On Saturday, the 28th of June, the Swedish Coast Guard detected an oil slick on the surface of the water in the Baltic Sea north of the uninhabited island of Gotska Sandön via satellite imaging. After the oil slick was assessed, the Swedish Coast Guard vessel KBV 002 Triton, equipped with Lamor Built-In Oil Recovery System, was dispatched as the primary response vessel. On Sunday personnel concluded that the likely source of the oil was the Dutch-built M/S Immen, which sank in April 1977, and now rests on the ocean floor at a depth of 133m.
An unconfirmed source reported there was 62 tons of oil on board when the M/S Immen sank, although it is unclear how much oil has been released. On Monday, the vessel KBV 033 relieved KBV 002 Triton. From KBV 033 an ROV (an underwater robot controlled from the surface) was deployed to further investigate the sunken M/S Immen. The wreck is surrounded by jammed trawls, lifeboats, ropes and other debris. The ROV investigation was halted in fear of the ROV becoming caught in the debris, surface operations continued.
The oil on the surface had varying characteristics. The Coast Guard reported that the heavier fractions were collected with the vessels Built-In Oil Recovery Systems and the lighter fractions would naturally evaporate from the surface. On Wednesday afternoon it was reported that the oil clean up was successfully completed.
Lamor and Nordic Seahunter have entered a worldwide exclusive relationship for sales and customization of the modular work platforms for shoreline and harbor operations. The Lamor Seahunter is a unique and robust platform that has been fully tested in various weather and environmental conditions in Norway. The platform is powered by an outboard engine.
“We are very proud to have become a partner with Lamor, thus creating the Lamor Seahunter. We feel that the exclusive worldwide agreement is an exceptional opportunity for the Nordic Seahunter concept with a globally recognized oils spill recovery and response company like Lamor,” says Rune Rørstad, Department Manager, Nordic Seahunter, Bodø Industri AS.
“This agreement and product line is a perfect niche fit for our product portfolio. The synergies between both companies are unique and the new Lamor Seahunter is a working platform with flexible configurations and easily transported, something I believe our customers will truly benefit from in the various oil spill clean-up operations. The Lamor Seahunter is a very carefully designed concept that will exceed customer expectations,” says Lamor’s Product Group Manager Krister Rask.
“Each hull is rotomolded thermo plastic (PE) which ensures a durable and conform surface. The hulls are catamaran shaped which gives the most stable work platform for these kinds of operations. Moreover, two or more hulls may be connected, side by side, or in length to perform an even longer and wider platform,” says Rørstad.
Each hull can carry 1500 kg (3300 lbs) which is more than three times its own weight. “The Lamor Seahunter hulls may be stored in stock, and are easily transported on trailers, trucks, containers, helicopters etc.,” concludes Rask.
The groundbreaking Sternmax is a high capacity advancing Arctic skimmer designed to separate oil from the drifting ice with a high recovery rate of…
For the second year in a row, Alaska Clean Seas (ACS) has conducted an Advanced Oil Spill Response in Ice Course at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, New Hampshire. In January and February this year, two separate week-long courses were held, training approximately 55 spill response personnel representing oil companies and agencies working on Alaska’s North Slope.
This course was held at CRREL’s 60 x 25 x 8 outdoor saline test basin. Approximately 18-20” of sea ice is grown using the tank’s chilling system, completely covering the tank’s surface. “North Slope crude oil is injected under the ice prior to the start of training. Our training covers a wide range of topics, including: ice safety, detection and delineation of an oil spill under ice, containment and recovery tactics in ice, deployment of skimmers and recovery systems, and oil spill in-situ burning,” says Alaska Clean Seas, Chris Hall, Training Specialist and Oil Spill Responder.
“We select topics that provide the responder with diverse, realistic training but the focus is to use CRREL to do what we cannot do on the North Slope. CRREL allows us the opportunity to train with real oil in real ice. It is a safe and contained environment. That said, all of the unknowns and unique winter operational challenges that can happen in a real spill can happen at CRREL,” Hall highlights. “Our students have knowledge and proficiency in site safety, equipment operations, and other spill response topics from their weekly training on the North Slope. CRREL enables us to ‘put it all together’ in a realistic yet simulated training environment. We build confidence in our students that they can effectively respond during an Arctic oil spill event,” notes Hall.
