The oil & gas industry has made significant advances in being able to detect, contain and clean up spills in Arctic environments.
Ongoing research continues to build upon more than 40 years of looking at all aspects of oil spill preparedness, oil spill behaviour and options for oil spill response in the Arctic marine environment. This research has included hundreds of studies, laboratory and basin experiments and field trials, specifically in the United States, Canada and Scandinavia.
To build on existing research and improve the technologies and methodologies for Arctic oil spill response, members of the IPIECA, Oil Spill Working Group (OSWG), Industry Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) Emergency Preparedness and Response Program Group (EP&RPG) formed a joint committee in 2009.
The committee’s task was to review the oil and gas industry’s prior and future work scope on prevention and response to oil spills in ice, to identify technology advances and research needs in industry preparedness, and to prioritise identified issues.
One outcome was the recommendation to establish a Joint Industry Programme (JIP) that would undertake specifically targeted research projects identified to improve industry capabilities and coordination in the area of Arctic oil spill response.
Collaboration among companies assures the most efficient use of resources, funding and expertise to improve the technologies and methodologies for Arctic oil spill response, as does close collaboration with academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental institutions.