A pioneering Emergency Response Service Centre, launched in Aberdeen to serve the oil & gas industry in the North Sea, has responded to 27 emergency calls in its first year of operation.
The Emergency Response Service Centre (ERSC) - the only one of its kind in the UK aimed towards the oil & gas industry - has successfully handled six emergency situations since opening for operation this time last year.
Petrofac Training’s leading emergency response and crisis management division, Rubicon Response, developed the groundbreaking centre to provide multiple North Sea operators with 24/7 access to dedicated professional emergency response services.
Its strategic location at Aberdeen harbour enables the response team to work closely with the emergency services, including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, industry regulators and other agencies.
Mike Comerford, Petrofac Training’s Europe director, said he was delighted with the centre’s first year of operation: “Safety is key to everything we do at Petrofac Training and we are extremely proud of the achievements of the centre in just one year. It has made a positive impact on the response capability of North Sea operators and in an emergency situation, the ERSC acts as the first point of contact for more than 26 installations.”
He added: “Our customer base is continuing to grow &, ultimately, we want the ERSC to become a blueprint for the future of emergency response management in key oil & gas provinces across the globe.”
BHP Billiton, Chevron, Hess Limited, Endeavour Energy UK and TS Marine are among the centre’s 16 customers who represent the 26 installations supported in the North Sea. These installations range from manned and un-manned installations, to hydrocarbon-carrying vessels and pipelines.
State-of-the-art IT and telecommunications equipment at the centre are being constantly upgraded to ensure it remains robust and resilient.
The ERSC, which is at a constant state of readiness, has been used extensively for training, including running exercises involving oil spill contingency planning and interface with The Secretary of State's Representative. The centre’s service portfolio covers all training needed to respond effectively to every aspect of an emergency, from getting help to the affected installation, to dealing with relatives and media. Following high demand for the services, the number of experienced and dedicated emergency response operators on shift at the centre at all times has doubled.
The ERSC went live on 6 March 2006 and was formally opened in April 2006 by The Right Honourable The Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, whose report into the (1988) Piper Alpha disaster led to a reconstruction of the UK regime of the industry.