Dispersant Testing Under Realistic Conditions
Dispersion of oil using either chemical or mineral additives (dispersants) can be an effective way to enhance the natural biodegradation process to remove spilled oil from marine environments. Research over several decades has shown that when applied properly, these additives can be as effective in near-freezing waters as they are in temperate waters. In many cases – including in the Arctic – dispersants could be the best response option to treat an oil spill before it has spread, broken apart, impacted marine mammals and birds, or become stranded in sensitive environments.
The use of dispersants during an oil spill response can offer higher encounter rates, greater effectiveness, lower manpower requirements, and better responder safety than mechanical responses. A new approach – dispersant injection for well-control events – provides an additional tool that enhances contingency planning for offshore operations.
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