In Situ Burning of Oil in Ice – Affected Waters – State of Knowledge

Scope of Work

Phase 1 – State of knowledge on In Situ Burning in Arctic offshore environments

In phase 1, the JIP prepared a detailed state of knowledge report summarising the role, function, benefits and limitations of ISB as a response option in Arctic offshore environments. The deliverables from this phase are intended for specialists and stakeholders interested in the details of the ISB process, and/or planners and responders who may be involved in a response and need information for contingency planning.

The state of knowledge report covers all planning and operational aspects of burning, including any potential impacts on human health and the environment. Several recently released reports provide a starting point for assessing knowledge in this area, including the SINTEF oil-in-ice joint industry project and the Beaufort Sea Oil Spills State of Knowledge Review. In addition, the “In Situ Burning Guidelines for Alaska” and the “Alaska Clean Seas” tactics manual contain valuable background information on all operational aspects of ISB in Arctic environments.

The JIP prepared a summary of relevant scientific studies and experiments, case studies and previous research efforts on the use of ISB in Arctic environments both offshore and onshore. This report highlights key findings and conclusions, and key references. It also helps the JIP compile a needs analysis that will identify the current limitations to the use of ISB as well as opportunities to improve efficiency and extend the window of opportunity for response.

The JIP hopes that the outputs from this phase will serve to inform the industry of the state-of-knowledge and avoid unnecessary duplication of research.

Phase 2 – Preparation of educational outreach materials

Phase 2 will build on the work of phase 1 but engage a much wider audience, with the intent to update and inform key stakeholders on the significant body of existing knowledge about ISB. JIP researchers will also prepare educational and outreach materials for a nontechnical audience.

The first component of the second phase will involve preparing a report that identifies and summarises the regulatory requirements for obtaining approvals to use ISB in relevant nations with Arctic conditions (Canada, Finland, Greenland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden and the United States). The JIP will identify what near-term outreach opportunities exist to communicate the benefits and merits of ISB as a response countermeasure, but will also identify key technical and regulatory obstacles and the best audiences and nations to receive this message. The core audience is the Arctic oil spill response community, regulators, NGOs and other external stakeholders interested in the future direction of Arctic oil and gas development.

In the second component of phase 2, the JIP will develop an ISB education and outreach strategy that will include an interactive and fully populated series of Web pages about ISB, particularly those environmental aspects of ISB that are required when conducting a robust Net Environmental Benefit Analysis. These Web pages will summarise in detail the role, function, benefits and limitations of ISB as a response option in Arctic offshore environments and will be available for wide public consumption.