In recent years, NOFO has focused on building a specialist team that is on permanent standby, made up of highly qualified personnel who will be able to mobilize quickly. The shoreline and coastal task forces are an extension and reinforcement of this permanent preparedness.
Each year, we carry out a number of different oil spill response drills. Participants in NOFO’s specialist team are involved in these drills as advisory staff, spill site leaders, and team leaders. This allows routines to be practiced, thus working up increased competence within oil spill preparedness.
NOFO's response teams:
Coastal task force (IGK)
Vessels for NOFO’s coastal oil spill preparedness
NOFO builds and strengthens its coastal oil spill preparedness on the basis of agreements with shipowners in the coastal fishing fleet and service vessels.
In collaboration with approved companies such as Polarkonsult and Nordnorsk Skipskonsult, the vessels are approved by means of modification and conversion in accordance with the regulations on use of vessels in oil spill response operations.
A large number of crew have undergone oil spill response training in Nordkapp, Sandnessjøen, and Kristiansund based on NOFO´s own initiative to provide training and perform vessel drills. This has resulted in an increase in knowledge and experience of the collection and uptake of oil emulsion amongst crew along the coastline.
Video: oil spill preparedness close to the coastline
Emergency shoreline task force (IGSA)
IGSA is a response team designed to tackle acute oil spills on the shoreline in the event of oil spills from operations on the Norwegian continental shelf.
The task force has been recruited from Finnmark and has been formed as part of the preparedness set-up for the Goliat field, but could also be mobilised for service in other coastal areas of Norway.
IGSA’s task is to limit the damage caused by any potential oil that approaches the coast. In emergency situations, the task force will be deployed in the relevant areas using high-speed boats and suitable equipment for fast and effective collection of oil on the shoreline.
The task force was established in December 2011 and has been in operational preparedness service since late summer 2012. Members have received specialist training and will take part in drills. The task force forms part of NOFO’s permanent preparedness set-up.
The “task force” concept was developed by Eni Norge and Equinor in
collaboration with NOFO.
It is important to point out that no oil spill from offshore activities on the Norwegian continental shelf has ever reached land.
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VIDEO: how oil spills are dealt with on the shoreline
NOFO’s specialist team
The specialist team is NOFO’s response team with the competency and capacity to undertake operational aspects of oil spill response efforts in the coastal zone and on the shoreline.
NOFO´s specialist team consists of approximately 60 persons The goal is to be able to mobilize at least 10 persons at any point along the Norwegian coast within 24 hours.
The specialist team is assigned a number of oil prevention action tasks in the coastal zone and beach zone and are to be a supplement to the Intermunicipal Committee against Acute Pollution (IUA).
The team is to be a partner, supporter, facilitator, and start-up help for IUA, in addition to working as an advisor for NOFO´s operational management and IUA effort, damage site, and team management.
The specialist team will also be able to be a national resource that can provide aid in the event of public and municipal/inter-municipal actions in accordance with the duty of assistance, ref. Poulltion Act.
Members are obliged to participate in the specialist team for up to ten days in the event of oil spill operations in the coastal and beach zones.
Competence, training, drills
The specialist team shall have basic competence within:
- Oil Spill Response Equipment
Members of the specialist team who belong to the IUA and are involved in the operation remain in that role. The specialist team will be NOFO’s key resource in further developing competence as well as leadership and planning capacity among the IUA's.
Unique local expertise
Under the auspices of NOFO and the operating companies on the Norwegian continental shelf, both training and drills in using local fishing vessels – as well as rescue vessels – have been carried out as part of the preparedness.
One of the main reasons behind this approach is the unique expertise of local mariners and their knowledge of their immediate area. The fishermen have extensive knowledge of seabed conditions, sea currents, and how the wind and weather affect local conditions. But there is another clear advantage in using smaller vessels, namely the possibility of getting nearer the shore in coastal operations.