CAMARILLO, Calif. – As part of its mission to protect the environment and ensure offshore oil and gas operators are prepared to respond rapidly and effectively to oil spills, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) conducted a Government Initiated Unannounced Exercise (GIUE) on Aug. 29-30 to assess DCOR, LLC’s ability to activate its incident management team and carry out procedures in its approved oil spill response plan.
“BSEE designs and conducts GIUEs to evaluate the ability of the offshore exploration and production community to respond to a spill with no prior warning,” said Robert Zaragoza, BSEE Oil Spill Preparedness Division exercise designer and controller. “These exercises are also an excellent opportunity for BSEE to collaborate with federal and state partners that have mutual responsibilities for offshore oil spill preparedness and response.”
The two-day exercise involved setting up and running an incident command post at DCOR, LLC’s corporate headquarters in Oxnard and deploying a rapid response vessel from Ventura Harbor to respond to a simulated oil spill from a subsea pipeline located about eight miles offshore.
BSEE and its interagency partners from the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Transportation, California Coastal Commission, and California Fish and Wildlife assessed DCOR’s ability to make timely notifications to emergency officials, mobilize and organize staff to respond to the simulated spill, plan for and implement shoreline protection and oil recovery strategies, and establish effective communications within a unified command.
“GIUEs are an important exercise tool to test an operator’s Oil Spill Response Plan and their ability to respond to a hypothetical spill scenario,” said Bruce Hesson, BSEE Pacific Region director. “These exercises provide an opportunity to ensure everyone is prepared in an event requiring emergency response off the Southern California coast.”
After a GIUE, BSEE collects and documents lessons learned and shares any corrective actions needed with the operator.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is the lead federal agency charged with improving safety and ensuring environmental protection related to the offshore energy industry, primarily oil and natural gas, on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.