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Chemical dispersants for combatting oil spills increasingly are being recognized as a most valuable addition to the available means for damage prevention and cleanup. A study of oil spill cleanup costs enables one to apply a most useful perspective to the issue of costs. Based on public information sources where costs were reported for cleanup of oil that impacted a shoreline, mechanical methods ranged in cost from a minimum of $65 per barrel of oil to a maximum of $5000 per barrel. In contrast, costs for intercepting the oil at sea by spraying dispersant from four-engine fixed wing aircraft ranged between a minimum of $15 per barrel of oil treated up to a maximum of $60 per barrel of oil treated. The study spill sizes were 10 000 to 100 000 barrels of oil.
dispersants, petroleum, crude oil, oil spills, environmental protection
Senior coordinator, Texaco Inc., Beacon, NY