The Offshore Preparedness Conference is a forum for Norwegian and international collaboration and experience exchange linked to emergency preparedness issues both on- and offshore. Bodø hosted this year’s conference on 31st of May – 1st of June.
The industry is operating increasingly in areas at great distances offshore, with logistical challenges linked to low temperatures and poor daylight conditions. Is the industry sufficiently equipped to carry out its activities safely and sustainably in relation to life, health, and the environment? How is the industry planning and implementing its strategies to combat incidents that may arise in Arctic waters? The participants of the conference focused on these issues.
Professor Odd Jarl Borch, Ph.D in Economics, from the Nord University presented cross-border collaboration approaches and experiences related to emergency preparedness management, collaboration and expertise exchange. He highlighted the managerial gaps within emergency management: there are severe capacity and competence gaps in maritime preparedness in most Arctic countries. Additionally, there are still too many institutional barriers to face. At the same time, the maritime activity patterns of the High North are changing with potential increase in risk. Significant efforts are needed to develop innovation programs industry, academia and government within safety and emergency preparedness. The oil and gas industries should take initiative to develop new competence and create robust emergency preparedness networks in the High North, - concluded Professor Borch. The Nord University is in charge of the MARPART projects which aim at finding solutions to bridge emergency preparedness gaps. NArFU’s researchers take an active part in these projects.
The operating companies are aiming to identify joint approaches to their operations in the Barents Sea as a means of achieving effective levels of safety and emergency preparedness. This will be achieved by processes such as data sharing, cost-effective systems, greater collaboration and increased coordination, - highlighted Janne Lea from Wintershall Norge AS.
Tor Eivind Moss from the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) focused on the management (Incident Command System) of an oil spill response action in his presentation. Via the Open Government Partnership and IPIECA (International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association), many companies have reached a global agreement on how to organise and manage response actions that is reflected in the management of oil spill response actions on the Norwegian shelf.
All participants of the conference had an unique possibility to come on board the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel. The Coast Guard's responsibility are for fisheries inspections, customs enforcement, border control, law enforcement, shipping inspection, environmental protection, as well as search and rescue and oil spill response.
Department of International Cooperation