The Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre Pty Ltd (AMOSC) operates the Australian oil industry’s major oil spill response facility. AMOSC’s stockpile of oil spill response equipment includes oil spill dispersant and containment, recovery, cleaning, absorbent and communications equipment. Equally important is AMOSC’s role in training and coordinating industry personnel ready to provide immediate emergency oil spill response. AMOSC was established in 1991 as a not-for-profit subsidiary company of the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP), primarily as a combined industry response to the Exxon Valdez incident that occurred in Alaska in 1989. This incident pre-empted the introduction of an International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) in 1990.
AMOSC owns and operates the oil industry’s major oil spill response facilities including stockpiles of oil spill response equipment and sub-surface intervention equipment. There is one main stockpile located in Geelong, three stockpiles located in/around Perth and additional stockpiles in Exmouth and Broome. The recent investment by the petroleum industry has seen the second warehouse and office set up in Fremantle WA and also the creation of the stockpile of subsea intervention hardware and systems known as the Subsea First Response Toolkit and a large quantity of dispersant for subsea application stored in Jandakot WA.
AMOSC has a permanent staff of thirteen available on a 24/7 basis. When responding to oil spills, the permanent staff is supplemented by participating oil company personnel specially trained for marine spill response. This group of around 120 company employees forms the AMOSC Core Group. The Core Group receives support and training in excess of usual industry based oil spill response courses conducted under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) levels I-III format and are kept valid and in-date through refresher training every two years. This Core Group is available to all AMOSC Member Companies and others through the National Plan.
AMOSC conducts focussed marine oil spill response training courses at its well-resourced training centres at Geelong and Fremantle. These training courses cover the full range of oil spill response activities – from equipment operation through to management of oil spill response activities. AMOSC also provides advice, auditing, contingency planning and exercise management services all based on marine spill preparedness and response. The IMO courses conducted by AMOSC are accredited by the internationally recognised Nautical Institute.
AMOSC is also a key supporter of the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies. The National Plan is managed by AMSA on behalf of the Federal, State and Northern Territory governments and the petroleum and shipping industries. The Australian petroleum industry is represented by AIP and AMOSC on the Industry Advisory Forum (an advisory only, non-decision making forum) and the technical working groups