Oil Spills Response

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Oil Spills Response

  1. 1. Oil Spills Response BP Refinery Kwinana, Western Australia
  2. 2. How Do Oil Spills Occur Despite all care being taken, oil spills may occur as the result of a combination of actions and circumstances. The majority of oil spills are small and easily contained, however large spills do occur occasionally which require greater effort in containment and clean-up operations. BP Refinery in Kwinana aims for zero oil spills, and our track record is improving year on year. In 2003, four spills over 1 barrel in volume occurred, most of them on land. BP reports to the Department of Environment whenever it causes a spill to water. The major causes of oil spills around the world are: • routine operations such as refuelling, loading or unloading • mishaps and collisions between vessels or tankers and other transportation vehicles • ships running aground • ruptured pipelines • oil exploration activities • mechanical failure of oil collection and storage equipment This document outlines the activities by BP and others to manage oil spills within Cockburn Sound.
  3. 3. Factors that Determine the mobility, however coastal marine mammals such as seals, reptiles and turtles may be susceptible due to Impact of Oil Spills their need to surface to breathe and their requirement There are many factors that determine the impact of breeding on land. that oil spills have on marine life and the environment. These may include the type and volume Plants and animals on the sea bed may be of oil spilled, immediate environment of the spill, susceptible to sinking oil as toxic components can season of year, local temperature, weather and tidal cause damage to coral reefs, mangroves, and conditions, and effectiveness of oil spill response. associated communities. Seagrass beds are susceptible to oil pollution, with mortality and defoliation resulting from the smothering and toxic Environmental Impact of effect of the oil on the seagrass. Oil Spills Oil spills can have a serious impact on marine organisms such as shellfish, fish, marine mammals, waterbirds, and aquatic plants. The immediate threat posed to marine organisms by an oil spill is that of physical smothering, whereby the oil coats all surfaces in a thick slick. This may eventually lead to the death of organisms due to their inability to normally feed, reproduce, breathe and move. All organisms which contact an oil slick surface are at risk, and these may include marine mammals and reptiles, aquatic birds, shoreline marine life and any intensive rearing or fishery operations in the immediate area such as aquaculture pens. Seabirds are particularly susceptible to oil spills, with many Water birds rest on an oil spill boom deaths resulting from loss or damage of plumage. The secondary threat posed to marine organisms is Oil Spill Response Technology the chemical composition of the oil. The most toxic There are many techniques that can be adopted in components of oil are soluble and highly volatile, so the clean-up of an oil spill. These may include the use animals are most at risk directly after the spill, with of booms, skimmers, and absorbent materials; recovery of oil for recycling; aerial application of dispersants; hot water washing of rocks and walls; burning of excess oil and debris; removal of contaminated sand using heavy equipment; and towing the damaged vessel to a safer area. These techniques may be used in isolation, or in combination, depending on the maritime and environmental conditions of the area. BP Refinery Kwinana Oil Spill Response Plan Around 160 dolphins live in Cockburn Sound BP Refinery Kwinana has an extensive oil spill response plan in place in the event that a spill occurs the risk decreasing over time. The ability of near the Refinery. This plan details the responsibility organisms to survive oil contamination varies. For of each of the emergency response group personnel, example, species that have mechanisms to avoid the steps to be taken if a spill does occur, and lists adverse conditions, such as intertidal animals, may each item of oil response equipment that is available simply shut their shells until the immediate threat has within the Refinery. passed, whereas the eggs, larval and juvenile stages of organisms may be highly susceptible to oil The refinery has a purpose built boat available for pollution. The risk to large swimming animals such as response to oil spills. It is used for quick response to dolphins and whales is usually low due to their high any spill. This boat is used to provide initial estimates of the size of the spill and monitor the area affected
