This presentation provides an update on the progress of oil spill technology development following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incident in the Gulf of Mexico during 2010. A number of new technologies were successfully tested and implemented via the Alternative Response Technology (ART) Program. The focus of this paper is spill response offshore, near shore, and on-shore; it covers technologies related to surveillance, in-situ burning, booming, skimming, mechanical oil/water separation, sand cleaning, and bioremediation.
More than 123,000 individual ideas were submitted to the ART program by the public during the DWH response. These ideas fall into two categories: source control (80,000) and spill response (43,000). After screening for potential, novelty, and utility (and a number of other qualities), ~ 100 spill response ideas were field-tested or evaluated in detail, and at least 45 ideas were recommended for use in response operations. Once a mere notion, these innovations are now tools in the industry’s toolbox for oil spill response.
To further enhance technologies and capabilities in spill response, technology programs are being implemented by BP and other operators, oil spill response organizations (OSROs), and joint industry programs (“JIPs,” such as API, OGP, and IPIECA). Some of these programs are being conducted in collaboration with key government agencies, including NOAA, EPA, USCG, Environment Canada, Research Council of Norway, and others. As time progresses, these programs are merging because the participants are collaborating and communicating extensively.
This presentation provides an update on the progress of current oil spill response technology programs and reveals early positive results.