NRPOP Lab Workshop “Offshore Oil Spill in Harsh Environments – from Challenges to Opportunities” @ the Sheron Hotel in St. John’s, Newfoundland

November 14 , 2011 

Oil spills are serious environmental disasters often leading to significant and long-term negative impacts on the environment, ecology and socio-economic activities. A recent example is the BP Deep-water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which was regarded as the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry and released about 4.9 million barrels of crude oil. In Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), the offshore oil and gas industry is growing fast and produces more than 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day representing about 12% of Canada’s total crude oil production. Consequently, there are growing concerns in offshore oil spills because of not only the threats posed to the marine environment and coastal regions but the challenges in responses to and cleanup of spilled oil due to the cold weather and harsh environments. It is extremely important and urgent to develop more robust, cost-efficient and environmental-friendly technologies and managerial strategiesin harsh environments. This research-oriented workshop will bring together researchers from multiple disciplines and executives and representatives from petroleum industry and federal/provincial governments, featuring keynotes and penal discussions to strategize on practical solutions for oil spill challenges in NL offshore and arctic/harsh environments. Alternative solutions concerning the effective monitoring, prevention, assessment, response, remediation and management of offshore oil spills in cold waters and harsh environments will also be reviewed and discussed. Through an open dialogue, researchers and stakeholders can confirm mutual values, common issues, and commit to realistic action plans, particularly allowing the NRPOP researchers to initiate and cultivate a new research program in offshore oil spills and to seek support from and develop collaboration with academia, government and industry.

Presentations from keynote speakers:

Dr. Kenneth Lee – Current Practices and R&D Challenges to Improve Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in Cold Water and Harsh Environments.
Dr. Zhendi Wang – Oil Spill Environmental Forensics – Fingerprinting and Source Identification.

Presentations from panel speakers:

Dr. Bing Chen – Can We Make Sound Decisions to Combat Offshore Oil Spills?
Paul Barnes – NL Petroleum Industry – Oil Spill Prevention and Response Initiatives.
Dr. Ahmed Derradji-Aouat – Effective Arctic Oil Spills Response Systems: NRC – Arctic Program Perspective.
Dr. Faisal Khan – Risk Assessment of Oil Spills in Harsh Environments.
Dr. Helen Zhang – Offshore Oil Spill Countermeasures: Enhanced Dispersion and Bioremediation.


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