BP Oil Spill Data Management Services
TEI provided data management services for the largest oil spill in history
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and subsequently sank approximately 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The nation will forever remember the 11 people who lost their lives that day. This disaster, which has been recognized as the largest unintentional oil spill in history, is estimated to have discharged more than 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal Louisiana, the most productive ecosystem in the nation and home to nearly 40% of the nation’s wetlands, was severely affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
On April 4, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana entered a Consent Decree resolving civil claims by the DWH Oil Spill trustees (DWH Trustees) against BP arising from the DWH Oil Spill. This historic settlement resolves the Trustees’ claims against BP for natural resources damages under OPA. Under the Consent Decree, BP agreed to pay over a 15-year period a total of $8.1 billion in natural resource damages (which includes $1 billion that BP previously committed to pay for early restoration projects), and up to an additional $700 million (some of which is in the form of accrued interest) for adaptive management or to address injuries to natural resources that are presently unknown but may come to light in the future.
TEI performed data management services during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on behalf of the Louisiana Trustees.
TEI contracted with Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to develop work plan tracking and data management systems to collect, organize and archive scientific data needed to make an accurate damage assessment and begin the restoration planning and implementation process. TEI analysts and software developers implemented an approach to meeting the requirements of the public, scientists, and attorneys. The public site needed graphic designers and requirements analysts to design an easy-to-use web interface to keep the general public informed. The BP Oil spill Data management system required a software/database architect, software engineers, and data management specialists to create data collection protocols, database schemas, GIS interface, and other functionalities needed to manage the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process.
In 2015, once the chaos of the spill was over, TEI contracted with Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO) to continue the maintenance of the Deepwater Horizon public system.
Streamlined data collection with all Stakeholders
A work plan tracking system, a data repository for all scientific data, and a sample tracking system to manage analytical samples collected during the Deepwater Horizon spill are components of the Deepwater Horizon Louisiana Oil Spill Data Management System. The data repository archives tens of thousands of documents, videos, photos, digital sound recordings, and other data needed by scientists to document and assess the extent of damage to Louisiana’s marshes and coastline. In 2010, TEI developed the work plan tracker component to address the immediate need for accurate tracking of work plans from federal and state agencies. The work plan tracker system established an identification number for all work plans and streamlined the approval process among the various Louisiana agencies, Federal agencies, and BP. After the implementation of the work plan tracker, TEI focused on categorizing the hundreds of data sources for this spill. Additionally, TEI developed data intake interfaces with the various state and federal environmental agencies to collect continuously and process the datasets into a relational database structure. This system heavily aided Louisiana trustees in its decision-making during the pre-assessment and injury assessment phases of the largest oil spill in American history.
TEI worked closely with the following agencies during the 5-year data management effort:
- Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO)
- Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ)
- Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR)
- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)
- Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA)
- U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)