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Anadarko Oil spill equipment grossly inadequate

Wellington – Friday 21 November 2013

Anadarko Oil spill equipment grossly inadequate

Relax on oil spills: Anadarko’s drill ship has pads, pillows, “socks”, one shovel, gloves and 15 bags with ties, according to their Environmental Impact Report.

Andarko lists its oil spill equipment on the drill ship Noble Bob Douglas.  Included in the documentation with the Environmental Protection Agency, the list was taken initially by Environment and Conservation Organisations (ECO), to be a spoof, but it appears to be genuine.

“It looks to be able to deal with a service station forecourt spill, not to deal with a spill into the sea from drilling,” said ECO Co-Chairperson, Cath Wallace.  “There is no at sea equipment.”

The documentation lists the Contents of the “Environmental Spill Response Kit” to be carried on board the drill ship:
“The kit on the drillship includes:
•          15-4’ socks, 5-8’ socks, 190 pads, 16 pillows;
•          2-10 lb Albozorbit, 15 disposable bags with ties;
•          4 pair of nitrile gloves, 4 pairs silvershield gloves;
•          4 each splash resistant goggles, 4-Tyvek coveralls XL;
•          1 non-sparking shovel; and
•          1 emergency response guidebook.”
(page 58-59, Anadarko Discharge Management Plan from the Environmental Impact Assessment.)

Cath Wallace said it is clear Anadarko envisages a maximum of four people to respond: with one shovel.  “The ‘socks’ are four feet and eight feet long: hardly sufficient to protect the ocean.  Their total length is about 30 metres for a 230 m long ship.”

“ECO is astonished at how minimal this kit is.  There appears to be no provisions for spills at sea or for a well blow out or other spill from the drill vessel.”

“About 9 kg of Abzorbit won’t go far – this seems to be enough only for a spill on deck, not for anything from the drilling itself.”

“For more serious spills Anadarko plans to rely on Maritime NZ – and presumably their three 8.2m motor-dinghies but these are not offshore capable vessels.  The drill ship is over 100 km from the coast.”

“It is astonishing that Anadarko is just leaving significant or major oil spills to Maritime NZ.” An oil industry owned company, Oil Spill Response Ltd will assist Maritime NZ “to mobilise additional equipment.  “But why is there so little equipment on board the drill ship?”

“How can Minister Simon Bridges claim that the Government is “developing oil, gas and mineral resources in a sensible' safe and environmentally responsible way” if this is all the equipment that the Anadarko’s drill ship has on board?”

Cath Wallace said the same document refers to an “Emergency Response Plan” (page 58) but that has been kept secret from New Zealanders.  “This is also so feeble Anadarko and the EPA are unwilling to release it.”

“Has the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually read the full Environmental Impact Assessment or is it like the secret oil spill plan, they just rubber stamped the advice of another agency?”

Notes:
1.      ECO – the Environment and Conservation Organisations was established in 1972 and represents 53 groups with a concern for the environment.

2.      The list of oil spill equipment is from: page 58-59, Discharge Management Plan from the Deepwater Taranaki Basin Single Exploration Well Environmental Impact Assessment, NZ Block Petroleum Exploration Permit 38451.  Anadarko NZ Taranaki Co, September 2013. See http://www.epa.govt.nz/EEZ/current_activities/Reports_transitional_provisions/Pages/default.aspx

3.      Abzorbit is capable of absorbing very small oil spills. See http://www.abzorbit.com/Frequently-Asked-Questions.html

4.      Missing from the publicly available documentation are:
•          Annex C – Drill Cuttings Dispersion Modelling;
•          Annex D – Oil Spill Modeling Reports;
•          Annex E – Emergency Response Plan/Oil Spill Contingency (includes Ship Oil Spill Pollution Emergency Plan);
•          Annex F – Well Control Contingency Plan (Well Control and Source Control Emergency Response Plan, Logistics Plan)
•          Annex G – Environmental Monitoring for Exploration Activities.

ENDS

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