Recently, delegations from Uganda and Lebanon dived headlong into Norwegian oil recovery operations. Both negative and positive experiences were shared, and the participants described it as extremely instructive.
- We seek to provide a glimpse of Norwegian oil spill preparedness and to share what we have learned over the years of petroleum activity, says Kathrine Idås, senior adviser in the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
- The objective of this visit is not only to have a one-way communication, but to exchange experiences, she adds emphatically.
Preparing their own plans
Both Lebanon and Uganda are working to prepare national oil response plans. For this reason, representatives of a number of ministries and directorates in both countries had come to witness this exercise in Norway.
The authorities’ efforts goes far beyond the plan itself, and include training of personnel, procurement of preparedness resources, delineation of responsibilities and roles for various government agencies, training and exercises. The Norwegian Coastal Administration facilitates these processes through the Norad, Oil for Development programme.
Feedback provided after the visit reflected a desire on the part of the participants to hear more about what lessons Norway has learned through its years of petroleum activity that could be of advantage to others.
The delegations’ visit lasted five days. Sites visited by the participants included the depot of the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO), where they witnessed a major coordination exercise held by Norwegian authorities and operating companies. In addition, they attended a number of technical presentation and discussions.
Tested the best equipment
The exercise held by Norwegian authorities and operating companies was one of the largest in Norway this year. The objective of the exercise was to enhance preparedness for critical situations involving acute oil pollution from an offshore installation, with an emphasis on its impact on environmentally vulnerable coastal areas.
The delegates were given an insight into national preparedness planning for acute pollution events, as well as the use of cutting-edge beach-cleaning equipment that the Norwegian Coastal Administration uses to clean up after an incident.
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