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Up close: Emergency response training

In 2014, 120 members of the Europe, Africa and Middle East RRT participated in a three-day event in Hampshire, United Kingdom.

The exercise involved a tanker berthed at a refinery marine terminal. In the scenario, the offloading pipe from the tanker was ruptured, and oil was released into the water. While the refinery team dealt with securing the jetty, the Regional Response Team (RRT) worked with representatives of the Port, Coastguard and Environment Agency to contain and clean up the hypothetical spill.

The team called upon a range of training and technical innovations, including handheld survey tools for beach assessment and an unmanned aerial vehicle to take photographs and video. The team worked closely with Oil Spill Response Ltd., based in Southampton, to deploy emergency response equipment, including containment booms. Our public and government affairs employees responded to the challenge of engaging with local residents who would have been directly affected by such an oil spill, as well as handling the resulting media impact. They used on-demand communications software to manage incoming inquiries and establish an incident website for the exercise.

In September 2014, the North America RRT also held a three-day exercise in Valdez, Alaska, involving more than 100 ExxonMobil and SeaRiver personnel and nearly 200 representatives from regulatory agencies, tribes, communities and response contractors. The exercise involved a simulated tanker spill of 200,000 barrels of oil and provided an invaluable opportunity to strengthen existing relationships in Valdez, as well as build new ones.

  • Mark Wentworth

    Emergency preparedness and response adviser
    “We put a lot into this year’s exercise in order to stretch the team and make use of the range of equipment and technologies we have at hand. The teams performed well, and we continue to build on our strengths and make improvements to our operations.”