In connection with a series of articles in December 2010, questions were raised concerning whether Maersk Oil was in compliance with the prevailing guidelines for water sampling and analysis and oil spill reporting. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency subsequently requested a report from Maersk Oil.
The report from Maersk Oil was submitted to the Agency yesterday.
The main conclusions of the report are as follows:
· – Since 2002, Maersk Oil has invested DKK 2 billion in new technology and enhanced water treatment equipment on its platforms in the Danish North Sea. This year, Maersk Oil will be investing a further DKK 100 million in, for example, nanotechnology, ceramic filters and reinjection of produced water. At year-end 2010, the average discharge of oil in produced water was 10 mg/l and thus below the limit value of 30 mg/l. On the Tyra and Skjold platforms, the monthly limit values were exceeded in 2010, but the problems have now been resolved.
· – Maersk Oil obtains more than 5,000 samples annually, which are reported to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. The independent bodies DNV and Force Technology perform external audits of the analysis methods. In 2010, seven external and six internal audits were performed. In addition, Lloyd’s Register has performed an independent evaluation of Maersk Oil’s internal monitoring procedure. Lloyd’s Register concludes overall that “Maersk Oil has established the necessary tools, processes, systems and technical expertise for complying with official rules for oil in water discharge”. Lloyd’s Register also made a number of specific suggestions for improvements which Maersk Oil will now be discussing with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.
· – Since 1999, Maersk has notified its platforms of impending surveillance flights. The purpose of this has been partly to give the platforms an opportunity to gather information for use in confirming whether or not any observed oil spill stemmed from the platforms themselves or had been discharged by passing vessels, and partly to raise environmental awareness among rig employees. According to the Danish Transport Authority, passing on information to the platforms does not constitute a contravention of the rules. However, following criticism from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, this practice has ceased.
-In the period 2006-2010, Maersk Oil was notified of 349 surveillance flights over its installations in the Danish North Sea. During the same period, 14 instances of oil spills were reported coincidentally with surveillance flights. All in all there have been 142 oil spills during the period. The low number of coincidences in time means that Maersk Oil is able to rule out any systematic inappropriate filing of oil spill reports in connection with surveillance flights.
“The investigation does not give cause to believe that fraud has taken place in our oil spill reports or in the oil-in water analyses. I also note that Lloyd’s Register concludes that Maersk Oil has established the necessary tools and processes for complying with official rules,” says Jakob Thomasen, CEO of Maersk Oil.
“But we have to acknowledge that our processes can be improved, as Lloyd’s Register also indicates. We are now waiting to hear from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. The credibility of Maersk Oil must not be called into question,” adds Jakob Thomasen.
Source:Maersk Oil , January 4, 2011;