For the last 21 years, offshore oil and gas operators in Newfoundland and Labrador have come together for Synergy. Synergy is an annual event that tests and measures the industry's response capability to spills. In addition to operators, regulators and response agencies also participate in the drills and discussions.
Traditionally, all parties involved would spend the day offshore where they would deploy spill response equipment in a live, marine environment. In 2019, Synergy took a different direction which involved leading participants through scenario-based tabletop exercises. These scenarios were designed to help improve future spill reactions, identify collaborative opportunities and uncover any potential holes in the response process. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) was also involved and played a role in developing this year's program and providing oversight.
Hosting Synergy rotates between Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore producers. Synergy 2019 was hosted by Husky Energy and Conrad Gregory, a Husky employee, filled the role of Exercise Coordinator. When asked about Synergy's focus he said that "the key objectives were on enhancing engagement, integration and communication" and that "it's really important that we drill these scenarios in advance, so that we can identify any gaps or pinch points and develop ways to address them."
By gathering people from different parts of the oil and gas industry together, along with regulators and response agencies, the aim is to create a dialogue that will help improve spill response.