There have been many large-scale tests going back decades on recovery of oil in ice in the autumn and winter months in the Arctic and through this research and development the Industry has developed the equipment and tools to respond in Arctic conditions. To further build on existing research and improve the technologies and methodologies for Arctic oil spill response, nine oil and gas companies (BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eni, ExxonMobil, North Caspian Operating Company, Shell, Statoil, and Total) established the Arctic Oil Spill Response Technology Joint Industry Programme (JIP). 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. The programme is coordinated by an Executive Steering Committee comprising representatives from each company. The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) is providing project management expertise and industry experts/ scientific institutions are being engaged to perform the scientific research.

Over the course of the programme, the JIP aims to deliver new capability in the following six areas (dispersants, environmental effects, trajectory modelling, remote sensing, mechanical recovery, and in situ burning (ISB)).The JIP will also explore opportunities to conduct field experiments to verify research results. Today, twelve projects are in progress ranging from dispersant effectiveness testing, modelling the fate of dispersed oil in ice, assessing the environmental effects of an Arctic oil spill, advancing oil spill modelling trajectory capabilities in ice, extending the capability to detect and map oil in darkness, low visibility, in and under ice, improving efficiency of mechanical recovery equipment in ice, to detailing the large body of knowledge that already exists on ISB, and expanding the ‘window of opportunity’ for ISB response operations. This paper presents the progress to date in the Arctic JIP.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.