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New Program and Study Outlines Capabilities

New Joint Industry Programme and American Petroleum Institute study outlines spill response capabilities in the Arctic Offshore.

Shell joins several international oil and gas companies in the largest pan-industry project dedicated to creating international research programmes to further enhance industry knowledge and capabilities in the area of Arctic oil spill response.

According to Richard Ranger at the American Petroleum Institute, the goal of the JIP is to advance Arctic oil spill response strategies and equipment as well as to increase understanding of potential impacts of oil on the Arctic marine environment. This JIP will advance capability in the areas of dispersants and dispersant application, in-situ burning, mechanical recovery, remote sensing, trajectory modeling and understanding the environmental effects that may occur from a spill and the response activities that follow.

The report linked below is intended as a compendium to describe the tools available for use by industry for response to an oil spill in the Arctic. It discusses some of the issues presented by the challenge of oil pollution preparedness and response in the Arctic, and describes how these have been addressed through research, technology development and experimentation to develop effective techniques for dealing with spills. In some cases these techniques have been modified from standard response techniques developed for temperate climates, but in many cases the techniques have been specifically developed for use in the Arctic.

Some of these techniques have been recently developed, but several have been the subject of research activities for over 30 years. In all cases, the techniques continue to be refined and improved in the laboratory and in the field and additional research and development is planned for coming years. The JIP in which Shell is participating is the principal industry spill response research effort now underway in support of operations in the Arctic Offshore.