Hercules aircraft joins oil spill response effort, OLF
Release Date: 2009-05-20The oil industry has entered an agreement with the UK’s Oil Spill Response for access to a Hercules aircraft to counter oil spills. ”This means we have a 24-hour aircraft stand-by which can transport and apply dispersants in order to remove major oil spills. This is a contribution to the solidity and reinforcement of the oil spill response on the Norwegian Shelf,” says Managing Director of the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO), Sjur W. Knudsen.
“Under the agreement, we will coordinate and facilitate airborne application of dispersants on behalf of the operating companies on the Norwegian Shelf who are members of Oil Spill Response,” says Knudsen
Under the agreement with Oil Spill Response, NOFO is given access to a Hercules aircraft specially equipped for applying dispersants on the sea surface.
An effective alternative
In practical terms, dispersing means applying chemicals to floating oil. The purpose of dispersing is to dissolve the oil in the water, where it will degrade due to natural biological processes. This means the impact on the environment is limited.
The dispersant to be used satisfies requirements by the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) for use in Norway, has an insignificant impact on the environment and quickly degrades in the water. NOFO already has large stockpiles of dispersants which can be used by the Hercules aircraft.
“Dispersants are a supplement to traditional oil recovery equipment. In order to achieve the best effect, dispersants must be applied quickly. This is why this agreement for aircraft preparedness is so important,” says Knudsen.
The Oil Spill Response agreement also includes participation in exercises held by NOFO on the Norwegian Shelf.
“There’s a lot of planning and training behind a good and effective oil spill response. Our goal is to train on dispersal with Oil Spill Response and the Hercules aircraft as soon as practically possible,” says Knudsen