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Arctic Oil Spill Response Research and


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Executive Summary This report provides a comprehensive summary of activities and accomplishments of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) Arctic Oil Spill Response Research (OSRR) program. The program directly supports MMS missions of ensuring safe and sound operations in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) through leadership in research and standards development for Arctic operations and in facilitating the use of science in making policy and leasing decisions. From 1997 through 2008 the MMS has successfully developed and conducted thirty-one projects directly related to improving equipment and processes for the prompt identification and removal of oil from harsh Arctic environments. Rather than working independently, the OSRR program has reached out and partnered with state and federal government agencies, academia, private industry, and other countries who share similar interests in Arctic oil spill response research. As a product of these partnerships, over 40 percent of these projects were jointly funded. The OSRR projects highlighted in this document are examples of how the MMS has and continues to address the ongoing operational and environmental concerns associated with energy exploration and exploitation in the Arctic. Research projects, many of which were conducted at Ohmsett - The National Oil Spill Response Test Facility ranging from mechanical containment and recovery in ice conditions, to dispersant use in cold water, reflect an expanding body of work that has advanced knowledge of oil spill response capabilities in cold water environments. Quoted liberally in scientific literature, OSRR projects are helping drive cold water research both nationally and internationally. The MMS as well as U.S. and foreign government agencies and organizations world wide utilize the results from the OSRR program and Ohmsett in making planning, regulatory, and emergency response decisions. The MMS has been the principal U.S. federal agency funding oil spill response research for the past 25 years and is now the leader in Arctic response research. The successes of the OSRR program are a result of appropriated funding from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and continued support by MMS Management. Maintaining this momentum is critical to ensuring that the best available technologies for response are ready to support future oil exploration and exploitation in the Arctic.

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Author Chad Rowan
Last Updated March 23, 2015, 20:16 (EST)
Created January 10, 2013, 11:12 (EST)
Citation Chad Rowan, Arctic Oil Spill Response Research and, 2013-01-10,
Update Frequency Not Applicable