Five years on: oil spill project achieves industry ‘step change’

After five years, the Oil Spill Response Joint Industry Project (OSR-JIP) is coming to a close.

Founded in the aftermath of the Macondo and Montara incidents, the JIP was a key initiative of IOGP’s Global Industry Response Group (GIRG), which focused on major incident prevention, intervention and response.

As part of its remit, the OSR-JIP produced:

  • 24 Good Practice Guides (GPGs), covering response, strategy, preparedness and impacts. These replaced the IPIECA Oil Spill Report Series published between 1990 and 2008.
  • 11 technical and research reports, developed to communicate technical good practice or to make it accessible to external parties. Subjects included work on dispersant licensing and approvals, dispersant logistics, in situ burning equipment, post-spill monitoring, oil spill response preparedness for offshore installations, oil spill removal organization (OSRO) assessment and volunteer management case studies.
  • 11 small research projects to find better methods for comparing the efficiency of dispersants against various types of crude and to determine aspects of response such as residue characterization from in situ burning operations.
  • Several outreach and communication materials. Among these are simple videos/animations, presentations for a variety of audiences and materials for company use in-house. A ‘Confident Ambassador’ programme trained hundreds of industry staff worldwide to raise awareness of progress in oil spill response.

The OSR-JIP also carried out over 140 visits, workshops and seminars in over 25 countries. By the time it winds up at the end of June this year, each of the OSR-JIP’s GPGs will have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian: some will also be available in German and Italian.

The OSR-JIP has been managed on IOGP’s behalf by IPIECA, which has over 30 years’ experience in oil spill response research.

Commenting on the OSR-JIP achievements, IOGP Executive Director Gordon Ballard said, ‘When it comes to oil spill response, we are seeing a step change in understanding. This five-year project has led to new strategies, better preparedness and more effective responses. For all of these we have the 19 funding companies to thank, the people throughout the industry who participated in individual projects and Rob Cox of IPIECA who so successfully managed the OSR-JIP.’

The OSR-JIP GPGs can currently be found on They will soon be available on as well.

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