BSEE in unannounced oil spill drill in Gulf of Mexico

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) recently conducted an unannounced spill drill of Arena Offshore, an operator and producer focused on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf.

Analysts and engineers from the BSEE’s Oil Spill Preparedness Division and Gulf of Mexico Region on September 9, 2015, conducted a one-day exercise simulating a loss of well control event from a platform in shallow water, approximately 35 miles south of Port Fourchon, La.

These exercises test an operator’s response to an incident using their oil spill response plan, BSEE says.

As part of the drill, Arena Offshore was required to respond to a simulated loss of well control due to a potential blowout of the well.

“During an exercise an operator demonstrates successful notifications and implements other elements included in its oil spill response plan,” the bureau explains.

The operator worked from its offices in The Woodlands, Texas while coordinating simulated response actions with its contracted spill response company in Slidell, Louisiana throughout the exercise.

BSEE staff observed the operator’s response in both locations. The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also attended the exercise.

Government Initiated Unannounced Exercises are designed to give BSEE the opportunity to evaluate, on a no-notice basis, an operator’s access to necessary resources and test the viability of oil spill response plans. This was the 13th unannounced exercise BSEE has conducted this year.

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