Vendor support has been critical to the success of this training. “Our vendors provide equipment that is geared to a winter Arctic spill response scenario. Very few of our students have ever attended an oil spill trade show or conference, so they are not familiar with individual company representatives. These are true frontline end-users, deploying the equipment without the controls that might be present in a vendor demonstration,” Hall outlines.
“Lamor brings great spill response equipment and a wide range of Arctic response expertise. Lamor representatives have been active participants in ACS training events for years, both at CRREL and Ohmsett in New Jersey. Each year sees a new piece of skimming equipment brought to the training and each class gets the opportunity to put the equipment through its paces. We are highly appreciative for the assistance provided by the Lamor team,” says Hall.
Unique oil spill cooperative
ACS is a non-profit, incorporated oil spill response cooperative whose current membership includes oil and pipeline companies that engage in or intend to undertake oil and gas exploration, development, production and/or pipeline transport activities on the North Slope of Alaska.
“We are a unique oil spill cooperative in that ACS provides its member companies with extensive oil spill management and response training, oil spill research and development, and day-to-day field environmental and spill response support,” says Hall.
“Our operations are focused on Alaska’s North Slope and selected areas of the Alaskan Outer Continental Shelf and adjacent shorelines coupled with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline from Pump Station One to Milepost 167,” Hall concludes.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is the principal US federal agency that funds research in oil spill technologies through the Oil Spill Response Research (OSRR) program. For BSEE, Ohmsett is the cornerstone of its OSRR program. The OSRR programhas partnered with state and federal government agencies, academia, private industry and other countries who share similar interests in Arctic oil spill response research.
In March, BSEE and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) invited several OSR equipment manufacturers under the theme “BSEE Ice Month Testing at Ohmsett” to evaluate different types of skimmers used by the USCG. The testing conditions simulated the Alaska North Slope crude (ANS) in two different ice conditions with 30% and 70% ice concentration.
“We tested our Lamor Multimax 50 (LAM 50) and our proven oil recovery bucket skimmer (LRB), which has been used in numerous oil spills since the early 1990s,” says Lamor’s COO Rune Högström, who was at Ohmsett to supervise the testing of Lamor’s equipment.
All tests were performed with Hydrocal, a standard Ohmsett test oil. “Hydrocal, a lubricant oil, was selected rather than a crude oil because, as a refined product, it provides a more stable test fluid and produce less of a breathing hazard over the four-week test period. At a nominal test temperature of 32F (0C), Hydrocal has a density of 0.90 g/mL and a viscosity of 1000 cP,” says Lamor’s Vince Mitchell, VP Special Projects.
“We had utilized our latest brush technology for the LRB and the test results exceeded our expectations markedly. Large amounts of oil were recovered with minimal water intake, “Högström highlights.
“The most significant outcome of the test was that it made no difference if there was 30% or 70% or any ice at all for that matter with respect to the recovery capacities, due to its easy maneuverability and ice-handling features,” he notes.
Engaging a world-class facility
Government agencies including the USCG and the Navy as well as private industry and oil spill response organizations train their emergency response personnel with real oil and their own full-scale equipment. Some of the testing activities have included remote sensing tests, wave energy conversion device tests, skimmer and boom tests, dispersant tests, alternative fuel recovery tests, and industry oil spill response training classes.
The research and training facility centers on an approx. 10 million liter (2.6 million gallon) salt water tank. Government and the private sector train with oil under realistic oil spill conditions and increase their proficiency using actual oil spill recovery equipment by collecting and recovering oil. Ohmsett creates oil spills in a safe environment. Without this facility, experiments would have to be conducted in the open ocean, which have significant environmental implications.
“The Ohmsett facilities have a full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research and training can be conducted in a marine environment with oil under controlled environmental conditions i.e. waves and oil types,” says Högström.
