Preparing for Cascadia: Fueling Communities From the Ocean?

Representatives of ODOE, Oregon Military Department, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Army look out over the Arctic Ocean this week at the location where fuel is delivered to Barrow, Alaska.

Representatives of ODOE, Oregon Military Department, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Army look out over the Arctic Ocean this week at the location where fuel is delivered to Barrow, Alaska.

The Pacific Northwest Region’s fuel infrastructure will be destroyed in the aftermath of a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. The Oregon Department of Energy’s role is to work with the federal government, the military, and the petroleum industry to establish new temporary bulk fuel supply chains to ensure adequate fuel supplies are provided to the state’s public safety agencies tasked with saving and sustaining lives, and restoring critical lifelines and services. One option may be to bring bulk fuel supplies over the shore at designated points along the Oregon coast to support the impacted communities. 

These are the current and old fuel storage facilities at Barrow.

These are the current and old fuel storage facilities at Barrow.

Earlier this week, an Oregon contingent went to Barrow, Alaska, to learn about the Crowley Maritime Corporation’s fueling operation there, such as:

  • resources and capabilities to provide “over-the-shore” bulk fuel operations;

  • response time for deploying resources and capabilities;

  • logistics coordination with governments (federal, state, and impacted communities);

  • lessons learned and best practices from Alaska’s “over-the-shore” fuel operations and real-world response to fuel emergencies;

  • to understand the sea and weather conditions under which fueling operations can occur; and

  • to begin a discussion as to whether contracting is best carried out at the state or federal level.

We want Oregon to be as prepared as possible for the Big One. It is coming.

To learn more about our Petroleum Emergency Preparedness Program and the Oregon Fuel Action Plan, please go here: https://www.oregon.gov/energy/safety-resiliency/Pages/Petroleum.aspx