Emergency preparedness

Published on: 13 March 2015


In 2014, we focused on continuing to improve our established crisis and emergency management programme ensuring alignment with industry best practice.

We want to ensure we are suitably prepared, resourced and equipped to respond effectively to emergency situations and mitigate the impact on people, the environment, assets and reputation. We therefore conducted a number of risk based exercises designed to test our capability to deal with technical and non-technical incidents at all levels in the organisation and to identify the key lessons that will ensure continuous improvement in our processes and capabilities. The programme culminated in two major exercises in Ghana and Norway.


Tullow Ghana conducted its annual Oil Spill Major Emergency simulation exercise in November 2014.  The exercise involved groups of live participants, role players and observers from Tullow response teams, and external parties. These included the Ghanaian Environmental Protection Agency, Petroleum Commission and National Disaster Management Organization as well as representatives from our JV partners Ghana National Petroleum Commission and KOSMOS.

The exercise was carried out across two days and focused first on incident management, command and control, offshore equipment deployment and aerial response from the West African (WACAF) aerial dispersant aircraft. A second part of the exercise then focused on response integration and the mobilisation of the Field Response Team and subsequent deployment of shoreline response equipment.

The scenario was designed to be realistic and consistent with Tullow Ghana’s risk profile and involved an incident with the Off Take tanker as it was receiving product from the floating production and storage vessel.

Feedback from all parties indicated the exercise was well coordinated and that the deployment of equipment, logistics, command and control, and integration of response elements including external providers was successfully achieved. A number of lessons and areas of improvement were also identified.


Tullow Norway conducted a major emergency simulation exercise in November to test their Emergency Response processes and procedures. The exercise involved teams in Norway (Oslo and Stavanger) and the UK (London) and included live participants, role players and observers from Tullow, Ross Offshore, Wild Well Control and Witt O’Brien’s Group.

The simulated scenario was run over the course of a day, facilitating requirements for both offshore and onshore responses. It was based on a blowout situation with subsequent loss of containment which resulted from an incident during exploration well drilling.

The key objectives of the exercise were to practise mobilisation of the Well Engineering Subsea Containment Team and Incident Management Team in Oslo and the Crisis Management Team in London. We also wanted to practice communications and mobilisation of ACONA, Oil Spill Response Ltd and Wild Well Control contracted support, including simulated deployment of equipment and technical support needed to respond to a subsea containment incident. In addition co-ordination with the logistics, external communications, finance and legal functions that are required to respond to a major incident was tested.

This work showed that the major annual emergency exercises have helped improve Tullow’s response to a loss of source control incident, including our interactions with third party organisations in our Well Control Emergency Response Planning. In response to the exercise we have developed an improved plan for the team structure and resources, as well as better understanding of when and where critical engineering and support skills are required. This  will allow the team as a whole to work together more effectively despite being in different locations.

Norway , Ghana

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Page last updated: 13 March 2015