Norway-Focused Firms Join Oil Spill Project

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Aptomar launches a Norwegian project with Eni, Statoil, GDF Suez and OMV aimed at improving oil spill detection and management.

Trondheim-based marine surveillance technology firm Aptomar announced Thursday that several Norway-focused oil and gas firms, as well as the Norwegian Coastal Administration, have teamed up with it in an industry project to improve oil spill detection and management.

Aptomar said that Eni Norge, Statoil, GDF Suez E&P Norge and OMV Norge are all participating in the project to significantly strengthen technology functionality and communication infrastructure for offshore oil spill detection and management systems.

"Traditionally, the oil spill segment has been somewhat product focused. This joint industry project takes a broader system approach to oil spill detection and management. The objective is to improve safety while reducing costs through improving technologies and utilizing offshore assets more effectively," Aptomar CEO Lars Solberg said in a company statement.

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First of all, Aptomar plans to develop the functionality to provide remote control of the SECurus system – what the firm describes as a "highly-advanced technology that is used to detect and combat oil spills". The objective of this is to enable onshore personnel to assist offshore crews performing oil spill monitoring and detection, both during production and in the event of the combating of oil spills.

Secondly, the project will develop a system that facilitates integration of all types of existing camera sources – from remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) and platform supply vessels (PSVs) to platforms and fishing vessels – into Aptomar's tactical collaboration and management system (TCMS).

To ensure a common operating picture on-site during an oil spill, the project also aims to develop a local offshore communication network that enables data sharing of this information between all assets involved in combating the spill, including vessels, installations and airborne support without using base stations or satellites.

"Through utilizing existing camera sources, and allowing all offshore vessels to tap into the same common operating picture, we will keep costs down while also improving safety. Our oil industry partners and we are confident that this system approach will take marine surveillance, oil spill detection and combating to a new level," Lars Solberg said.

The project will also see the development of an oil spill combating program integrated with a maritime simulator.

The project is expected to be concluded at year-end 2014.

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