It is widely understood that oil spill training is a key facet to preparedness but does the current global training curriculum meet the needs of exploration and production? And how do we ensure any training meets a suitable basic standard.

Many operators lean towards the IMO's suite of oil spill response focussed courses, however due to the need for any changes to be agreed by member states courses are slow to be updated. In addition to this the courses are heavily focused on shipping and furthermore the IMO are not an accrediting body. Some organisations do offer accreditation of these courses but they are accredited against a national equivalent standard, again focussing on shipping, not ideal for exploration and production operations outside the country of national equivalence.

The largely shipping approach towards the existing globally focussed training curriculum also poses a challenge as source control of an incident alters from a defined amount and duration to an undetermined amount and duration as well as being outside. This then requires a different approach to managing response strategy and some of the applied techniques for response.

Some regions offer specific exploration and production training structures such as The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) in the United Kingdom. Some offer generic training which meets the needs of both shipping, exploration and production and a wider audience such as HAZWOPER in the United States but again, both these examples are regional and do not conform to a harmonised global approach to oil spill response training for exploration and production.

This abstract seeks to explore the existing training regimes, the areas that they cover and standards to which quality of training is measured against. It points towards a suggestion that industry is well set up for global training to shipping incidents but lacks a common approach and standards to which training for incidents involving exploration and production is delivered. Given the current and future level of exploration and production activity the question we need to ask is:

Shouldn't we have a dedicated harmonised global training curriculum to oil spill response training for global exploration and production activities?

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