Oil & Gas UK has been working closely with members and regulators to help develop a series of tools and datasets to help industry better understand the marine environment and improve preparedness for oil spill response.


Coastal sensitivities

Oil & Gas UK’s Oil Spill Response Forum has facilitated a study to collate and map information about coastal areas required for oil spill planning and response in Scotland, including environmental sensitivities and socioeconomic data. The data are now available to download through the Marine Scotland National Marine Plan website.


Seabird oil sensitivity index

Oil & Gas UK’s Oil Spill Response Forum has closed out the recommendations of the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG) for the oil and gas industry to work with the Joint Nature Conservation Council to validate and update existing seabird data. Oil & Gas UK commissioned new seabird survey data in 2013. A new seabird oil sensitivity index has been developed based on data from 1995 to 2015 from boat-based, visual aerial and digital video aerial surveys. The data are available through the Joint Nature Conservation Council.

The seabird survey data has been placed on the European Seabirds at Sea (ESAS) database. It includes A Review of the Value and Applicability of the JNCC Seabird Vulnerability Index to the Marine Waters off Eastern Scotland, which examines data from the Seabird Oil Sensitivity Index. Another area of published work, ESAS Suitability Study, tests the Seabird Oil Sensitivity Index data against newly collected data. Download the research published to date.


Metocean data

Oil & Gas UK members can freely access a two-year metocean dataset (wind, waves, currents and tides) that is used in oil spill modelling for oil emergency pollution plans. Contact [email protected] to access the data.


UK Benthos database – Offshore Environmental Surveys

The Oil & Gas UK Database of Offshore Environmental Surveys has now been in existence for over 15 years and is widely used as a source of offshore benthic monitoring data by operators, contractors, government agencies, NGOs and research institutions. The database contains datasets for some 740 surveys carried out between 1975 and 2015.

Raw data tables are provided so that the user may import data into software of their choice for more detailed manipulation. The tables are now supplied in Microsoft Excel format. The contents of these tables are described in detail in the ‘Database Structure’ file.

Click to download the UKbenthos Database version 5.10. The downloaded files will contain installation instructions on how to access the data.


North Sea Interactive

Oil & Gas UK worked with researchers at Herriot-Watt University, the British Geological Survey and the National Oceanographic Centre to translate the UK Benthos into spatial datasets and combine it with physical oceanographic data and sediment data. It was created through a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)-funded research proposal. This is the first time the UK Benthos data has been available in map form. Click to view the data.