Crisis Management for the Oil and Gas Sector
The importance of preparing for, responding to and managing a crisis cannot be underestimated. As energy companies’ move into more remote, hostile and challenging environments in their quest to expand their reserves of untapped hydrocarbons, they are exposed to ever increasing risk of emergencies occurring, and as such, must consider their crisis management strategy.
Exploration in environmentally sensitive areas, operating in deep waters, working with high temperature and high pressure wells, or sour gas, or in extreme weathers all significantly increases risk. It can also attract intense media scrutiny and with it the potential for lobbying groups such as environmentalists which can cause serious disruption and adverse media coverage.
Restrata’s Crisis and Continuity Management (CCM) team establish the necessary emergency response and crisis management arrangements to allow organisations to respond effectively and responsibly to any incident. Working at the Operational (site), Tactical (supporting office) and Strategic (corporate) levels, we review risks, produce plans, organise resources, and provide training and exercises to ensure arrangements work in the face of adversity. We also provide incident management facilities and responders on behalf of clients.
Planning for Business Continuity
But it’s not over when the fire is out. The majority of businesses fail to recover after a major incident due to a lack of business continuity planning. Restrata conducts full Business Impact Assessments and establishes fit for purpose Business Continuity Plans for all sizes and types of company.
Our teams are widely experienced, from offshore and site operations, through to the Board Room, and are able to advise on the application of all relevant Regulations, including PFEER, COMAH, SOLAS, and IMO amongst others. We are working with companies to advise on the European Union offshore directive and the implementation of the new 2015 offshore regulations.
Crisis Management addresses the response to an event on behalf of the whole organisation, and therefore focuses on reputation, legal and assuring the provision of the resources and finance required to respond effectively. The team is usually senior members of the organisation who need to understand their responsibilities and how to fulfil their roles.
Restrata CCM team includes Crisis Management specialists who are familiar with working at the strategic level and with senior management. We work with clients to analyse, plan and prepare for a major threat to their business, covering a variety of industries and sectors from oil and gas, to hotels and leisure.
The Incident Management Team provides immediate support to the incident site, such as aviation and maritime support, deployment of additional resources and the provision of specialist advice such as subsea, wells, integrity, HR, and media. They are also typically the interface between the incident and the authorities and emergency agencies, whilst providing information to relatives and to the media. Incident Management is a huge responsibility, and it cannot be done effectively without properly thought through plans, and training and exercising to test the plan and practice the team members.
Restrata has considerable experience developing, deploying and providing the arrangements required by organisations to manage incidents effectively, ensuring effective support alongside your crisis management plan.
Emergency Response takes place at the incident site, where decision making is critical. Focus needs to be on excellence in command and control, and the deployment of life saving and environmental and asset protection measures as efficiently as possible.
Restrata provides the necessary consultancy, training and safety equipment to enable on site staff to act immediately. We cover planning and procedural development, team identification, role specific training, emergency response training and exercises. The use of realistic simulation training and assessment is critical to ascertain responders’ ability to fulfil their role properly. We therefore run Major Emergency Management and On Scene Commander training to industry standard (OPITO).
It takes years to build a company’s reputation and only a matter of hours to destroy it if an incident is not managed correctly. A company may react very effectively operationally but if internal and external communications are inept the perception can be very different. Your crisis management plan must include provision for this aspect of the incident.
In today’s world of citizen-journalism where social media platforms give instantaneous air time to opinions, it is essential to have robust, effective and tested crisis communications plans and company spokespeople trained so they can deliver key messages with the right level of empathy to react in a timely fashion and take control of the media agenda.
Our crisis communications advisors have experience of real life crisis situations and offer expert advice on the development and implementation of resources, plans, exercises and training.
In every organisation people are the most important asset, and their wellbeing is paramount to the success of the business. Employee grief costs organisations $75 billion annually – (Grief Recovery Institute Educational Foundation, 2003).
The effect of a major incident is far reaching. The primary people are those who suffer directly from catastrophe, secondary are the family members, close friends and colleagues who develop symptoms vicariously, and the tertiary casualties are the personnel who are affected as a result of their post-impact assignments.
