The introduction of sulfur emission control areas (SECA) and the new regulations MARPOL2020, which set the limits for sulfur content in fuel oils, has led to the use of higher quality fuel oils with very low sulfur content. This new type of hybrid fuel oil, ultralow-sulfur fuel oil (ULSFO) is being used increasingly both within and outside SECA. They tend to be rich in waxes and have high pour point which affect the dispersibility of the oils at low temperature and presents challenge for removing them from marine environment in cold winter. Knowledge about the new oil type - its behavior in cold marine environment, the potential risks in oil spill response as well as suitable remediation strategies, is still lacking.
The countries in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (BEAR) which also include Russia, Norway and Finland, share common challenges related to SECA and ULSFO since they have intensive maritime activities and integrated shipping routes. But differences in climate and marine environment may not allow the use of the same remediation strategies for oil spills. Knowledge from different climates and marine environments are required to develop suitable remediation strategies for ULSFO.
The project was aimed at building an international network for joint knowledge exchange on ultralow-sulfur fuel oil (ULSFO), investigating the behavior of the spilled ULSFO under marine sub-arctic and Arctic winter conditions, identifying the potential risks for oil spill response, and testing the effectiveness of chemical dispersant in enhancing the biodegradation process of ULSFO.
Lead partner: SINTEF Narvik A.S.
Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (Arkhangelsk, Russia)
Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Marine Research Centre (Helsinki, Finland)
Type of the project: Micro Projects