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Emergency response & oil spill preparedness

Emergency response and oil spill preparedness

In the event of a spill, the main objective is to execute work in a safe and responsible manner. Highly qualified emergency response organisations onshore and offshore will ensure effective support and follow-up of potential, future incidents. In addition to in-house oil spill response teams, a key business partner in this discipline is the Norwegian Clean Seas Association (NOFO), which serve as a coordinating organisation for oil spill response on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Despite the fact that the Vår Energi operated assets are low pressure fields, with low risk of an uncontrolled discharge of oil, significant emphasis has been placed on preventing spills by establishing independent barriers for monitoring and containment during operations and production. A number of measures have been implemented to rapidly identify an oil spill.

Vår Energi’s oils spill preparedness is based on a four-barrier principle:

  • Risk reducing measures offshore
  • Barriers at sea
  • Coastal containment
  • Onshore containment

Some of the most modern oil spill protection systems on the NCS are established in the Barents Sea. New concepts have been introduced as a result of the Goliat field. In collaboration with the local, coastal fishing fleet, a new system for near shore oil spill protection has been put in place. The local fishing fleet forms a new oil spill barrier system in west Finnmark. The vessels have been modified and adapted to carry equipment developed for this purpose and crew undergo extensive training and exercise on a regular basis.


Furthermore, a new shore zone protection system has been established for Goliat. The Emergency Beach Task Force (IGSA – Innsatsgruppe Strand Akutt) consists of 40 people recruited from Finnmark, trained to combat and recover oil from the shore line with equipment especially designed for this purpose.

On a day-to-day basis, the offshore personnel has a systematic focus on risk reducing measures to prevent oil spills:

  • Continuous pressure-based monitoring on pipelines and risers on operated fields
  • Independent systems for leak detection on subsea templates
  • Leak testing before every offloading operation, to reduce the risk of a leak on operated fields
  • Offloading operations are monitored by using infrared cameras and oil detecting radar on the FPSO, on the shuttle tankers and on the standby vessel on the Goliat field
  • Periodic downloading of satellite photographs are carried out to monitor the surface across the Goliat field