Restrata offers in-depth knowledge and training for managing HR issues in response to an incident, providing:
- HR Responders
- Responding to Relatives (R2R ©)
- Family Liaison
- Family Facing Awareness
- Breaking Bad News
- Evacuee Reception Centres
- Psychosocial Care
- Offshore Crisis Intervention Skills
- Safe Talk
Restrata design, build and operate Incident Management Centres (IMC), to support emergencies. Each IMC includes:
- A 24/7/365 operated Emergency Control Room
- A fully equipped Incident Management Room
- A Business Support Room for senior client representatives
- A Relative Response Room
- A Media Response Room
- Specialist break out rooms
- Kitchen, restrooms and rest areas
All IMCs are equipped with modern information management and display systems, command and control technology, asset tracking and situation awareness systems, and duplicate telecommunication systems. Hunt telephones are provided for relatives and media responders. Uninterrupted power supply and backup generators are also provided, and data is backed up offsite. A standby facility is also established nearby, but on a different grid. Whilst not as sophisticated, it is suitable as a backup in the unlikely circumstances that the main facility becomes unavailable.
We provide Incident Command System (ICS) trained responders to cover key positions within the IMT, including the Team Leader, but would always need a client representative available to authorise decisions thus fulfilling their obligations as duty holder. In addition, we provide full Relative Response Teams and Media Response teams.
For organisations needing direct support at their facilities we provide responders who mobilise to the client facilities from our global network of responders. Their primary role is to fill critical gaps in specific areas and enhance a company’s response. Examples include:
- Oil Spill Specialists
- Family Liaison Representatives
- Relative Responders
- Evacuation Reception at remote locations
- Media responders
- IMT members
- Fire Specialists
- Marine and Aviation specialists
- Prevention of, and a comprehensive response to hydrocarbon spills remains a key consideration for the oil industry. Oil disasters and methods of prevention are attracting greater public and political scrutiny, particularly as companies expand their exploration activities into environmentally sensitive areas. Restrata offer comprehensive oil spill planning, preparedness, testing and 24/7 retained advice.
- Our consultants develop Oil Pollution Emergency Plans (OPEP) plus we provide the training and exercises to ensure capability of response teams and offer recommendations for best practice in preparation for dealing with an incident.
- We offer internationally accredited oil spill emergency response training – IMO 2 and, in the UK, three Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (OPEP) – previously named Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) – courses:
- BEIS OPEP Levels 3 and 4, for Onshore Emergency Responders
- BEIS OPEP Level 2 for Corporate Managers
These courses are required by BEIS and the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) for anyone handling an oil spill response situation and are accredited by the Nautical Institute, as well as meeting the National Oil Spill Training Standards.
- Restrata provides Tier 1 Oil Spill Response equipment and expertise to develop the local and national (tier 2) oil spill response arrangements.
Crisis management will ultimately rely on the team you have on the ground when the incident occurs. Training is fundamental to ensuring they are prepared to execute your plans and procedures.
Restrata is accredited by OPITO to run Major Emergency Management Initial Response, OIM Controlling Emergencies and CRO Emergency Response training in the UK and Kazakhstan at our partners’ training facilities. We continue to expand our accredited courses, with specific plans for Malta, Algeria, Erbil, UAE, KL and Jakarta.
Restrata’s training team also offers non accredited (run to OPITO standards) courses anywhere at the convenient to our clients.
Courses are designed to develop command and leadership skills for Site Managers, Oil Installation Managers, On Scene Commanders, and Control Room Operators to develop command and control leadership skills. They include a mix of theory and highly realistic practical simulations using advanced technology and effects. Appraisals and certification are included.
The scope of the training also includes OIM legislation in certain jurisdictions and On Scene Commander training.
Restrata’s business continuity experts deliver detailed yet clear and user friendly advice to assist with business continuity planning. Where an organisation doesn’t have detailed business continuity plans, we use various tool kits to develop and enhance capability within businesses.
We add value by incorporating a range of relevant case studies, and practical sessions with participant engagement. Success is achieved through good interaction with all stakeholders within client organisations.
Restrata is aligned to ISO 22301:2012. In the UAE, we work to the NCEMA 7000:2015 standard and the ADNOC Business Continuity Management policy. Our business continuity consultants are technical experts for BS2599 and ISO22301 and associate members of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI).