Emergency response exercises

Ensuring quick and effective response to major supply disruptions

As part of the IEA’s work on promoting oil security, the Secretariat has been organising Emergency Response Exercises (EREs) on a bi-annual basis since 2002. Their purpose is to train delegates from both the IEA Member and Partner countries on matters related to the IEA coordinated emergency response system. The training helps to ensure that participants are capable of implementing the system quickly and effectively in the event of a major global oil supply disruption. Participants include delegates from IEA Member and Partner countries, representatives from the IEA Industry Advisory Board and European Commission, other industry stakeholders, and IEA Secretariat staff.

A key objective of the ERE is to familiarise participants with the IEA response system as well as the key trends and risk factors impacting the global oil market, by making use of hypothetical disruption scenarios.

An ERE typically consists of two exercises with each designed to test a specific aspect of the emergency response system:

  1. Exercise in Capitals (EXCAP): Conducted entirely via email, EXCAP is designed to test the communications and emergency data collection capabilities of participating countries;
  2. Main Exercise (EXMAIN): Conducted in Paris, EXMAIN is designed to train delegates in key aspects of global oil market functioning and the process of implementation of an ICRP.

In an effort to promote energy security in countries outside of the Agency’s membership, the Secretariat periodically jointly organises country specific training exercises to provide more tailor-made assistance in improving individual countries’ emergency response capabilities. With countries outside the IEA accounting for an increasingly significant share of global oil demand, the issue of emergency preparedness has become a global issue. The IEA has held Joint Emergency Response Exercises with Thailand (2009), India (2012) and with China in Ningbo in 2015.

The IEA also participates in the annually held domestic Emergency Response Exercise of Thailand to provide policy advises and APEC’s Oil and Gas Security Exercises (OGSE) as part of the Experts Review Team. Recent OGSE were held in the Philippines (2015), Australia (2017), and Chile (2019). In 2018, the IEA participated in V4 Emergency Response Exercise, a first regional exercise organised by the four Visegrád countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovak Republic

As the IEA’s concept of energy security has expanded to include other energy sources beyond oil, so too have the Secretariat’s efforts in training and capacity building. In 2016, Secretariat staff worked with representatives from the Japanese administration to conduct the Gas Resiliency Assessment of Japan. Conducted as a one-day workshop, the exercise aimed to identify risks and challenges related to natural gas supply in Japan, examine whether existing policies for addressing these challenges are sufficient, and determine whether or not they will remain so going forward.