GOSR Joins ARCSAR’s External Advisory Board

The ARCSAR Network consists of 21 partners in 13 different countries and was established with funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme for a 5-year period from 2018 – 2023.

The ARCSAR Network brings together stakeholders representing SAR practitioners, industry and research from the Arctic and North-Atlantic region. The ARCSAR network will aim at preparing regional stakeholders to cope with the Security and Safety threats that will result from increased commercial activity in the region including traffic through the Northern passages, cruise traffic, and offshore oil and gas activity. ARCSAR will identify the need for innovation within SAR and oil spill capacities, among other relevant areas.

GOSR has joined the ARCSAR Network’s External Advisory Board as of October 2019.

For more information, please visit https://arcsar.eu/

 

GOSR holds IMO certified On-Scene Commander Course

Greenland Oil Spill Response Ltd. and its long-standing cooperation partner Blue Petrel Consulting Ltd. have jointly held the IMO (International Marine Organization) certified course ‘IMO Level 2 – Response to Oil Spills for Supervisors and On-Scene Commanders’. The course took place in Nuuk from September 29th to October 2nd 2019.

The Primary role for the On-Scene Commander is to coordinate response efforts in the event of an oil spill. Among other things, an On-Scene Commander must be able to identify and implement the best possible response strategy to any type of oil spill.

The course consisted of theoretical lessons as well as two days of practical exercises. One day was onshore clean up of a coastal area following a spill. The following day’s training consisted of deploying booms offshore and sailing formations between two vessels.

7 course participants completed the course; including 4 participants from Greenland Oil Spill Response Ltd. and 3 participants from relevant government agencies.

 

13 Volunteer Oil Spill Responders renewed their CPR First Aid Certificates

13 of Greenland Oil Spill Response Ltd.’s Volunteer Oil Spill Responders have just renewed their First Aid Certificates. A First Aid Certificate issued by the Red Cross is valid for 2 years.

The courses took place in Aasiaat and Nuuk on Sunday July 21st 2019, and were conducted in Greenlandic and Danish respectively.

GOSR would like to thank Red Cross Greenland for their cooperation on this matter

The picture below shows some the Volunteer Oil Spill Responders participating in the course in Nuuk.

 

Excercise in the Nuuk Fjord – May 2019

12 of Greenland Oil Spill Response Ltd.’s Volunteer Oil Spill Responders were away on exercise during the weekend May 24th – 26th 2019. The Exercise took place near Qooqqut in the Nuuk Fjord.

The exercise simulated an oil spill close to shore. The volunteers had to delimit and capture the oil spill before spreading. The exercise consisted of theoretical lessons as well as practical training in usage of oil spill equipment such as shore booms, skimmers, air blowers and pumps. A total of 125 meters shore booms was used.

The exercise went well, and all participants expressed to have had a good experience and gained useful knowledge. During the exercise the Volunteer Oil Spill Responders were visited by the by the local and national press, as well as the Danish Emergency Management Agency.

 

Photo: Toke Brødsgaard

Employment

Greenland Oil Spill Response, a company established by the Greenland Government, based in Nuuk, has as of the 4th February 2019 appointed its new Managing Director.
In the summer of 2013 the Greenland Government decided to establish the company Greenland Oil Spill Response as a 100 percent government owned company. The objects of the company are to carry on activities relating to oil pollution preparedness, oil pollution response, environmental clean-up of oil pollution and any other related activity within the mineral resource area in Greenland.

 

The long term goal is to develop the company as an active oil spill response company in accordance with international standard.

 

As new Managing Director the company has employed 32-year-old Klaus Kuch Jensen, former Acting Head of the License Department at the Minerals Licence and Safety Authority (Government of Greenland) in Nuuk. Klaus Kuch Jensen holds a Master’s degree in International Development Studies and has in his former job with the Minerals License and Safety Authority held a wide range of responsibilities relating to licensing, permitting, negotiation and compliance procedures. Before working for the Government of Greenland, Klaus Kuch Jensen worked as a consultant to other Mineral Resource Authorities, including those of Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Zambia.

