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Oil Spill Equipment in PNG

Competent oil spill responders – how SpillPro trained oil spill responders to use oil spill equipment in an emergency

Case study overview

ExxonMobil operates in remote and hostile environments to produce fuel for consumers. Their operation in PNG purchased Oil Spill Equipment from SpillPro to contain and clean up oil spills.

Pacific Project Logistics (PPL) respond to all Tier 1 and Tier 2 spills in PNG waters. They work together with Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) from Singapore to respond to Tier 3 spills.

The problem

ExxonMobil PNG purchased oil spill equipment and located it in the right place to respond to spills. However, ExxonMobil recognised that this is only half the solution. Oil spill responders need to be trained to use the equipment in live drills so that they gain experience for actual spill events. Untrained responders take longer to set up the equipment thus failing to contain the spill in the minimum area. Using equipment incorrectly can also lead to a breach of containment and severe environmental consequences.

PPL have a 24-hour manned spill response vessel called Hotshot. All personnel that man this ship, as well as key ExxonMobil resources that would be involved in spill response, needed to be trained using SpillPro equipment.


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What SpillPro did

SpillPro supplied oil spill equipment for live sea trials in Port Moresby. The live trials enabled responders to train with oil spill equipment so that they are prepared for an actual spill.

Containment booms were deployed from Hotshot to simulate the tasks needed to contain an oil spill in a defined area. Responders learned how to handle booms, manoeuvre the ship and connect booms together.

Oil skimmers were deployed to gain experience with their operation. Responders used hoses and pumps to simulate sucking oil from the skimmer and into an onboard tank.

A critical element of training is to identify roles and to work as a team. ExxonMobil PNG and PPL responders gained valuable experience working together thus preparing themselves for an efficient response to a Tier 1 or Tier 2 spill in the Pacific region.


Benefits to ExxonMobil PNG

  • Well trained employees of ExxonMobil and PPL
  • Familiarity with oil spill response equipment
  • Experience in working together to minimise the impact of a spill
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