• 7th International Conference:Arctic Shelf Development: Step by step
  • Arctic Shelf Development: Step by step
  • Nonprofit organization “Association of Suppliers for Oil and Gas Industry “Murmanshelf” invites you to participate in the 7th International Conference «ARCTIC DEVELOPMENT: STEP BY STEP». The Conference will take place in Murmansk on the 18th – 19th of November, 2014 supported by the Government of the Murmansk Region in the framework of the III Murmansk International Business Week.

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Opening the meeting the Chairman Director of the Murmansk CSM Ilya Kulikov, stressed the social significance of the project results achieved thanks to the work of professionals from border regions of Russia, Norway and Finland, which are dealing with the protection of the northern seas from oil pollution.

Project Manager Raisa Ripacheva reported on the implementation of planned activities, "The  project set multiple tasks. The first one was the establishment of a database of Russian oil transported via the northern seas. As part of this task 12 oil samples with different physical and chemical characteristics were tested. Oil weathering models were created for all of these samples depending on weather conditions. The required information was included in the database. The results of laboratory tests confirmed the difference in the properties and behavior of oil both of different types, and within one type in case of contact with seawater".
It has been proved that the changes in the properties of oil and its behavior in the marine environment depend on weather conditions, such as seawater temperature, wind speed, sea state, as well as the physical and chemical characteristics of the oil. The objectivity and accuracy of the methodology used to study oil weathering properties has been confirmed. The second objective in the framework of the project was the research on the interaction of chemical dispersants with oil and assessment of the effectiveness of their use in oil spill response.
The interaction of two dispersants with all 12 samples of oil was studied, and the results of study showed that the effectiveness of dispersants depends on many factors such as the type of oil (different types of oil interact differently with the same dispersant), degree of weathering and emulsification of oil, viscosity and temperature of the sea water. This information is important for oil spill services, as it will allow, if necessary, to select and apply the proper dispersant in OSR.
The third objective was to improve cooperation of international OSR forces with the use of information on the properties of the oil from the database. For this purpose a tabletop exercise was planned in the final stage of the project. At the suggestion of the Norwegian side the exercise was combined with the annual Russian-Norwegian «Barents Exercise», which took place in June this year. This experience demonstrated the importance of using the full information from the database.

According to experts, this advance knowledge of the physical and chemical characteristics and properties of oil when it is released into the sea water is essential for effective response to the spill and minimization of its effects. The final step of the project was to develop recommendations for the use of a database of  Russian oil in the elimination of marine spills. The document provides information about the research, the results of which formed a database of oil, describes the use of a database for various purposes, such as creating a computer model for predicting the properties of the oil spill based on the selected / specified conditions or in the forecast of changes in the properties and behavior of oil in case of a spill from the tanker or deposit taking into account the specific conditions of the spill. The significance of the first experience of the international use of the database is also addressed. "
A detailed report on the  project visibility activities was presented at the meeting, which included participation in international conferences and forums, publications, etc..

When discussing the results of the project and Recommendations project partners appreciated the amount of work performed, their relevance and timeliness. The representative of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Murmansk region Alexander Shilovsky emphasized the particular attention paid by the Ministry to the project, given the importance of the tasks that it addressed: industrial and environmental safety, technology transfer, promotion of border areas. It was stated that the topic remains relevant and perspective and must be promoted at the federal level.    

Vasily Korenev, a representative of the Northern Branch of Marine Rescue Service also drew the attention of the meeting to the urgency of the problem due to the increase of offshore production and transportation of oil and the need for further research of oil from the newly discovered deposits. He also noted a higher effectiveness of the final decisions about the OSR activities in the presence of information about the spilled oil from the database, and the growing interest that companies are showing to the topic.

He was supported by the representative of the Murmansk Department for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Elena Siekkinen, "The established pattern of OSR showed viability, it helps minimize the time of response to emergencies at sea. Recommendations fully reflect the results of the work that we have carried out for two and a half years".
The Finnish and Norwegian partners of the project, recognizing the difference between the methodology and legislation of participating countries, nevertheless made some important conclusions: the project was successfully implemented thanks to good management and effective cooperation between the partners, and the partners should continue to work together with the involvement of new partners in the common interest of borderland population.

Head of the Kolarctic Programme Katja Sukuvaara congratulated the project partners to its success, and the results achieved, and recalled that initially the EU showed interest in the project, "The final results of the project will be sent to the Directorate-General for Fisheries and Maritime Policy of the EU. Software project is completed, but the security issues in the Arctic will remain on the agenda, bearing in mind not only the global political agenda, but also our private life in the region". The project Coordinator from the Joint Managing Authority of the Programme Hans Dahlin in his speech stressed the high value of the project and the level of cooperation and trust between the partners.

At the end of the meeting, all partners signed the Recommendations. Summing up, Ilya Kulikov thanked the project partners for the successful accomplishment of tasks, expressed hope for continued cooperation and wished success in work and well-being.
The project was implemented since July 2012 till December 2014 with the funding provided by the European Union, Russia, Finland and Norway.
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