 

The BOD has high expectations to the new MD and are fully confident that the tasks and challenges will be solved to the highest standards and that the new MD will be able to take Greenland Oil Spill Response to the next level both in Greenland and in the international market.

 

The Board of Directors are Mr. Steen O. Hansen, Mrs. Oddbjørg Greiner, and Mrs. Hanne Berthels,

Misleading sensational journalism on online newspaper

Based on a so called § 37 question raised in the Greenlandic Parlament, the online newspaper sermitsiaq.ag choose to publish an article under a headline that is best translated as “Greenland Oil Spill Response at the verge of bankruptcy”.

Bankruptcy is a legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay the debts it owes to creditors. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by a creditor.

Greenland Oil Spill Response has a healthy cash flow and has no trouble paying its creditors and is furthermore without any debts.
The § 37 question wanted to know about the company’s debt, cash flow and future prospects. The reality is that oil companies are not particularly willing to invest at the time being and that a number of exclusive licenses off the west coast of Greenland has announced their relinquishment. Therefore, the management of Greenland Oil Spill Response has been in close dialogue with the owners; the Government of Greenland since the beginning of 2016, in regards to the company’s future.

It is correct that if there is no change in the company; cash will eventually run out at the beginning of 2018. That said; the company has an equity of almost DKK 20 million in the form of oil spill response equipment and is debt free. So to claim that Greenland Oil Spill Response balances on the verge of bankruptcy is incorrect.

Greenland Oil Spill Response is currently in close dialogue with the Government of Greenland in regards to the future of the company and has great expectations to find a way forward that will benefit both the company and Greenland. Greenland Oil Spill Response possesses a considerable amount of oil spill response equipment and several semi-volunteer oil spill responders which will be of great importance to the Greenlandic environment in case of a major oil spill.

At the same time it has to mentioned that the stakeholders believes in the future of Greenland Oil Spill Response; the company is part of an EU-funded environmental project which will run for the next two years and the oil industry has chosen to sponsor new equipment and the training of oil spill responders in 2016.

For the 2015 Annual Report, please see: HERE
For “§ 37 questions” and answers, see: http://www.inatsisartut.gl/inatsisartuthome/paragraf36.aspx

Qassimiuaarneq 2016

The 30th of June 2016, Greenland Oil Spill Response participated in the Qassimiuaarneq public debate event in Nuuk to discuss the themes about security and preparedness in Greenland

Managing Director Lonnie Wilms participated the panel discussion on behalf of GOSR along with Head of Contingency for Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq Knud Petersen, Chief of Police in Greenland Bjørn Bay and Lieutenant Commander from Arktisk Kommando Nils Westergaard. Professor Uffe Jakobsen from Ilisimatusarfik, the University of Greenland, was the moderator of the panel.

Based on the new defence-analysis for the Arctic, in which it recommends that the use of volunteering in the Greenlandic security and preparedness area to be increased, the panel gave their insight and stance on the subject.

There was a general agreement among the panel that the Greenlandic population very much would like to help in emergency situations, but they’ve found it hard to organize the volunteering, which is also expressed that both the fire-brigade and Greenland Oil Spill Response is finding it difficult to recruit the amount of volunteers they need for their organisation, it therefore raised concerns among the police, the fire-brigade and Greenland Oil Spill Response that it would make it more difficult to find volunteers for their organisations if a new volunteering organisation would occur.

For more photos, check out:
http://sermitsiaq.ag/masser-billeder-sidste-dag-qassimiuaarneq

LIVEX 2016

Greenland Oil Spill Response participated in the catastrophe emergency exercise LIVEX 2016 in Nuuk, which is the largest contingency excersise ever held in Greenland

The scenary for the excercise was a collission in Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjorden), where a search and rescue of passengers and crew was initiated. Then came the chemical and oil emission to water.

Greenland Oil Spill Response participated in the onshore response action connected to the oil spill. From GOSR 14 staff members were in action, wereas 11 of those was oil spill responder volunteers, who are currently finishing their basic training.
GOSR was in action in 3 days during the excercise., and they worked through and well with completing their goals that were set before starting.

