Last week, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) participated in a day-long government initiated unannounced exercise involving Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY). The tabletop exercise, held in Huntington Beach, Calif., tested OXY's ability to respond to a simulated spill event in accordance with its Oil Spill Response Plan (OSRP).
For this exercise, OXY was instructed to respond to a simulated release of 50 barrels of crude oil from a pipeline running from Platform Emmy to shore. The exercise did not require deployment of response equipment or interruption to pipeline or production operations. Representatives from the Coast Guard, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response and California State Lands Commission participated in the BSEE led exercise.
These exercises are conducted in accordance with 30 CFR Section 254.42(g) as authorized by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Following an exercises, BSEE and other participating agencies review the day's events, identify lessons learned and provide appropriate regulatory feedback to help improve operators' approved OSRPs. The first exercise was conducted by the Department of the Interior on July 25, 1989, with an offshore oil and gas operator in the Gulf of Mexico.