As the initial stage of this project in 2012, the JIP Mechanical Recovery Technical Working Group (TWG) conducted a dedicated workshop in collaboration with Alaska Clean Seas (ACS) in London, UK, to advance the recovery of oil in ice infested waters and to identify promising recovery concepts. The workshop objective was to allow selected researchers, responders, and manufacturers to generate creative response solutions and proposals for future research. Utilising results from the workshop, four novel ideas (New Vessel Design, Remote Recovery Systems, On Board Oil/Water/Ice Separation, and Onboard Oil Incineration) were selected to be evaluated by the JIP. The JIP has commissioned a synthesis report of four feasibility studies for these ideas, to identify the most promising technologies or equipment designs to improve recovery of oil in ice and recommend any concepts that can be taken to the ‘proof of concept stage’.
New Recovery Vessel Design Concepts
Aker Arctic was selected to conduct a high level feasibility evaluation that identifies and summarises the design concepts of new vessels that could be used for the mechanical recovery of oil in arctic waters. Ideas to be evaluated include an ice lifting and processing vessel and an ice submerging and processing vessel.
Remote Recovery Units
Aker Arctic was selected to conduct a high level feasibility evaluation that identifies and summarises the use of remote recovery units for the mechanical recovery of oil in offshore arctic waters. Ideas to be evaluated include the use of a “mother ship” or a multipurpose vessel that would contain several smaller recovery units that could work remotely in the pools of oil between ice pieces and return to the main vessel for oil transfer and storage.
This type of recovery can increase oil encounter rates and ensure oil collected between ice pieces is not disturbed by a larger vessel. The oil recovery units could be linked to the vessel by an umbilical and be operated remotely. Different units could be designed to go under ice, work between ice, and access oil from the air (from a crane attached to the vessel for example).
On-Board Oil-Water-Ice Separation
LAMOUR was selected to conduct a high level feasibility evaluation of on-board oil-water-ice separation capable of high volume and high throughput processing for use on a vessel,, including the possibility of decanting of separated water.
On-Board Recovered Oil Incinerators
SL Ross Environmental Research Ltd. was selected to conduct a feasibility evaluation that identifies and summarises the ability of on-board oil incinerators to aid the mechanical recovery of oil in Arctic waters.
Four intermediate work product reports have been generated and are to be used by the JIP to develop descriptions of the most promising solutions identified for future development. The JIP has commissioned a high level summary of the four feasibility reports that includes information on mechanical recovery in the Arctic, its use and limitations, and highlight the importance of in situ burning and dispersants as additional tools for arctic response. Alaska Clean Seas (ACS) was selected as the contract or partnering with the JIP to develop the summary report.