Private, municipal and government oil spill recovery equipment is available for use in acute pollution incidents. Oil recovery booms and skimmers are classified as either lightweight, medium-weight or heavyweight equipment.
Currently, NOFO has 19 offshore (heavyweight) oil spill response systems, each of which comprises of 2 vessels, 400 metres of oil booms and a large skimmer. NOFO has also acquired some other equipment as well.
In all, more than 20,000 metres of oil booms and 50 oil skimmers are deployed at offshore installations and coastal tank facilities.
In addition, enterprises that are required to maintain their own pollution response system have equipment for combating chemical spills.
Municipal and intermunicipal equipment
About 70,000 metres of lightweight booms and 300 oil skimmers are stored at municipal and intermunicipal depots.
Municipal and intermunicipal equipment for combating acute chemical pollution is held by the larger fire brigades or by the local port authorities.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration has established 27 oil spill response depots along the Norwegian coastline. Of these, 16 are main depots, one of which is on Svalbard (Spitzbergen), and 11 are smaller ones. All in all, these depots include (figures subject to variation due to replacements and recent acquisitions):
- 9 000 m lightweight booms
- 22 000 m medium-weight booms
- 12 000 m heavy booms
- 130 oil recovery units (skimmers)
- 9 emergency off-loading units for bunker oil
- 4 emergency off-loading units for cargo oil
In addition, there are booms and skimmers stored on nine Coast Guard vessels and four specialised oil recovery vessels operated by the Coastal Administration, as well as various smaller equipment, protective clothing etc.
Offshore emergency response mainly utilises supply and spill response vessels, while the government contingency system employs various civil and military vessels that patrol the coast.
The Coastal Administration owns ten small dedicated counter pollution vessels. Municipal preparedness is based on local vessel resources.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration will also consider combating marine oil spills with dispersants if these are found to reduce the overall environmental impact. Dispersants accelerate the process of breaking up the oil into small droplets that mix (disperse) with the water. This method is well suited to protect sea birds and sea mammals, and to limit shoreline pollution from oil spills.
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