Establishing an Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) map lays the foundation for a successful Emergency Response Plan. A safety company was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the safety of residents living in a neighboring community where potentially hazardous drilling activity in a critical sour well with high H2S concentrations and potential high release rates was about to commence. The safety company was responsible for managing and monitoring the EPZ while constantly updating residents about progress on the drilling activity. An EPZ of 5.8 kilometers and an awareness zone of 11.6 kilometers were identified; the area of management contained one town and two hamlets of roughly 2000 inhabitants. To effectively monitor and ensure the safety of residents within the EPZ, the safety company dispatched and managed close to 100 onsite personnel. This large team was responsible for manning roadblocks, monitoring the various zones within the EZP, and maintaining buses on standby to evacuate low mobility groups. Another key element of this project was the successful handling of crucial public relations to defuse and manage potentially very tense situations. The sensitive nature of the issue required careful, consistent and regular communications as residents needed to be constantly updated on the impending drilling operations. To handle the daunting community relations issues effectively, the safety company deployed a number of ‘rovers’ to monitor and communicate with the public through house visits. A call centre was also set up for residents to reach out for more information. The project was so effectively managed that it even superseded the expectations of the regulatory body responsible for overseeing the drilling project. This paper will discuss in-depth details, learnings, insights and the various factors that were responsible for making this Emergency Response Planning project such a complete success.


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