Case Study: Equipment Hire Services in Bulgaria
OSRL was contracted by Shell for the provision of oil spill response equipment, for use at its offshore drilling activities in Bulgaria. As part of the hire agreement, training was provided to onshore and offshore personnel. While the crew were well prepared, the drilling campaign was concluded without incident. This case study discusses the equipment and training services provided, and highlights the successful delivery and learnings achieved through the close collaboration between Shell, OSRL and Shell’s dedicated contractors.
Equipment Hire Services in Bulgaria
OSRL was contracted by Shell for the provision of oil spill response equipment, for use at its offshore drilling activities in Bulgaria. As part of the hire agreement, training was provided to onshore and offshore personnel. This case study discusses the equipment and training services provided, and highlights the successful delivery and learnings achieved through the close collaboration between Shell, OSRL and Shell’s dedicated contractors.
Shell planned an exploration drilling campaign in Block 1-14 Khan Kubrat, within the Black Sea, which commenced April 2019. The Noble Globetrotter II drillship was utilised for the operation, and the HST Sofia fast crew supplier vessel and two PSV’s (Platform support vessels) were used to support the offshore drilling programme.
As part of the development of Shell’s oil spill contingency plan (OSCP) for the project, it was identified that Tier 1 equipment would be required. Equipment was identified based on the risk assessment carried out as part of the OSCP, and considered other regional oil spill response resources that might be used to assist in a response operation. Due to lack of equipment in- county, and as a member of OSRL, Shell chose to utilise equipment from the OSRL equipment hire stockpile, under a supplementary service to their membership agreement to support their drilling operations.
The purpose of the oil spill response equipment was to provide an initial response to reduce the impact of an oil spill in given scenarios presented within Shell’s OSCP. This included containment, recovery and the management of the consequences of a spill.
The objectives of the service provide to Shell by OSRL were:
- prepare response-ready containerised OSR equipment;
- deliver into country;
- supervise equipment installation;
- train operational personnel;
- provide technical advice on preparedness and response matters;
- maintain the equipment on behalf of Shell;
- support Shell in returning the equipment to OSRL when operations are concluded
Transported by road, OSRL delivered the listed equipment packages to support Shell’s drilling operation:
- Offshore Containment and Recovery
- Dispersant, Spray Arms and AFEDOTM Nozzles
The utilised equipment packages have been designed for ease of use and rapid deployment, whilst also being secured in a safe and proficient manor enabling operators to promptly and effectively respond to an oil release.
The equipment was provided in four 10ft DNV 2.7-1 standard offshore and two 20ft ISO containers.
All response packages included personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure safe operations.
As with all OSRL’s equipment hire services, professional training was provided with the response equipment packages. Specialists supervised equipment installation and conducted thorough training for all relevant personnel. This training covered safe work practices, equipment familiarisation and operational activities. On completion of the training period, a Certificate of Attendance was issued to all attendees.
The training delivered by OSRL provided Shell’s emergency response teams with the opportunity to practice the skills required to operate the response equipment during an ongoing oil spill incident, and to enhance working relationships under demanding situations.
Overall, the interactive training exercise provided valuable learning to all personnel involved. Shell’s response personnel and key procedures were tested, and support provided against identified priorities, these included:
1) health and safety
2) roles and responsibilities
OSRL trained Shell personnel and contractors:
- to safely connect, check and prepare equipment for operational use.
- to complete all relevant documentation, Risk Assessments and Toolbox Risk Identification Card (TRIC) ahead of training
- deploy equipment in a safe and proficient manner in accordance with delegate abilities.
- demonstrate equipment function, performance and limitations.
- safely demobilise equipment back to an organised back to response ready status.
- Most importantly, the training helped build the confidence of individuals involved, and provided greater clarity on their roles and responsibilities.
The key to any successful response operation is to have response ready equipment in place and a comprehensive understanding of the response methods and techniques to use in the event of a spill. OSRL considers hands on experience with response equipment to be critical, enhancing familiarity and deployment efficiency. Although scheduled training is a key priority, regular exercising with oil spill response equipment to test knowledge gained from training is also considered vital. A tailored close-out report focusing on key priority areas was provided to Shell, with the aim of strengthening oil spill preparedness and response in their operations. Shell’s offshore drilling activity in Bulgaria concluded after two months. While the crew were well-prepared, there were no incidents that required the assistance of OSRL personnel or equipment.
Rich Anderson, The OSRL Equipment Hire Services Supervisor added:
“The key to any successful response is the understanding of the response strategies, techniques and resources to be applied in the event of a spill. After the training was completed, it was evident that both vessel crews clearly understood all safety elements, response strategies and techniques, and were very competent in the set-up, running and close out of the equipment on hire to Shell. The hands on experience of the crew demonstrated that in the event of a Tier 1 response, the crew would be undoubtedly competent as first responders prior to any escalation to a Tier 2 or 3 response, where Shell would receive immediate assistance from OSRL. This is exactly what OSRL looks to achieve
while conducting training for its Members.”
Have you got the resources you need to carry out your ongoing activities?
Have the profile of your operational risks assessed including the consideration of regulatory needs, operating environment and resource availability in your operating region, to ascertain equipment hire package requirements which include commissioning, training and maintenance.