Spill prevention and emergency preparedness

Saipem personnel is aware that, when a spill occurs, the damage starts immediately and its degree may be influenced more by the response time than by the size of the spill itself. For Saipem, preparedness is the best way to avoid any damage escalation. For this reason, the Company avails of an ‘Oil Spill Response Team’ (OSRT), which has been providing services and advice for over 20 years.
Eni Corporate University (ECU) and the Saipem OSRT can supply all levels of training to Eni Group employees.

Furthermore, ECU can provide all three levels of training recognised by the IMO: IMO Level 1 - First Responders; IMO Level 2 - On Scene Commanders and IMO Level 3 - Management. The first OPRC 1990 IMO Course Level 3 was held in November 2012 at Eni E&P Division in Ravenna and it is expected that IMO Levels 1 and 2 will be delivered in 2014. The scope of the course already delivered was to enable participants to manage incidents safely, effectively and efficiently. Course length was 25.45 hours over 4 days, including practical exercises. The course objectives were:

  • to provide an overview of the main causes of marine hydrocarbon spills;
  • to introduce the concepts of evolution and prediction concerning the behaviour and development of a spilled hydrocarbon substance;
  • to provide a sufficiently comprehensive yet general understanding of equipment, vessels and response methods;
  • to allow students to become familiar with their company’s emergency plans and their specific roles therein;
  • to give basic information required to understand the issues associated with remediation, i.e. Occupational Health and Safety personnel, waste management, etc.;
  • to ensure hands-on practice with the equipment available;
  • to provide detailed knowledge of the command and control structures, with practical examples of how the different systems work in the event of a Company or national accident.

total spills

Group and individual exercises were conducted with the aim of applying the ‘Key Operations’ that had just been learned. For example, in addition to training activities, carrying out drills is also pivotal for verifying that the appointed Response Team follows the standard procedure, checking the effectiveness of the standard procedure,familiarising personnel with their assigned tasks, ensuring that the necessary equipment works properly and identifying all contacts needed during the spill.

Every project vessel and yard has to prepare and implement its own Spills Response Plan according to the characteristics of the assets and the operations. Spill drills are performed periodically by the Saipem fleet both on deck and in the water. The purpose of these activities is to raise awareness about the importance of responding immediately to an environmental spill. ‘Think Before Acting’ is the core message that the OSRT communicates to the personnel involved in drills. The fact that Saipem works in the oil industry and that environmental accidents can happen are highlighted and emphasized. In this regard, awareness and preparedness are the keys to avoiding future occurrences.