Spill Prevention & Performance
We take numerous precautions to reduce the risk of a spill, proactively work to minimize opportunities for spills and continually evaluate spill risks across our operations. Design, operation and maintenance of our facilities play a key role in protecting the environment where we operate. Our global Process Safety Strategy focuses on enhancing training, governance, documentation and communications to prevent spills and releases. We are also focused on strengthening our oil spill response capability through our systematic, multi-tiered approach to emergency preparedness and crisis management.
In 2018, we achieved the lowest, net-after-recovery hydrocarbons spilled on record, despite an increase in the number of events. We had five hydrocarbon spills greater than 100 barrels. All five spills were to land with four occurring in Lower 48 and one in Canada. In total, those five events resulted in an estimated 923 barrels being released. Approximately 75% of that volume was recovered.
While the number of spills greater than 1 barrel increased in 2018, the hydrocarbon volume spilled remained flat with 2017. In total, we had 91 spills that were greater than one barrel, with 71 of those being between one and 10 barrels spilled. Of those spills, four were to sea with the remainder being to land. The spills to sea were each less than 10 barrels with the cumulative total for all four being approximately 18 barrels. More than half of the volume of our spilled material was fully recovered in 2018.
We take all hydrocarbon spills seriously and report those impacting a sensitive area and those greater than 100 barrels immediately to management.
Our investment in spill response technologies includes membership in Oil Spill Removal Organizations (OSROs) across the globe, which affords us access to substantial inventories of, and the latest advances in, proven response equipment. In the Gulf of Mexico, we are members of two OSROs, Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) and Clean Gulf Associates (CGA). Our Alaska business unit has memberships in two large OSROs, including Alaska Clean Seas (ACS) and Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS) for our exploration and production operations on the North Slope and our Polar Tanker operations in Prince William Sound, respectively. Our membership in MSRC, as well as a contract with the National Response Corporation (NRC), provides coverage for our Polar Tankers operations along the west coast.
In addition to our U.S.-based OSRO memberships, the company also belongs to the Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) and Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO). OSRL provides global substantial response resources staged at various locations around the world, whereas NOFO, also with significant resources, provides regional OSRO support for our Norway operations. We are also members in other, somewhat smaller, local OSROs associated with many of our global operations.