A massive oil and chemical spill protection exercise involving more than 300 people and 30 vessels from different Nordic countries is due to be carried out in Norway in late September.
SCOPE (Skagerrak Chemical Oilspill Pollution Exercise) 2017 is a joint project of the Nordic countries, co-funded by the European Union, and is being organised by the Norwegian Coastal Administration. It will be one of the largest spill response drills ever carried out in European waters. Organisations from four Nordic countries – Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Greenland – as well as the EU will be taking part.
The aim is to improve coordination between the emergency services of different Nordic nations – the importance of which was shown by the major fuel oil spill which occurred when the bulk carrier Full City ran aground on the island of Saastein, close by the Norwegian-Swedish border, in July 2009 (pictured).
“International cooperation is a key factor to protect and minimise impacts of major accidents and spills,” said Stig Wahlstrøm, project manager for SCOPE 2017. In an effort to ensure that all parties know what to do when an accident happens, it’s vitally important to conduct joint spill exercises in advance, both locally, nationally and internationally.
“This enables us to test and improve our response strategies and technologies for use in different scenarios and this particular exercise is unique in size, scope and international participation.”