One of the hottest talking points under this year’s ONS in Stavanger is oil in the Arctic. DNV and the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) have prepared a report on the risks associated with such drilling in connection with the conference.
DNV Danish director Henrik O. Madsen was particularly concerned about the two aspects of technology and collaboration when he presented the report in Stavanger Forum, Tuesday.
“If someone comes up with an idea that could make it safer to operate in the Arctic, it should be shared. It’s only this type of cooperation that will reduce the risk sufficiently and allow opportunities in the Arctic to be exploited,” Mr Madsen said to the audience gathered in ONS’ largest conference hall.
According to the director, such cooperation should take place across competing firms and between the five Arctic nations: Norway, Greenland/Denmark, Canada, the US, and Russia, countries with different traditions of cooperation.
“The risk can never be zero, and you have to be willing to take risks in order to capitalise on opportunities. At the same time, it is still important to look at how serious the consequences of accidents can be, and weigh these against the benefits,” said DNV's CEO.
“There are several new and largely unsolved challenges for operations in the Arctic,” Mr Madsen continued, listing three such main ones:
- Oil spills in and under the ice
- Removal and containment of oil spills, particularly in remote and harsh environments
- Evacuation of people in these areas
“The Arctic is one of the areas on earth with the greatest vulnerability, and with the least the opportunity to clean up. Adequate technology and security procedures are essential,” stressed Mr Madsen.
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