For more information

Managing Director: Klaus Kuch Jensen
+299 325245
email: kkj@gosr.gl

Factbox
Date
LIVEX was held from 28th of May to 31th of May.

How many
Around 350 excercise participants, actors and planners from the Military of Danmark, Danish Emergency Management, Police, Home Guard and the Greenlandic authorities.

Why
The LIVEX 2016 is the Rigsfælleskabet (The Danish Realms) excercise in Greenland, with a purpose to enhance and strenghten the Greenlandic and Danish emergency preparedness abilities to coordinate and handle an extraordinary event on a strategic, operatinal and tactical level.

Joint exercise between Greenland Oil Spill Response and Oil Spill Response Limited

Managing Director Lonnie Wilms says:
GOSR’s oil spill responders are semi-volunteers and still undertakingbasic training, whereas OSRL’s oil spill responders are fulltime professional oil spill responders. I was therefore looking forward with both excitement and little bit of anxiety to see how the cooperation between our oil spill responders and those of OSRL would work out”.

 

Foto: Lars Demant-Poort – Lonnie Wilms

Deployment of Pyroboom

The first part of the exercise and test of the equipment from OSRL in Southampton took place in the Ice Fjord in the Nuuk Fjord. There the Desmi Roboom 1500 and the Desmi Pyroboom were tested. The Roboom 1500 is an offshore containment boom and one of the most recognised and effective one of its kind, whereas the Pyroboom is a fireproof containment boom in which you can contain the oil at sea and burn it in-situ.

Photo: OSRL – Deployment of Pyroboom from the Sanna at Qoornoq (time-lapse video of the deployment available at GOSR’s Facebook page)

Lonnie Wilms explains: “In-situ burning of oil at sea is a recognised oil spill response method; it does however require permitting from the proper authorities and is not something you just initiate on your own. In-situ burning is however something we’re very interested in as we’re part of an international consortium where in-situ burning is one of our focus areas and as we’re also looking at purchasing relevant equipment for this oil spill response method”.

Roboom from the wharf at Nuuk port

After the deployment in the Ice Fjord, the participants returned to Nuuk where another exercise was awaiting. From the wharf at Nuuk port, the Roboom 1500 was once more deployed, this time the deployment took place straight from the wharf where the reel with the Roboom 1500 had been secured to a 20’ flat rack container and a vessel towed the boom out to sea where another vessel helped position the boom. This part of the exercise provided a good insight into how to deploy a containment boom if is not possible to find a suitable vessel to deploy the boom from.

 

Photo: OSRL – Deployment of Roboom 1500 from the wharf in Nuuk

SCAT

Afterwards the participants departed for Qoornoq to undertake an ” Arctic Shoreline Clean-Up Assessment” (Arctic SCAT) course. SCAT is a standardised method used to describe and assess the shoreline. Such a standardised description helps to ensure the development of an appropriate response plan in the case of an oil spill reaching or having reached the shoreline. The OSRL participants were well acquainted with regular SCAT, but only had some experience with Arctic SCAT, so this was one area where GOSR’s participants could contribute with their local knowledge about ice and snow among other things relevant to the Arctic environment.

 

Photo: OSRL – Arctic SCAT course in Qoornoq

With the purpose of testing equipment and personnel in cold/Arctic conditions, a so-called “cold weather exercise” was carried out between Greenland Oil Spill Response (GOSR) and Oil Spill Response Ltd. (OSRL), in the days 8-21 March 2016

It took almost 6 months planning the exercise as there were many elements that needed planning and agreeing on, among other things; which equipment to test, which local vessels to use and participant number and election. OSRL attended the exercise with 8 experienced oil spill responders from the company’s Southampton base and GOSR participated with Managing Director Lonnie Wilms, Operations Manager Vilhelm Lynge Hard and oil spill responders; Benny, Kenneth, Morten and Heidi from Nuuk.