  4. 4. until other vessels reach the scene. available within the Refinery. a spill does occur, and lists each item of oil response equipment that is of each of the emergency response group personnel, the steps to be taken if event that a spill occurs near the Refinery. This plan details the responsibility BP Refinery Kwinana has an extensive oil spill response plan in place in the The boat is made of aluminium, resembles a Zodiac in design, and is painted a bright yellow colour for easy visibility in dim lighting conditions. This boat has been specifically constructed for oil spill response and has a number of special features. An intrinsically safe BP Kwinana Refinery’s purpose built oil motor powers the boat; this motor response boat contains no electrical parts and therefore is incapable of producing any sparks. The compressor starts the motor of the boat using air from the atmosphere, which means that even whilst in the presence of volatile gases there is no risk of combustion. This boat has a maximum speed of 8 knots, and it excels at producing large amounts of power needed for pulling heavy boom through the water to contain any spills. Surrounding the boat are large floats, which ensure stability even in the roughest water conditions, and the interior provides enough room to enable the carrying of absorbents, BP's Komara Mk II Skimmer removes oil equipment and containers for from the water’s surface holding the retrieved oil. The refinery also has a Komara Mk II Skimmer, which is used for removing oil from the water’s surface. This is a disc skimmer, which has oleophilic (oil loving and water repelling) discs rotating through the water column. The oil adheres to the discs, is scraped to a central collection point and is then pumped to storage. This device floats on the water surface and is very successful in removing oil from the water. Large quantities of absorbent material are available, including mats, pillows, nylon string, and sausage booms. Inflatable “zoom boom” is also stored on site, which consists of inflatable buoyant tubes on the water surface with a skirt attached below, and facilities for weight attachment located on the bottom of the skirt. This is used to contain spills in a localised position or prevent them from entering environmentally sensitive areas. Large quantities of dispersant are stored on site as part of the National Plan (see below for details of the National Plan) however the use of dispersant is not employed due to the sensitive marine communities and relatively shallow water surrounding the Refinery. Fast tanks are also stored on site, these resemble a steel swimming pool when constructed, and can be utilised to store any oil removed from the water. Each tank holds approximately 10,000 litres. Regular training exercises are conducted at the refinery in oil spill response using the boats and booms, and a crew of fully trained emergency response personnel are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to any incidents. Regular refinery training sessions are conducted each year for all emergency response personnel, and additional training courses are conducted at the Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre (AMOSC) and with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.
  5. 5. The British Beech is one of BP's new fleet of double hulled ships Additional Oil Response Resources Available The National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil (National Plan) is Australia’s contingency and response plan which involves the joint efforts of the State, Commonwealth and Territory governments and the oil, exploration and shipping industries to meet the threat of oil spills to Australia’s marine and coastal environment. The National Plan is managed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), a Commonwealth Government organisation, with guidance provided by the National Plan Advisory Committee, which has commonwealth, state and industry members. The WA Oil Spill Response Team was formed by the Department for Planning and Infrastructure in 2001 following a review of State oil spill preparedness arrangements. The team consists of representatives of the Department, various port authorities and the state’s oil and gas industry including BP Refinery (Kwinana). Team members participate in regular training exercises to ensure they are well Oil spill response exercise in equipped with the skills required to North Fremantle respond to an oil spill emergency along our coast or on one of our many waterways.
  6. 6. The hands-on training includes the deployment and use of a variety of booms, skimmers and other oil spill response equipment. The Department for Planning and Infrastructure coordinates membership and ongoing training for the team and liaises with other agencies and community organisations often called on in the event of a spill. BP Refinery (Kwinana) Pty Ltd The Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre (AMOSC) is a PO Box 2131 private company owned by the Australian Institute of Rockingham, Western Australia 6168 Petroleum (AIP), with members from the oil industry. The role of AMOSC is to administer the Marine Oil Spills Action Plan (MOSAP), through which an Telephone: (08) 9419 8500 individual company can obtain assistance from other Facsimile: (08) 9419 9836 oil companies in responding to large spills. Email: gkrdenvironmental@az1.bp.com Depending on the size of the spill, BP Refinery (Kwinana) may call upon a number of organisations to assist. In all emergency situations within the vicinity of the refinery, the refinery’s emergency response group will respond, as will Fremantle Ports, as they are the agency which has statutory authority and responsibility for all oil spills occurring in Cockburn Sound. Other organisations that can be contacted for assistance are the Department of Planning and Infrastructure, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre (AMOSC). Printed on 100% recycled paper

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