SOTEAG is a globally-recognised authority on oil spill contingency planning and response, as a result of its early experience of the “Esso Bernicia” oil spill in 1978.
In 1989, following the serious “Exxon Valdez” oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, SOTEAG was consulted on best practice based on its good, long-term environmental management record.
The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council was formed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill & was based on SOTEAG’s structure of guaranteed independence. It is still active today.
In 1993, the WRCC responded to the “Braer” oil spill, a passing tanker not “en route” to Shetland. It ran aground on the south coast of Shetland in extreme weather conditions, broke up and lost its entire cargo of crude and fuel oil of 87,000 tonnes.
The WRCC Contingency Plan, prepared but not published at this stage, was implemented as an integral part of the Shetland Islands’ Contingency Plan in dealing with the effects of the spill.
The tough lessons learned from that experience are still remembered today. Now the Shetland Contingency and Sullom Voe Harbour oil spill plans are updated annually and have also been used as a basis to assist others trying to cope with wildlife response events which have occurred overseas.