Perspectives on Research, Technology, Policy, and Human Resources for Improved Management of Ultra-Deep Oil and Gas Resources and Responses to Oil Spills

  • Steven A. MurawskiEmail author


This chapter considers a series of research, technology, policy, and human resource-relevant recommendations aimed at identifying ultra-deep wellsite locations that may be problematic for risk of an oil spill, as well as enhancing prevention, preparedness, response, and subsequent injury assessment associated with ultra-deep oil spills. While various groups have offered research and process improvement recommendations, numbering in the high hundreds, this chapter focuses on 20 key research gaps and 4 policy changes that would improve outcomes for ultra-deep oil spill prevention and response. Recommended policy changes include (1) inclusion of site-specific risk assessments as an element of lease sale identification and approval, (2) collection of environmental baselines (both broadscale and installation-specific) and ongoing monitoring of oil contaminants, (3) improved transparency and data sharing for oil facility management and accidental releases, and (4) more formal international engagement in siting, oil spill preparedness, response, and impact assessment.


Science priorities oil spills Ultra-deep oil spills Oil spill response Deep-sea oil policy Law of the Sea Oil spill baselines 



The priority recommendations contained herein were culled from the literally hundreds similar recommendations offered by the Federal agencies, industry groups, NGOs, and academic researchers and in various after-action reports stemming from oil spills. In particular, these perspectives benefitted from discussions with oil spill experts including David Westerholm and Lisa DiPinto at NOAA and Robyn Conmy at EPA. Likewise, discussions with many colleagues in the industry were helpful in winnowing the list to include the most feasible options. Last, my colleagues at C-IMAGE were instrumental in articulating many of the research priorities. That being said, the responsibility for including specific recommendations as part of this chapter lies only with me.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South Florida, College of Marine ScienceSt. PetersburgUSA

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