HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil) is the highly viscous, residual product of crude oil refining, extremely toxic and slow to degrade. Except for the severe environmental damage, the consequences of an HFO spill in Arctic include major total payments for recovery, great difficulty in the oil spill response operations due to lack of infrastructure and weather conditions, as well as economic and social impacts.
- HFO spills in polar and sub-polar conditions present the most severe difficulties for oil spill responders.
- The behaviour and fate of HFO means spills are more difficult and costly in polar and sub-polar conditions than spills of other oil types.
- Immediate consideration of fuel oil spill prevention and mitigation strategies is required.
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