 

Photo: OSRL – Deployment of Troilboom AFPU750 and Beachboom at Qoornoq
The day after the SCAT, the joint exercise ended with the deployment of some of GOSR’s equipment such as the Desmi Beachbooms and Desmi Troilboom AFPU 750’s.  Lonnie Wilms says: “It’s of the outmost importance for us to train Greenlandic oil spill responders that are familiar with their local environment, and hence is in a better position to assess which methods that are the most suitable in a given oil spill scenario, once they are familiar with the different response methods, strategies and limitations. That way we can secure the best response in case of an oil spill in Greenland.”.
Equipment as well as personnel were “tested” in cold weather. Those issues that GOSR and OSRL wanted to test and evaluate during the exercise were equipment, personnel and their personal protective equipment (PPE). The temperature during the exercise varied between -1°C and -10°C, with a chill factor up to -17°C.  All of the equipment worked satisfactory despite of the cold; the containment booms proved very sturdy and were not damaged when towed through the ice and the mechanical equipment had no issues with the cold. PPE and working in the cold worked out well for the attendees also. GOSR has chosen to work in flotation suits and life vests, which didn’t hinder the work movements but still stayed warm and provided sufficient protection on the job. OSRL had chosen to work in immersion suits which was a very warm but also a good solution for working at sea in a cold environment.
“The exercise went very well, we got to test everything we wanted and it all worked well in the cold as we had hoped but not necessarily expected. I’m very proud of GOSR’s volunteer oil spill responders that worked really well together and with the oil spill responders from OSRL. The exercise has strengthened both organisations and i would very much like to conduct more joint exercises with OSRL.” Say managing director Lonnie B Wilms

Annual General Meeting of Greenland Oil Spill Response

Photo: Lars Demant-Poort
For Greenland Oil Spill Response (GOSR), 2015 was a busy year with many activities although oil exploration activities were limited

On 4 April 2016, GOSR held its annual general meeting. Despite the downward trends in the oil market, GOSR had a busy year. Revenue for 2015 amounted to DKK 4,645,801 compared to DKK 3,957,641 in 2014, and the post-tax loss from ordinary activities came to a loss of DKK 114,266 in 2015 compared to a loss of DKK 228,587 in 2014. Management finds the 2015 result satisfactory based on the activities of the year. At the annual general meeting, the members of the Company’s Board of Directors were re-elected, and the Board is thus still made up of Steen Ove Hansen, Oddbjørg Varhaug Greiner and Hanne Berthels.

Training of oil spill responders

In 2015, the training of semi-volunteer oil spill responders was initiated and, by the end of June 2016, 16 persons are expected to have completed the GOSR oil spill responder training, which is based on internationally recognised standards. The 16 oil spill responders are private citizens of Nuuk and Aasiaat, the two towns in which GOSR’s equipment is located. The semi-volunteer response team makes it possible to ensure that GOSR’s clients will see rapid deployment with local knowledge in connection with oil spill response activities. Equipment testing As a natural follow-through on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by GOSR and the British company OSRL Ltd. in 2014, the planning of a major joint equipment test and training event in Greenland for GOSR and OSRL was begun in the autumn of 2015. Tests of equipment received from OSRL and GOSR’s equipment as well as joint training in Greenland were very successfully conducted in March 2016. It is an objective of GOSR to continue its successful partnership with OSRL and other cooperation partners in future to ensure the best possible build-up of a response team and competences in the area of oil spill response in Greenland.
GOSR in EU-financed international consortium
International cooperation and knowledge sharing are extremely important to GOSR and its continued development. Already in the spring of 2015, GOSR and 12 other institutions therefore began working on an application for funding through the EU Horizon 2020 programme. The project Integrated oil spill response actions and environmental effects – GRACE is focused on developing, comparing and evaluating the effectiveness and environmental effects of different oil spill response methods in a cold climate. The project was approved in early 2016 and will run from early 2016 to early 2018. The budget totals EUR 5.28 million, of which GOSR’s share in the project amounts to EUR 230,000, which will be used for purchase of testing equipment and for vessel leasing in Greenland.

Further information

Klaus Kuch Jensen, Managing Director
+299 325245

Email: kkj@gosr.g