In different parts of the world, oil spill preparedness and response is approached in different ways. This variance in approach is particularly obvious in the design and development of capability for offshore response. Usually, the rationale behind the offshore capability design may include either of the following methods such as quantitative criteria, qualitative criteria, or a combination of the two as well as prescriptive legal requirements.
From an offshore operator's perspective, the demands for oil spill response capability vary from region to region depending on the requirements of the country they are operating in. The country may have legislation which can be quite prescriptive at times, for example; India, which prescribes a 700 tonne Tier 1 capability, which a lot of the time is not practical for the operator to meet, begging the question - what is the ideal answer?
This paper aims to answer this question, drawing on the wealth of experience gained from dealing with operators, regulators and the industry across the globe. The paper will take a closer look at the different approaches each country adopts for defining oil spill response capability, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each. Based on this, the paper aims to present some suggestions for designing and developing a cost effective yet, fit for purpose capability design for the operators and regulators to consider.