures that response techniques are adaptive to reflect changing circumstances inherent to the nature of marine oil spills. Aerial surveillance is an important element of planning during a response, and can establish the scale and nature of an incident at an early stage. Once a response is underway, aerial surveillance can be used to guide, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness of operations.
Explore Documents on Contingency & Response Planning
This paper discusses the meaning of “international standards” for oil spill response in the context of remote operations. Practical examples are drawn from remote spills world-wide, including incidents in Tristan da Cunha, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.
Droning on: A review of UAV use in recent spills attended by ITOPF and considerations for the future (2018)
This paper discusses the considerations for the use of UAVs at future oil spill incidents, based on its experience with other parties who have used the technology on site over a three year period, November 2014 to November 2017.
International responsibilities: Are we our brothers' Keeper? Oil spill preparedness and response: The role of industry (1997)
Government and the shipping and oil industries have invested heavily in creating and maintaining expensive oil spill response systems against a background of decreasing numbers of intermediate and major oil spills worldwide.
As exploitation of undersea oil moves further offshore floating production and storage systems offer a cost-effective alternative to conventional fixed platforms and seabed pipelines. Floating systems come in a variety of designs but due to their versatility, FPSOs (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading units) are a particularly popular choice.
Over the years, ITOPF has regularly attended incidents in relatively remote locations with limited response capacities and/or limited contingency planning arrangements in place.
This paper describes the principles of boom design and the two main modes of operation, namely towing by vessels at sea and mooring in shallow or inshore waters.
This paper describes the fundamental requirements for the successful use of skimmers in the situations most likely to be encountered during an oil spill and should be read in conjunction with other ITOPF papers in this series, in particular, on the use of booms, shoreline clean-up techniques and the disposal of oil.
In cases of large spills, the source of stranded oil may be obvious, but the question of identification frequently arises when a small amount of oil is involved and compensation is sought for damage or clean-up costs. The purpose of this paper is to assist the reader in recognising both the type and quantity of oil on differing shorelines.
This paper considers many of the situations encountered in a response to ship-source pollution and explains how effective leadership, command and management can maximise the success of response operations. Many of the subjects touched on are discussed in greater detail in other ITOPF papers in this series, as listed on the back cover, but in particular, the paper on Contingency Planning for Marine Oil Spills.
This paper provides a broad overview of the monitoring and sampling procedures that can be used for qualitative and quantitative monitoring of oil contamination. While qualitative analyses can confirm the source of oil contamination, monitoring programmes are often concerned with the quantitative changes in hydrocarbon levels over time. Guidance on analytical best practice is given and common terminology is explained. However, the techniques and observations required to monitor specific ecological or biological effects and to monitor contaminants in the air are beyond the scope of this paper.
This paper outlines the typical format and content of contingency plans for response to ship-source spills and highlights the key steps required for an effective plan.
The question as to whether oil tankers should carry oil spill response equipment onboard has been the subject of debate for many years. This paper focuses on the carriage and deployment of pollution response equipment from oil tankers. Nonetheless, many of the factors discussed can apply equally to the carriage of such equipment on the myriad other types of vessels trading commercially.
Based on ITOPF’s extensive experience providing advice on pollution mitigation and environmental risks posed by wrecks, this paper examines recent issues in the treatment of
wrecks. The authors highlight some key concerns regarding the equitable treatment of wrecks and argue that a more rigorous, technically-based decision making process be adopted and
promoted to ensure clarity and consistency for all parties.
What defines a successful response? Is it dependent upon satisfying potential critics? Does it depend on money saved or spent? Is it defined by avoiding or mitigating pollution damage? Or is it all of these things?