Quantification of Effect of Oil Spill Response Systems
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The purpose of this thesis is to develop models to determine the effectiveness of oil spill response systems in Arctic environment and to evaluate their impact on the ecosystems. Three response systems are investigated: mechanical recovery, in situ burning, and chemical dispersion. With the increase in petroleum activities in the Arctic, it is important that companies gain the knowledge needed to exploit the resources in a sustainable manner. What works well in one place will not necessarily have the same effectiveness in other places. This is precisely why it is important to understand the factors that determines the effectiveness of the response and the degree of environmental impact in the Arctic. The thesis includes a case study of a simulated oil spill from the Johan Castberg field, located in the Barents Sea. The developed models are used to determine the potential volumetric reduction of an oil slick. The application of the models in a case study helps to point out the main factors affecting the effectiveness of the response systems in the Arctic. Among all the identified factors, response time, wind and water-in-oil emulsion rate seem to be the determining factors. Oil slick thickness is identified as the major source of uncertainty in the existing models. Based on the expected response time and the oil properties of the studied oil types in the Arctic, mechanical recovery seems like the best response option.
Master's thesis in Environmental technology