ExxonMobil Exercises its Oil Spill Response System in Guam
SEPT. 19, 2022 — Staff from OR&R’s Emergency Response Division participated in a worst-case oil spill response exercise conducted by ExxonMobil in Guam from Sept. 12-14.
The scenario for the three-day exercise simulated the release of 2.9 million gallons of diesel fuel into Apra Harbor, on the western side of Guam, following release from a terminal. Sensitive wildlife and habitat that the responders focused on in Apra Harbor included coral reefs, mangroves, green and hawksbill sea turtles, dolphins, and several species of fish, seabirds, and invertebrates.
The NOAA scientific support coordinator for the Pacific Islands, Ruth Yender, participated in the Environmental Unit during the exercise, collaborating with representatives from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, Coast Guard District 14, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, Guam Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, and ExxonMobil. Yender provided information and scientific guidance on natural resources at risk, oil fate and effects, and shoreline cleanup recommendations. The exercise included a shoreline survey field component using the Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique to jointly collect information on shoreline oiling electronically and transmit the data collected to the Incident Command Center.
ExxonMobil operates facilities in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI), and Majuro, Marshall Islands. The company is a major supplier of petroleum products to the region, with a large customer base. They operate terminals in Guam and Saipan, CNMI; bulk plants in Rota, Guam; Tinian, CNMI; and Majuro; and aviation depots in Saipan and Majuro.