Prominent members of the UN, EU and oil spill response bodies set to speak at 2018 Interspill Conference & Exhibition in London

28 Feb 2018

- Expert speakers confirmed for industry yardstick oil spill conference and exhibition
- “Through Interspill, the preparedness and response community is strengthened and its capabilities enhanced,” Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary General

London, 28 February 2018 – Running between March 13-15 at the ExCeL in London, the Interspill London 2018 conference and exhibition affords oil spill industry professionals, academics and government officials the opportunity to network and exchange views and initiatives concerning potential solutions for future oil spills, focusing upon Spill Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Restoration.

Co-located this year with the ExCeL-based Oceanology International 2018 ocean technology and marine science conference and exhibition, Interspill has blossomed to the point where its 2015 event in Amsterdam attracted more than 1,300 visitors, delegates and exhibitors from over 70 countries. Interspill 2018 is expected to comfortably exceed these figures: all 10 of the Interspill Committee’s organisational bodies are confirmed among the key exhibitors, including SYCOPOL (sharing stand S500 with Cedre), Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL, stand U400), the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA, stand T500) and the UK Spill Association (stand S100).

While Interspill’s exhibition element acts as a vital showcase for emerging technologies, the conference programme offers an overview of the bigger picture, examining in detail the planning, practical methodology and constantly evolving doctrine which goes into addressing the issue of oil spills. To introduce proceedings, the Opening Plenary on Tuesday, March 13 is free to all attendees, and will feature keynote speeches from representatives of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

“IMO is pleased to be associated with Interspill,” remarks Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary General. “Experts and organisations come together to exchange ideas and learn from each other’s experiences, building on research and real lessons from actual incidents. Through Interspill, the preparedness and response community is strengthened and its capabilities enhanced.”

The backbone of the conference schedule is a series of Technical Tracks which will pursue facets of oil spill insights in considerable depth. The programme for Interspill’s opening day on Tuesday, March 13 includes tracks devoted to Effective Preparedness, Surveillance in Practice and Offshore/E&P, while a packed schedule of Technical Tracks on Wednesday, March 14 includes Surveillance Technologies, Government/Industry Partnerships and a Dispersants Expert Panel Session, the latter chaired by Dr Tom Coolbaugh, Oil Spill Response Advisor, Exxon Mobil Corporation.

“This session will explore the reasons why dispersants are an essential tool in the field of oil spill response,” comments Dr Coolbaugh. “The speakers will also discuss areas of concern, while examining what new approaches are being considered to advance research that supports the decision-making process for the possible use of dispersants in both generalised and more unusual spill scenarios.”

Also featuring in the schedule for Wednesday, March 14 is a track exploring Surveillance Technologies, focusing on the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) systems, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) services and aerial surveillance options. Meanwhile, the Technical Tracks scheduled for Thursday, March 15 include a session on Strategic Aspects of Preparedness and a thorough investigation of Shipping & Salvage Risks.

Nevertheless, Oil spills occur, although now much reduced in scale, and provide invaluable information for the industry professionals who seek to combat them. To this end, an illuminating Technical Track on the Thursday schedule will concentrate upon actual Case Studies.

"Case studies are intended to focus us on the critical analysis of past actions for the improvement of future responses,” notes Mark Dix, Deputy Chief, Emergency Response Division, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “Studying and heeding the operational lessons that came at high cost from past incidents permits gains for improvement and effectiveness in the response community."

The Technical Conference is again supported by the Science Workshops, and the Spill Industry Seminars, being held in the Show Floor Theatre, and free to enter, over the 3 days of Interspill. The Science Workshops, organized by Cedre and the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) offer a series of scientific topics, with speakers including Patricia Charlebois, Deputy Director at IMO, Per Daling from Sinteff and Dr Ed Owens.

The Spill Industry Seminars, organised by the UK Spill Association, have a wide range of leading companies from manufacturing, services and response sectors, including Lamor, Vikoma and Kongsberg, speaking on the latest developments. On the Wednesday, Interspill host for 2018, the UK Spill Association, has an Inland Spills Seminar as part of the Industry Seminars. The Inland Spills seminar reinforces the Interspill Plus concept, aiming to see both At Sea and On Land Spills featured at this globally influential event.

Additionally, Spill Fundamentals and Claims & Compensation – will be presented on Monday, March 12, the day before the event begins.

For more information on the conference programme, registering to attend or booking a stand, see www.interspillevent.com.

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