UK recommits to emergency offshore oil response pact

The UK is recommitting to an international pact to help out in offshore oil emergencies, says Oil & Gas UK. The trade body signed up to the arrangement, along with […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The UK is recommitting to an international pact to help out in offshore oil emergencies, says Oil & Gas UK. The trade body signed up to the arrangement, along with five other countries’ oil and gas trade groups from Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and the Irish Republic.

The countries agreed to take a fresh look at the pact in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident in April 2010 which was the largest oil spill in US history.

The Operators’ Cooperative Emergency Services (OCES) agreement means operating companies can call on each other for support in emergency situations – regardless of national boundaries.

Paul Dymond, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director said: “OCES is a unique arrangement which facilitates companies helping each other out in times of need, right across the North West European offshore arena. It is now clearer and – while it is not a legally binding agreement – it sets out the principles under which co-operative emergency services to offshore oil and gas operations may be provided quickly and efficiently.”

The OCES has been in place since 1979 and is reviewed periodically, although it has never been called on by countries so far.