“The opportunity to test our skimmers at Ohmsett was once again remarkable and a fantastic experience since its facilities offers a realistic simulated controlled marine environment for oil spill equipment e.g. the use of real oil in a wave/tow tank. Based on the outstanding offering of services coupled with the great cooperation and flexibility of its staff, Ohmsett is already an integral part of our testing and vetting process,” concludes Högström.
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Lamor is offering, in Spanish, an IMO level 1 training course in Panama City, Panama February 18 – 20, 2014…
Environmental responsibility incorporates being professionally prepared through training and having the necessary equipment for rapid intervention during oil spill accidents. Lamor offers these opportunities to take advantage of learning by implementing effective and efficient operations worldwide, on every terrain and in any climatic condition.
Lamor offers customers and governmental agencies that are responsible for oil spill response, monitoring, and control, a three-level fully accredited training program mandated by the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO). Lamor’s training program, which is offered locally or on-site at the customer’s location, is certified by the UK Nautical Institute; an important achievement for Lamor considering the Institute’s strict accreditation policies and procedures.
Dario Miranda is an experienced Spanish speaking OSR instructor, who is certified by the Nautical Institute and he has given numerous IMO courses.
IMO level 1 training course in Panama City (Downloadable PDF)
In late May Estonia and Finland conducted a joint oil spill prevention exercise off the Port of Paldiski, Estonia. The exercise is held annually under bilateral agreements between the countries bordering the Baltic Sea.
EPBG’s Senior Logistics Officer, Police Lieutenant Tõnis Trubetski said: “The Lamor OSR equipment increases our capabilities to successfully respond to oil spill emergencies.” In late May Estonia and Finland conducted a joint oil spill prevention exercise off the Port of Paldiski, Estonia. The exercise is held annually under bilateral agreements between the countries bordering the Baltic Sea.
Commissioned by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), the €48 million MS Louhi is based at the Port of Upinniemi approx. 40 kms west of Helsinki in the archipelago. The vessel will be operated by the Finnish Navy. Louhi is equipped to sail in the Baltic Sea all year round and it can reach a speed of 15 knots and even through a 50 cm (20 in) thick ice sheet, it can travel at 7.5 knots.
Nystedt explains: “Although Louhi did not participate in this exercise, the multipurpose vessel has been fitted with several of our newest technologies that none of the other 14 Finnish oil response ships have, although they also are equipped with our efficient OSR technology. For example, Louhi, with our in-built skimmers, is capable of collecting 1,200 tons of spilled oil during just one trip,” he says.
In Kiruna, Sweden on May 15, Canada officially assumed the position of Chair of the Arctic Council (AC) with a 2013–2015 mandate. Appropriately, the Government of Canada appointed the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, an Inuk, as Chairperson of the AC. Minister Aglukkaq takes on this role in addition to her role as Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
Minister Aglukkaq was born and raised in Thom Bay, Taloyoak and Gjoa Haven in Nunavut, and is very knowledgeable of remote communities. Moreover, she was the first Inuk to be sworn into the Federal Cabinet as Minister of Health in late 2008. Nunavut remains close to her heart and she has fought hard for the interests of all Nunavummiut. “It is an honor to be selected to represent my country in the AC. I am energized and committed and hope to move forward with tangible actions on all issues,” says Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
“I welcome the new observer status countries of China, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore. The Arctic Council Ministers also agreed to respond positively to the European Union’s application for observer status, but deferred a final decision until the concerns of Arctic Council Ministers are resolved. Specifically Canada’s concerns around the European Unions position on the seal hunt, a legitimate, sustainable industry in Canada. That said, the AC adopted an observer manual that will define what rights the observer States have and clarify which decisions are not included in the observers’ mandate,” she continues.
Within the framework of the AC, developments in the Arctic are a source of both challenges and opportunities. With the changing environment in the Arctic and the increased business interest, one thing remains clear; the People who live and work in the Arctic must be consulted and put first. Minister Aglukkaq noted that countries interested in resource development in the Arctic, including oil and gas exploration, will not have “carte blanche” by becoming observers to the AC. The council will continue to serve as a protector of the delicate environment, indigenous communities and vast resources of the region.
