Costa Norte Project: Enhancing Environmental Protection Against Oil Spills in the Northern Brazilian Coast Through the Combination of Data Collection, Numerical Forecasts and Impact Assessment

Pessoa, M. C. (Queiroz Galvao Exploracao e Producao S.A.) | Guedes, A. (Queiroz Galvao Exploracao e Producao S.A.) | Queiroz, D. S. (Page Interim do Brasil - Recrutamento Especializado Ltda.) | Pellegrini, J. D. (Prooceano Serviço Oceanografico e Ambiental Ltda.) | Fragoso, M. (Prooceano Serviço Oceanografico e Ambiental Ltda.) | Cabral, M. M. (Prooceano Serviço Oceanografico e Ambiental Ltda.) | Soares, M. L. (State University of Rio de Janeiro) | Sabino, C. M. (State University of Rio de Janeiro) | Chaves, F. O. (State University of Rio de Janeiro) | Assad, L. D. (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) | Vasconcelos, A. (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) | Bock, C. S. (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) | Toste, R. (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) | Faller, D. G. (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) | Rollnic, M. (Federal University of Pará)

OnePetro 

The oil and gas industry is continuously improving its standards and procedures in order to operate safely. Risk management and process safety approaches are used to minimize the likelihood of major accidents. However, offshore exploration and production is not, by definition, inherently safe, and therefore the industry also has to enhance its emergency response techniques. When working in remote areas this becomes extremely important.

Offshore oil spills are one of the major accidents that may bring harm not only to the company itself or to its employees, but to the local communities, to the coastal systems, to the marine life, to the food chain, among several others not mentioned in this abstract. An efficient oil spill response is therefore increasingly necessary, and understanding pollutant's transportation in the coastal zones can assist in this response and minimize the impacts of a spill.

The objective of this paper is to describe a research project currently taking place in the Brazilian Equatorial Margin with the collaboration of different institutions. The Costa Norte project considers the development of an integrated marine hydrodynamic and oil dispersion simulation model, in order to enhance the oil dispersion and impact forecast in the coastal areas of the Pará-Maranhão and Foz do Amazonas basins. The integration of these technologies will be made using a simulation environment based on a web portal, remotely accessible to the user. This remotely accessible environment will receive in situ collected environmental data and, together with ocean circulation model, will effectively represent thelocal meteoceanographic conditions. The project will also evaluate the vulnerability level of the coastal environments, notedly the mangroves, considering their environmental sensitivity, contamination susceptibility and resilience aspects in the equatorial margin.