and the full report will be posted at a later date.
Significant Accomplishments of the MMS Arctic Oil Spill Response Research Program
Detection of Oil in and Under Ice
- Development of Ground Penetrating Radar into a useful operational tool to reliably detect and map oil trapped in, under, on, or among ice
Oil Spill Thickness Sensor -
Development of an aerial sensor to measure and accurately map the thickness of oil on water and to rapidly transmit this information to response personnel in the command post. This includes the ability to determine the thickest portions of the oil slick and to operate effectively in bad weather or darkness
Mechanical Containment and Recovery in Ice Environments (Open Water, Broken Ice, and On or Under Ice) -
More than a decade of MMS research has focused on methods to improve the effectiveness of equipment and techniques for the mechanical recovery of oil spills in ice-infested waters. This research has substantially improved mechanical recovery of oil spills in Arctic environments.
In Situ Burn Research -
Development of in situ burning into a viable countermeasure for oil spills in Arctic environments.
Dispersants in Cold Water/Broken Ice Environments -
Experiments at Ohmsett have demonstrated that dispersants are effective in near-freezing water temperatures but this is highly dependent on the properties of the crude oil. Dispersants can be effective in broken ice if there is some mixing energy present. Dispersants provide an invaluable third response option when strong winds and sea conditions make mechanical cleanup and in situ burn techniques unsafe and/or ineffective.
Chemical Herders -
The use of chemical herding agents to extend the window of opportunity for oil spill response countermeasures in Arctic environments.
Ohmsett – The National Oil Spill Response Test Facility -
Ohmsett is an integral part of the MMS oil spill research program and is essential for fulfilling the agency’s regulatory responsibilities under OPA-90.
The facility directly supports MMS’s mission of ensuring safe and environmentally sound oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Ohmsett is not only a vital component of the MMS oil spill research, it is also a national asset where government agencies, private industry and academia can conduct full-scale oil spill research and development programs in a controlled environment with real oil.
In addition, it is the premier hands-on training site for spill response personnel from state and federal government agencies, private industry and foreign countries.