ExxonMobil Guyana wrapped up a two-day emergency response training exercise at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesday, to fortify the company’s strategies for incidents that could pose a threat to safety and the environment.
The exercise is being conducted in cooperation with The Response Group, a Texas-based crisis management and emergency response company.
Although noting that these exercises are critical, Media and Communications Manager at ExxonMobil Guyana, Janelle Persaud, said prevention is the company’s priority. She said that no such incident has happened offshore the South American country so far. The company is currently producing oil at Phase 1 and 2 of the Liza Development at the Stabroek Block.
“Everything that we put in place [is] to ensure that an incident doesn’t happen, but in the unlikely chance that it does, we need to be prepared,” Persaud said.
The exercise being conducted is for ExxonMobil’s incident management team, that’s tasked with responding to various incidents. OilNOW understands that the team has various levels of responses which are triggered based the severity of an incident. They have gone through command systems training, which prepares them to develop a coordinated approach to responding to incidents.
The Exxon official said, “Every day as part of our jobs, we’re responding to things, but these exercises look at… worst case type scenarios to test our ability to respond.”
For this exercise, Persaud said the drill simulated a gas leak that led to a fire. She said about 50 persons were involved, including personnel from SBM Offshore, the company that built and operated the floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels operating offshore.
ExxonMobil Guyana, Persaud said, has had several trainings throughout the year, and intends to have a larger exercise closer to the end of the year. This one will involve the company’s regional response team which includes personnel from the parent and affiliate companies. The personnel involved in this team have variety in role and purpose in a manner that would allow for a comprehensive response, OilNOW understands.
Larger exercises, Persaud explained, may also include Guyana government agencies which are stakeholders in the State’s response protocol.