A documented methodology for undertaking any contingency is a prerequisite for a dynamic system. A comprehensive response system must follow the “cradle to grave” philosophy. This implies that the system should cover all relevant aspects from the initial phase of causality management, on scene mobilisation, spill monitoring, response & defueling operations, salvage or wreck removal, waste disposal, monitoring chemical and environmental effects and clean-up post completion.
Presently, the Indian Coast Guard is championing numerous initiatives which include, a comprehensively revised and internationally vetted National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan 2015 (NOS-DCP), an online indigenously developed Oil Spill Advisory system (with capabilities to predict trajectories of oil spills), proactive mapping of environmentally sensitive coastal areas, strategic deployment of Aerial Dispersant Systems & finally facilitating the regional implementation of oil spill contingency plans under the South Asia Cooperative Environment Program of the United Nations. Additionally, the Indian Coast Guard is developing contingency plans for Maldives Islands and Sri Lanka.
India is at a critical juncture in the development/implementation of our National Oil Spill Response Policy where ‘synergy’ is crucial for crafting a win-win solution for all involved which will ultimately ensure effective marine environmental protection.
In year 2011, the Indian Coast Guard, Directorate of General Shipping, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) in association with iTEN Media recognized a need for an industry forum to deliberate & collaborate on response frameworks for Oil Discharges in the region.
As a result, “OIL SPILL INDIA” was conceptualized and founded as an industry led conference and exhibition. Today, Oil Spill India is one of the world’s top 3 conferences & exhibitions on Spill prevention, preparedness, response & restoration systems that has over the years created a global forum for governments, regulators, industry, academia and response organizations to discuss, deliberate, share & learn the best practices, technologies & experiences on spill management industry. Launched in 2011 at GOA, it is a unique event hosted in India and has been a frontrunner in addressing the impacts of spills at National & International level, which brings together the global experts under one roof.
The platform hosts Indian Government Regulators, Key Decision Makers, Environmental Trustees, Nodal Agencies, Maritime Administrations, Oil Majors, Ship- Owners, Managers, Operators, Salvage Companies, Classification Societies, P&I + H&M clubs, Training Institutions, Oil Spill Associations, OEMs & response agencies, Global players & Partners.
With all stakeholders under one roof, valued perspectives are shared and participants brainstorm on OSR preparedness, developments, methodologies, techniques and models used for combating spills of any kind or source.
Each edition of Oil Spill India has witnessed the world’s most eminent experts including Policy Makers, CEO’s of Oil Producers, Regulators, Responders & Technology Providers delivering Plenary & Keynote Addresses, Case Studies, Forecast Papers and breakthrough Research papers highlighting the raising global focus on oil spill management. The concurrent exhibition has over the year’s showcased global technology & equipment suppliers displaying the latest in equipment, technology, services & solutions for prevention & response of oil spill.
Recently, in a prolific venue in Mumbai, 4th edition of Oil Spill India 2016 was launched by the Honourable Chief Guest - Shri. Deepak Shetty, IRS, Director General Shipping, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India. The launch event was attended by top industry dignitaries in addition to elite Advisory Board members.
Speaking on the occasion, Capt. Sandeep Kalia, Global Brand Ambassador of OSI 2016, during his opening address, conveyed that he takes pride to announce that we have august presence & support of Stalwarts, Captains, top brass from all sectors of Maritime, Offshore Oil & Gas, Defense, Salvage & OSR industry. It is a perfect blend of Knowledge, Experience, Expertise and Wisdom, seldom witnessed under one roof. He expressed gratitude to the Chief Guest, all esteemed distinguished Guests & Advisory Board members, while missing the presence of Capt. L K Panda, NA to GoI, top brass of ICG & ONGC at the event. Further he averred that in today’s progressive world we are faced with the dual challenge of developing our economy and protecting the environment. The economic growth & development should not take precedence over protection of our environment. Almost all maritime casualties, regardless of cargo, represent a potential threat to the environment. The challenges faced by the maritime industry globally, with respect to sustainment of marine environment are common and the need of the hour is a comprehensive prevention, response and compensation regime. Pollution defense is at the top of the agenda.
Capt Kalia also informed the august gathering that he is honoured to be associated with this noble cause since its inception. After successfully hosting the last 3rd editions at Goa in 2011, 2012 & 2014, as a strategic decision the Board members had agreed to shift the venue of OSI 2016, from Goa to the Gateway of India, Mumbai, the hub of Maritime industry, in order to leverage and reach out to a larger audience and society at large.
The landmark 4th edition of this global conference & exhibition scheduled on 11th & 12th August 2016 at JW Marriott, Sahar International Airport in Mumbai, will be no exception in meeting the changing needs and interests of the community that it serves, consolidating its commitment towards the Environment.
He asserted that "OSI 2016" will provide an international platform to consolidate our commitment towards the Environment under the theme "Commitment, Synergy, Excellence" where "Commitment" is for Environmental Sustainability, "Synergy" for Spill preparedness, prevention & response while “Excellence” in restoration endeavours.
The Welcome address was orated by the Conference Chairman since inception, Shri A.K. Hazarika, former Chairman & Managing Director & Director Onshore, ONGC. He extended a very warm welcome to the Chief Guest, Guests of Honour, Advisory board members & dignitaries from the industry. Shri Hazarika conveyed his gratitude & congratulated Capt Sandeep Kalia for his untiring efforts in bringing Stalwarts & Captains from across the industry value chain i.e. Ministry of Shipping, Directorate General of Shipping, Nodal Agencies, Upstream & Downstream Oil & Gas companies / PSUs like ONGC, BPCL, IOCL, Petrotech society, Flag states, Offshore companies, Ship Owners, Operators & Managers, International Salvage companies, Government controlled & Private Ports, Port State Control, Shipyards, Classification societies, emergency & spill response organisations for this industry initiative. He said that with the support of such industry luminaries he was sure that the next edition of OSI conference 2016 would be much more meaningful forum, than a successful one, for all the stakeholders in India & across the globe.
