With activity offshore Guyana growing exponentially, so too does the possibility of an oil spill.  In acknowledgement of this fact, ExxonMobil Guyana, which is preparing to ring in first oil by mid-2020, hosted an oil spill training session last week at the Marriott Hotel.

The event saw over 100 participants from the Civil Defense Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Maritime Administration (MARAD).

The Guyana Standard understands that the two day activity followed extensive training in the Incident Command System. Also, this particular exercise brought in expertise from abroad through ExxonMobil’s regional response team. They diligently worked alongside the local team and agencies, ExxonMobil said today.

According to ExxonMobil Guyana Production Manager, Mike Ryan, the intent of the session was to ensure the teams from the respective departments are mobilized rapidly and as safely as possible to minimize any impact to the environment.

Ryan said, “We’ve designed our facilities to make sure the oil remains where it is supposed to be; in the pipes and in the tanks. But we train really hard, we practice really hard, that in the unlikely event that something happens, we’re ready to go.”

The ExxonMobil official said he was pleased about the participation of key government stakeholders too. In this regard he added, “We are learning a lot from each other.  We must make sure we fully understand the roles of all agencies in Guyana; looking at all these scenarios so that we can act promptly and minimize impact.”

Also commenting on the success of the session was CDC Director General, Colonel Kester Craig who indicated that activities such as this are complementary to the national response plan that is being prepared. Speaking briefly with the Guyana Standard, he noted that the national oil spill contingency plan only has to receive a few finishing touches and will be finished before first oil is here.

Colonel Craig further stated that Guyana’s oil spill response plan will take into account, offshore as well as onshore activities at the shore bases.


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