Economic and social development
“Development for the people of the North with a focus on responsible Arctic resource development, safe Arctic shipping and sustainable circumpolar communities, is a very important element of our agenda. The official Kiruna Declaration of May 15th focuses on economic and social development, climate change, protecting the Arctic and strengthening the AC,” says Minister Aglukkaq.
The Canadian chairmanship has set forth to include the establishment of a Circumpolar Business Forum (CBF) to provide opportunities and possibilities for industry and businesses to introduce their expertise and knowledge with the council. “The CBF is the perfect forum for oil spill recovery and response players to share their expertise, training and solutions,” says Patrick Borbey, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials and President of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
Experience is the source of knowledge
The AC should be a forum where a proactive approach is taken to prevent incidents such as oil spills, that may harm the natural environment. “Shortly after the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting, I travelled to Finland and spent an afternoon at Lamor Corporation in Porvoo. It was a very informative meeting, where I was able to see first-hand the equipment that is used in oil spill prevention and clean-up. The Arctic Council will continue to focus on oil spill prevention and response, which is vital to protect the Arctic’s natural environment,” says Minister Aglukkaq.
The 2010 Gulf of Mexico (GoM) massive oil spill needed immediate external support, expertise, solutions and equipment to assist in the containment and clean-up efforts. “We immediately set our action plans into motion and within 36 hours and through our global network, we airlifted an arsenal of equipment and key personnel to the scene,” notes CEO Fred Larsen, Lamor Corporation.
“We also supported the Vessel of Opportunity (VoO) program, a modified sustainable Lamor concept, by training local fishermen and converting their fishing vessels to oil spill response vessels. This concept developed by us is something which proved to be very beneficial by engaging local communities and populations to collectively change and become responders to oil spills,” he says.
Equipment, training and preparedness
Early training, preparedness and well-organized response operations coupled with effective equipment are the essential tools needed for proactively reducing the environmental impacts and effects from oil and other hazardous material accidents.
Lamor’s COO Rune Högström highlights: “Our knowledge in oil spill response operations providing equipment and training is long. Naturally, due to our geographical location, Arctic conditions are a way of life for us and we have adapted our equipment to meet those challenges head on. That said, training is essential coupled with refresher training, and having the right equipment lessens the impacts of an oil spill.”
“During the GoM incident, simultaneously three other oil-spills occurred in Dalian, China, Hong Kong and in Michigan (US), and we responded to these incidents too. We have facilities strategically located throughout the world with a stockpile of equipment to ensure that our response and readiness is not limited to one incident or region,” says Larsen.
“It was great to meet with Lamor representatives, who have operational knowledge and expertise in the Arctic. By working together, we can achieve our goal of preventing oil spills from occurring in the first place,” concludes Minister Aglukkaq.
Environmental responsibility incorporates being professionally prepared through training and having the necessary equipment for rapid intervention during oil spill accidents. It is vital that all responders and support personnel receive the appropriate formal training in order to effectively be activated to respond to an oil spill response and recovery operation.
Lamor together with Corena, are offering the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) levels 1-3 training courses in Ecuador in Spanish. The IMO courses are certified by the UK Nautical Institute. Corena is Lamor’s long-term representative agent in Ecuador.
The series of IMO Certification courses will end with the IMO level 3 taking place in Galápagos on October 28 – 31, 2014.
- Define the basic structure of the Incident Command System (ICS),focused on oil spill response
- Introduce clear procedures for emergency response
- Present the use, handling, efficiency calculation and maintenance of equipment most often used in controlling oil spills
- Create a practice scenario for oil spill control in which the participant can intervene
- Define cleaning strategies and tactics for affected areas
Dario Miranda is an experienced Spanish speaking OSR instructor, who is certified by the Nautical Institute and has given numerous IMO courses.
IMO level 1 – 3 training courses in Ecuador (Downloadable PDF)