The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has organised a new multi-agency joint oil spill exercise called JOSE 2016 to help ports remain safe for the international shipping community.  

JOSE 2016 has been organised as part of the closing programme for the 19th Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) 2016.

Around 80 delegates from SIBCON 2016 attended the oil and chemical spill exercise, which took place around the vicinity of Raffles Reserved Anchorage.

As part of the ground deployment exercise, use of a new modern system known as ‘NeatSweep’ will be tested to contain the spilled oil. 

More than 250 personnel from 28 agencies participated in the table top and seaward exercise.

JOSE 2016 involved a simulated collision off Raffles Lighthouse between an arriving very large crude carrier (VLCC) with about 110,000t of Kuwait Crude Oil and a transiting tanker in the west-bound lane of the Singapore Strait.

After sustaining damages to two cargo oil tanks, the VLCC spilled around 10,000t of oil.

"Multi-agency efforts to conduct regular joint oil spill exercises will be ongoing to test and improve response strategies and technologies."

Following this, two crew members on-board the carrier were injured and immediately evacuated for medical treatment.

The oil spill exercise consisted of ground deployment and incident management exercise.

Stakeholders can use this as a platform to discuss and deliberate operational as well as policy issues to combat a major oil spill in the country.

MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said: "Multi-agency efforts to conduct regular joint oil spill exercises will be ongoing to test and improve our spill response strategies and technologies for use in different scenarios.

“We are happy to have ExxonMobil Asia Pacific support the Joint Oil Spill Exercise. We are pleased that together, we have demonstrated that we have a well-coordinated and competent team ready to take on the challenges.”

Image: Boat-based dispersant spraying operations with simulated casualty tanker. Photo: courtesy of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.