More than 100 persons have participated in emergency response training organized by ExxonMobil Guyana as part of its continued effort to prepare in the unlikely event of an oil spill.
The two day activity followed extensive training in the Incident Command System and included representatives from state bodies such as the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD).
ExxonMobil Guyana Production Manager Mike Ryan explained that the intent was to ensure the teams are mobilized rapidly and as safely as possible to minimise any impact to the environment. “We’ve designed our facilities to make sure the oil remains where it is supposed to be; in the pipes and in the tanks. But we train really hard, we practice really hard, that in the unlikely event that something happens, we’re ready to go,” he further explained.
Ryan was pleased about the participation of key government stakeholders. “We are learning a lot from each other. We must make sure we fully understand the roles of all agencies in Guyana; looking at all these scenarios so that we can act promptly and minimize impact.”
Meanwhile, CDC Director General Lt Col. Kester Craig indicated that activities such as this, are complementary to the national response plan. “There may be gaps and the exercise will definitely help us to put things together. You cannot wait until there’s event to test your plan,” he posited.
ExxonMobil Guyana has been actively involved in national response preparations. There have been several demonstrations in coastal regions, the latest being on the Shell Beach in May.
This particular exercise brought in expertise from abroad through ExxonMobil’s regional response team, working alongside the local team and agencies.