Program Management: Managing the validation of BP’s Oil Spill Response

Based on several successful projects and a regional understanding BP turned to Concentric Consulting to manage a program of testing and validating the Oil Spill Response processes.


Bringing Contractors, Client and Government agencies together for a real time Oil Spill Response exercise

Across oil rigs, marine vessels, staff, equipment and ‘foreign’ aircraft, the Government of Azerbaijan required the Azerbaijan national oil company SOCAR and BP to demonstrate sufficient capability to prevent and if required respond to emergency events. For BP, this would involve an Oil Spill Response (OSR) exercise enacted through a pre-defined, credible scenario.

Concentric was approached to structure the process and manage the project to ensure that all criteria were met and all outcomes were effectively captured.


An innovative three-phased approach

Concentric’s approach consisted of three key stages: scoping, testing and implementation & validation.


First, Concentric developed a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] with BP, setting out the principles the parties would need to deliver the OSR Plan. Empowered by the MoU the plan outlined pulling leads together in a set of meetings and facilitated workshops. Drawing on experience in creating environments for positive, practical dialogue, Concentric established:

  • Ownership – who, what, and when at any given moment
  • Alignment with the Oil Spill Response Terms of Reference
  • Processes that supported the core work streams
  • Key roles and Specific Person Accountable
  • Standardised tools for effective delivery
  • Performance metrics to measure preparedness

In a pre-exercise phase, Concentric tested elements of The OSR Plan including:

  • Verifying the process for permits to enable exercise delivery
  • Table top exercises including logistics and briefing processes
  • Mobilising oil spill aircraft testing all the procedures and processes to get the aircraft required into the country
  • Securing approvals for aerial photography and surveillance
  • Obtaining Medical certifications and equipment for personnel
  • Developing a specific exercise manual
  • Developing contingency plans
  • All Validated against the Performance metrics
Implementation & Validation

Understanding the necessity of ongoing monitoring and progress checks, Concentric introduced planning tools, risk assessment matrices, contingency planning, critical path analysis, and specific action plans to fill any gaps.

Each of these included owners, deliverables, and completion dates. Concentric also managed a program of weekly progress telecoms and site visits to check progress and evidence compliance.


Visible clearance for all operations and a program to deliver the OSR exercise

For BP, it was confident that:

  • Relationships with the national oil company (SOCAR) and the region’s government were secure
  • The transfer of responsibility/control, communication protocols, and permits were all tested and verified
  • Oil well control actions and clean-up team deployment were tested
  • Observers were in place with transport to witness the exercise

Following Concentric’s project management, the Azerbaijan Government and related agencies issued the appropriate clearance for the Oil Spill Response Plan.


BP Group - AGT Region (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey)


National & International Oil Company Joint Venture


Program Management

Program Management
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