Unnanounced oil spill drill for Freeport-McMoRan

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) completed an unannounced oil spill response exercise involving Freeport McMoRan Oil & Gas. The exercise occurred in BSEE’s Gulf of Mexico Region and included the deployment of response equipment under contract to Freeport-McMoRan.

The purpose of BSEE’s spill exercises is to determine if an operator can effectively respond to an emergency using its Oil Spill Response Plan.

This exercise involved the deployment of mechanical recovery systems at three separate locations across the central Gulf coast and simulated dispersant use consultation, well containment, and on-water spill response. Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, State of Louisiana, State of Texas and Freeport-McMoRan participated in the BSEE led exercise.

BSEE Oil Spill Response Division Chief David Moore commented, “this exercise allowed us to test Freeport-McMoRan’s preparedness to implement key components of their response plan as well as provide an opportunity for our Federal and State partner agencies to participate and observe. We will continue to regularly test offshore operators to ensure they are ready to provide the best possible response to an offshore oil spill.”

The Department of the Interior has conducted unannounced oil spill response exercises for more than 22 years. The first exercise was conducted on July 25, 1989 with an offshore oil and gas operator in the Gulf of Mexico.

Press Release, February 24, 2014

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