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Joint Industry Project on Oil Spill Response in Ice

A collaborative effort to enhance Arctic oil spill response.

Industry programme to strengthen Arctic oil spill response

Tromsø, Norway – January 26, 2012

Members of the international oil industry have launched a collaborative effort to enhance Arctic oil spill response.

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) today announced the formation of the Oil Spill Response Technology Joint Industry Programme (JIP) at the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø, Norway. This collaborative research endeavor will expand industry knowledge of, and capabilities in, Arctic oil spill prevention and response. Nine major oil companies are sponsoring the programme: BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eni, ExxonMobil, North Caspian Oil Company, Shell, Statoil, and Total.

"Prevention of oil spills is a priority for industry, as is the response to any spill that may occur. Spill response research is an aspect of the oil business for which collaboration is imperative. Working together in this four-year JIP increases knowledge and opportunities to test equipment, conduct field experiments and develop oil spill response technology," says Programme Manager Joseph Mullin.

This is a continuation of the industry’s decades-long research and development for response in Arctic and cold weather conditions. The largest effort of its kind, the JIP has identified research projects to enhance industry capabilities and co-ordination in the area of Arctic oil spill response.

The JIP is realistic about the unique challenges needing to be addressed when considering Arctic operations. These include prolonged periods of darkness, extreme cold, distant infrastructure, presence of sea ice offshore and a higher cost of doing business. By working together, the JIP companies are ensuring the most efficient use of resources, funding and expertise to improve the technologies and methodologies for Arctic spill response.

Mullin added that, "In the last few decades, the oil and gas industry has made significant advances in Arctic spill prevention and response technology. We continue to further advance spill response knowledge and test new technology through joint industry projects such as this JIP that bring experts together. That is why we have made this major research commitment to support responsible Arctic exploration and development."

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The oil & gas industry has made significant advances in being able to detect, contain and clean up spills in Arctic environments.