The goal of the ULSFO project, which is being implemented under the KOLARCTIC programme, is to create an international network for the joint exchange of knowledge on ultra low sulfur fuel oil (ULSFO). An international team of scientists is investigating the behavior of spilled ULSFO in subarctic and arctic winter marine conditions, identifying potential risks for oil spill response and testing the effectiveness of a chemical dispersant in enhancing the biodegradation of ULSFO.
NArFU in the project is represented by the researchers from the Higher School of Energy, Oil and Gas who are working on several issues. "First of all, we carry out a preliminary assessment of the fuel spills risks in the Barents and Pechora Seas, using a variety of criteria, from natural and climatic conditions in the Arctic seas to various transport aspects. The second part of the task is to collect and analyze data for future modeling of ultra low sulfur fuel oil spills. These types of the analysis have already shown their effectiveness in other KOLARCTIC projects, and our partners highly appreciated what had been done and our future contribution to the project, «shared Ramil Guliev, the project coordinator from NArFU.
Dissemination of the project results is also an important stage in the activities implemented by NArFU. All project outcomes will be included in the educational programme «Petroleum Engineering», which will allow students to plunge into the actual project activities in the educational process.
This international project is unique in both scientific and practical terms. Since January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization has introduced restrictions on the sulfur content in ship fuel in order to prevent air pollution. Oil companies both in Russia and abroad are increasing the production of ultra-low-sulfur products capable to meet new environmental requirements. However, such fuels tend to have a high pour point, which can create problems when removing ULSFO from the marine environment in winter conditions. Therefore, research on new types of petroleum fuels, carried out within the ULSFO project, is highly relevant for the Russian and international academic community, the petroleum and shipping industy.