MIROS (Norway) announced agreement to supply five of its marine X-band radar-based oil spill detection systems to the common oil spill response organization for oil producers on the Norwegian continental shelf, called NOFO. With these unique systems, NOFO will be able to track and manage oil spills independent of sea, weather and light conditions, thereby better protecting coastlines from pollution. NOFO is owned by all of the companies operating on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, including BP, Shell, Total E&P, ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and Statoil, among others.
The oil spill detection system uses advanced image-processing algorithms and standard ship-based navigational radar to locate oil spills at a distance of up to 4 kilometres, and track their movement at frequent intervals. The oil spill detection system has been under development since 2000, and builds on the company's successful Wavex Marine Radar technology, which has been installed on over 80 vessels.
According to NOFO's director of operations Jon Rødal, the member companies are pushing for this type of technology. "Our owners have shown great interest in the ability to operate in conditions of darkness or low visibility," says Rødal. The oil spill detection systems will be installed during 2006 on five of the 14 vessels NOFO uses in oil spill response. It is expected that NOFO will consider equipping all of its spill response vessels with similar equipment.