Gap Analysis: Evaluating the Readiness to Respond


Courtesy of Witt O`Brien`s, LLC.

Experts Analyze a Major Oil Company’s Preparedness

O’Brien’s is a highly specialized and recognized emergency preparedness and crisis management consulting firm providing environmental, security, risk and regulatory compliance services to a diverse group of industries, as well as public entities such as ports, universities and government agencies. Our client base includes a significant majority of the major and independent oil handling companies in the U.S. as well as many of their international affiliates. O’Brien’s and our U.K. based affiliate, LINK Associates International have established an internationally recognized capability to assist our clients in becoming more resilient, by helping them prepare, respond, communicate and recover.

This case study documents one of O’Brien’s many emergency preparedness gap analysis projects and details the analysis for a major oil and gas industry client. To maintain client confidentiality for the purposes of this case study, all references to O’Brien’s client are designated as the client.

Understanding the Problem
Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, many companies (not just oil companies) realized that their scenario planning may have under-estimated the magnitude of potential disasters. Consequently, related emergency and crisis management plans, training, resources and other support may also be insufficient to mitigate such a previously unanticipated crisis. Therefore, in this particular case, the client’s board requested an independent assessment of its emergency response capabilities , in order to evaluate the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of existing company emergency response program. Referred to as a gap analysis, the study was to specifically address the adequacy of:

  1. Plans.
  2. Equipment and resources.
  3. Response teams.
  4. Training and exercises.
  5. Response contractors.

To accomplish this project and to provide meaningful results, the client required the services of a consultant that possessed significant hands-on experience in managing actual emergencies, extensive knowledge of applicable regulations and well qualified trainers and exercise evaluators. O’Brien’s was selected to fulfill all of the project requirements.

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