Oil spill response capabilities and technologies for ice-covered Arctic marine waters: A review of recent developments and established practices
Renewed political and commercial interest in the resources of the Arctic, the reduction in the extent and thickness of sea ice, and the recent failings that led to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, have prompted industry and its regulatory agencies, governments, local communities and NGOs to look at all aspects of Arctic oil spill countermeasures with fresh eyes. This paper provides an overview of present oil spill response capabilities and technologies for ice-covered waters, as well as under potential future conditions driven by a changing climate. Though not an exhaustive review, we provide the key research results for oil spill response from knowledge accumulated over many decades, including significant review papers that have been prepared as well as results from recent laboratory tests, field programmes and modelling work. The three main areas covered by the review are as follows: oil weathering and modelling; oil detection and monitoring; and oil spill response techniques.