Operation Ollie’s Folly
In July 2014, operation ‘Ollie’s Folly’ was initiated by Woodside, Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company, based in Perth, Western Australia. The mission of Ollie’s Folly was an exercise in oil spill response (OSR) coupled with training and preparedness with newly acquired Lamor equipment.
Woodside operates several significant oil and gas installations in Dampier in the north-west of Western Australia. Dampier Port, a major industrial port located in the Dampier archipelago in the Indian Ocean, is a sealed and zoned off area specifically for Ollie’s Folly and diverted regular vessel traffic around the busy port.
As a result of the Gulf of Mexico incident and the Montara spill, a global overhaul in OSR preparedness has been carried out due to the long-term and significant impacts these spills had and still have.
Woodside’s success is not only based on the oil and gas produced, but on doing what is right and continuously investing in capability and competence such as the Ollie’s Folly exercise.
Woodside has an extensive portfolio of facilities in Australia which operates on behalf of some of the world’s major oil and gas companies. Woodside has been operating the landmark Australian project, the North West Shelf, since 1984 and it remains one of the world’s premier liquefied natural gas facilities. With the successful start-up of the Pluto LNG Plant in 2012, Woodside currently operate six of the seven LNG processing trains in Australia.
Input for output
Operation Ollie’s Folly was a success – responders worked efficiently and seamlessly together while operating the OSR equipment and scenario. Moreover, participants representing various oil and gas OSR functions actively took part or provided input and guidance. Woodside’s responsibility is to minimize the risks for oil spill and to effectively contain and recover oil in the unlikely event of a major incident.
The Lamor Heavy Duty (HDB 1500) offshore inflatable booms and the Lamor Minimax 12 (LMM 12) multiskimmer with a VX100-64 pump system were deployed successfully. The HDB 1500 booms came on a reel and utilizing the LPP 14 diesel hydraulic power pack with a HAB 200 air blower. The LMM 12 skimming systems also ran off a separate LPP 14 power pack, and had an additional disc module that could be used instead of the standard brush module. The brush module could be used for various viscous oils and the disc module would typically be used in lighter oils.
Lamor’s Steve Reilly, VP Global Business, describes the deployment of equipment: “200 meters of the HDB booms were deployed off the stern of the vessel and the support vessel, MV Go Latitude, was used to assist with towing the HDB booms into a “J” shape configuration for simulating the collection of spill oil on the surface.”
“After the “J” shape was formed, the LMM 12 multiskimmer was deployed over the side and into the apex of the “J” shape, where collected oils would be concentrated during an actual OSR incident. The HDB booms and the LMM 12 operated very well and feedback from responders was that the equipment was easy to deploy and operate,” Reilly explains.
“The vessel MV Mermaid Voyager, owned and operated by Mermaid Marine Australia (MMA), was a perfect vessel to utilize for this exercise, and their crew was very professional and helpful,” says Reilly. “Moreover, the HDB booms were deployed off the stern of the vessel and the support vessel, MV Go Latitude, was used to assist with towing the booms.”
Woodside has four vessels for oil floating production storage and offloading that are located in the Carnarvon Basin, North West Shelf and Timor Sea. This is the largest owner-operated fleet in Australia with an excellent track record of efficiently and safely producing from current fields.
A history of energy
In 2014, Woodside celebrated the company’s 60th anniversary, 30 years of domestic gas production and 25 years of LNG exports. Woodside was established a year after Australia’s first oil discovery, the 1953 Rough Range find near Exmouth in Western Australia. The company took its name from the small town of Woodside in Australia’s southern-most mainland state, Victoria, with plans to explore a 520 sq. km strip of land along Ninety Mile Beach in the South Gippsland region.
Exploration drilling began in 1967 and major gas and condensate discoveries were made in 1971 at Scott Reef, 425 km North of Broome, and North Rankin and Angel, North of Dampier in Western Australia. In 1972, the Goodwyn gas and condensate field was discovered to the West of North Rankin, and today Woodside is a major oil and gas player globally.
Controlled risk management
Woodside recognizes that strong environmental performance is essential to success and continued growth. Woodside is committed to managing activities to reduce the adverse effects on the environment.
Monitoring is part of Woodside’s modus operandi. Woodside sets internal targets that challenge the company to improve environmental performance over time, while also reporting environmental performance openly and transparently. Hands on exercises such as Ollie’s Folly are an essential part of minimizing risks and being prepared to handle the unlikely event of an oil spill, expeditiously and efficiently. Investments in new equipment, such as Lamor’s arsenal of OSR equipment, are testimony to that effort.