LONDON – Oil Spill Response Ltd. says it has completed a response to a fuel oil spill in the Arabian Gulf. The spill, which occurred in early August in Kuwait, was the result of a malfunction in part of a process system. A small quantity of fuel oil spilt into the surrounding environment.
“Although the spill was small, our member decided that they needed additional assistance,” said Richard Sims, Regional Manager Middle East, “and so we initially provided them with the services of a Technical Advisor.” An assigned technical advisor works alongside the member’s in-house team, and is essentially there to help ease and improve decision making.
Once Oil Spill Response received the call, Sims travelled from the company’s base in Bahrain to Kuwait, where he worked with the member’s in-house team to assess the spill area. “Together, we concluded that additional equipment was required,” Sims added. “As an organization, we then worked to support the in-house team, we surveyed the surrounding beaches over a 10-day period, gave guidance and recommendations on response activity, and mobilized the additional equipment from Bahrain.” The Oil Spill Response team was integrated into the member’s team to bring the total response team to just over 50 people.
In the four years that Oil Spill Response has had a base in Bahrain, this is the first response incident of this nature that has required equipment to be mobilized from it. Sims said that the equipment was transported across the Causeway, through Saudi Arabia and on into Kuwait. Border crossings can, he noted, sometimes be complicated, but the response team was able to its equipment through different borders without difficulty. “As a global organization, we are experienced in border crossings,” Sims noted. “Different countries require equipment to be packed in different ways and documentation has to be correct but apart from differences in the time taken to cross different borders we experienced no problems at all.”
The response is now complete and a full internal investigation into how the spill occurred has commenced. “After any spill, we reflect on what we did, how we did it and how well we responded,” Sims explained. “Our primary lesson learned from this response is that we can mobilize quickly and effectively from our Bahrain base and cross borders efficiently. We were also able to get additional support from both our UK and Singapore bases as we required it; so our global positioning worked really well.”