Analysts and engineers from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) Oil Spill Preparedness Division and Gulf of Mexico Region recently conducted an unannounced spill drill of Arena Offshore. The Sept. 9 one-day exercise simulated a loss of well control event from a platform in shallow water, approximately 35 miles south of Port Fourchon, La. These exercises test an operator’s response to an incident using their oil spill response plan.

Arena Offshore currently operates more than 30 oil and gas fields on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf, comprising approximately 95 platforms and over 190 producing wells. The company typically drill 20-30 wells per year, and have operated more than 200 offshore drill wells in the federal waters of the Gulf. Image courtesy: Arena Offshore

As part of the drill, Arena Offshore was required to respond to a simulated loss of well control due to a potential blowout of the well. During an exercise an operator demonstrates successful notifications and implements other elements included in its oil spill response plan. The operator worked from its offices in The Woodlands, Texas while coordinating simulated response actions with its contracted spill response company in Slidell, Louisiana throughout the exercise. BSEE staff observed the operator’s response in both locations. The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also attended the exercise.

Government Initiated Unannounced Exercises are designed to give BSEE the opportunity to evaluate, on a no-notice basis, an operator's access to necessary resources and test the viability of oil spill response plans. This was the 13th unannounced exercise BSEE has conducted this year.

Arena Offshore currently operates more than 30 oil and gas fields on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf, comprising approximately 95 platforms and over 190 producing wells. The company typically drill 20-30 wells per year, and have operated more than 200 offshore drill wells in the federal waters of the Gulf.

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