Shri Hazarika conveyed that he is very proud to see the OSI doing well since inception. He gave a brief review of the voyage of OSI since 2011. During his oration he particularly mentioned that it is imperative that every event whether conference, seminar etc should have a follow up report in order to make the event more meaningful. With his experience at the helm of top Oil & Gas PSU & Chairman of OSI, he highlighted the importance of environmental concerns, pollution threats posed by fossil fuels like coal, gas & oil, both offshore & ashore, as 90% of energy comes from these fossil fuels and once burnt it releases Carbon-di-oxide in the atmosphere, which creates concerns for mankind and environment. The Chairman also made reference to the pollution caused by Deepwater Horizon and recent oil spill in Sundarbans.
The magnitude of spill during Mocando incident tested the expertise of man and machines and is an eye opener for the industry. Referring to oil & gas exploration activities in our country, especially deepwater drilling, he stated that there is no room of error et all.
Assuring all guests present at the venue, Shri Hazarika submitted that all these concerned will be addressed in OSI 2016 by global stakeholders, while taking cognisance of our preparedness, mitigation and response capabilities. He welcomed all present and requested full support from Ministry of Shipping, Defense, Environment and all stakeholders to make OSI 2016 global conference & exhibition a grand, world class platform.
Shri. A.K. Jain, Advisor & former Executive Director Offshore, ONGC, stated that as an Oil & Gas professional from the Offshore industry, Oil Spill is a subject which he and his colleagues in Offshore closely relate to. Together with Mocando Blowout it is one of the most dreaded incidents that an Offshore professional could witness. It is of even more significance & importance in this region of the world because of our large coast line, vast population & their livelihood dependence on the marine ecosystem. This along with the drastic effects of climate change mandate that we promote awareness of the perils that incidents like Oil Spill could cause on not just ecology, but on human life too. Shri Jain also mentioned that he was pleased with efforts of OSI in their endeavours to ensure that the awareness and necessary planning for prevention, response &mitigation of such incidents is generated at all levels of the industry and society at large. Closing his address, he wished the conference all success in its mission and extended full support in the noble endeavours.
This was followed by a mesmerising oration by the Chief Guest, Shri. Deepak Shetty delivering his Keynote Address. At the outset, he congratulated Shri Hazarika, Capt Sandeep Kalia, Advisory Board members & organisers of OSI (iTEN Media) on the launch of 4th edition of the conference. Shri Shetty’s further averred that 'Oil Spill India' has now come a long way since its inaugural take -off four years ago and he was confident that the OSI would go from strength to strength as years roll by.
He complimented all Advisory Board members for selecting most appropriate theme for the upcoming OSI conference 'Commitment, Synergy & Excellence' which is extremely contemporary, topical and futuristic.
Shri Shetty highlighted that the sheer scale of maritime incidents like oil spill are so daunting & challenging that there is a need to collectively push the frontiers of cutting-edge technology and innovation that would drive synergies in planning, prevention, response, containment & restoration efforts to redress, mitigate & pre-empt such incidents, going forward. While technology, knowledge & innovation are the need of the hour, there is a compelling imperative for capacity building /human resource development and creation of a very calibrated & dispersed awareness.
The Head of Maritime Administration further highlighted the need for capacity building, training of human resource & most importantly building awareness amongst all stakeholders. There are a multitude of stakeholders who need to be on board this vital national disaster response preparedness mission. He categorically stated to be fore-armed is to be fore-warned, while suggesting that it was extremely crucial in the run-up to the event, it is extremely crucial that there is mass dissemination of the information & awareness about the theme of OSI 2016, as same was at a discount, largely. Referring to the climate change forces & dynamics at play, globally, Shri Shetty expressed concerns for the future generations, who will clearly hold us as having been derelict if we do not contribute individually & collectively towards the cause of environmental protection.
In conclusion, Shri Deepak Shetty, affirmed that he looks forward to the OSI Conference in August 2016 and declared that as the National Maritime Administration of India, the Directorate General of Shipping, Govt. of India will be more than happy to Collaborate and Partner with the OSI 2016. He exhorted all the stakeholders involved in this extremely challenging, complex task to support the noble cause and conveyed best wishes for the success of the event.
Capt Kalia, Co-Chairman of OSI 2016, expressed deepest gratitude to the Shri Deepak Shetty for accepting the invitation as Chief Guest and affirming liberal Support, Collaboration & Partnership with OSI. He commended the ardent commitment of Head of Maritime Administration towards the Marine Environment, while highlighting that this noble gesture will be registered in history for the benefit of Generation Next as a CSR & ISR initiative for country and citizens, at large.
Thereafter, Capt. Kalia presented a comprehensive report (104 pages) of Oil Spill India Conference & Exhibition from its inception in 2011 till 2014, titled "The Voyage So Far". The Chief Guest presided the launch of OSI 2016 Show Brochure and release of Quarterly Newsletter - “Oil Spill India” accompanied by the Chairman, Advisory Board members & Esteemed guests. This was followed by felicitation ceremony.
Mr. Abhishek Bhatnagar, CEO, iTEN Media, organiser of Oil Spill India, delivered the vote of thanks and gratitude to Chief Guest, Advisory Board Members & Esteemed Guests of Honour.