‘Oil spills; it’s all a matter of how you respond’
Dozens of signs greet you while walking into the Clean Gulf 2011 Training Event & Exhibition area, but none perhaps as accurate as the one quoted above. In many ways, it summarizes exactly what the Clean Gulf Conference is all about; being prepared when called upon. Clean Gulf is North America’s largest oil spill and training event – a focal point for anyone involved with the oil spill industry.
Representatives from companies devoted to ensuring efficient response after oil spills, as well as several government agencies, were present in San Antonio this week to ensure that the lessons learned from the January 2010 BP-oil spill outside New Orleans are not lost.
The Norwegian pre-conference workshop
Whilst the main Conference started Wednesday November 30, Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington D.C., the Royal Norwegian Consulate General Houston and Innovation Norway Houston, organized a pre-conference workshop to focus on risk management of oil spills.
The DNV representatives all emphasized how oil spills preparation can be more cost efficient by categorizing spills by to variables; its probability and potential consequence. This approach would also entail a much more effective way of responding if a spill should occur, simplify the planning process, and make way for more flexibility in the execution procedure.
The workshop was opened by Consul General Mykletun, who only for a moment shifted the general Gulf emphasis of the workshop considerably further north by emphasizing the importance of oil spill preparation in the High North as well.
Johan-Marius Ly, Director of the Department of Emergency Response at the Norwegian Coastal Administration, gave a thorough introduction to how Norwegian authorities prepares for coastal disasters like oil spills along its 103,000 kilometer coastline. ‘Being proactive and working to minimize effects of actual spills are the two main pillars for the Norwegian Coastal Administration, said Mr. Ly to a crowd of approximately 60 attendees.
A place to stay in tune with marked development: The Clean Gulf Mega Session
A meeting place
Several Norwegian companies, most of them members of the Norwegian Oil Spill Control Association (NOSCA), were present at the both the pre-conference workshop and the actual conference. Morten Stenkjær is Export Manager at NorLense, one of many NOSCA-companies, as was enthusiastic when asked about the importance of the Clean Gulf conference. -Clean Gulf is not only about expanding his company’s customer base, but also about keeping in touch with the industry at large, said Mr. Stenkjær before continuing:
-Clean Gulf provides us with a fantastic opportunity to touch base with colleagues, competitors and customers. Our main focus is to talk to our contacts and stay in touch with the ever going development of our field. In working towards minimizing the effects of oil spills, conferences like Clean Gulf play a vital part.