None of this year’s wells will affect wildlife and bird life in the marginal ice zone. All wells will be drilled so far south of the existing ice that in the event of any spillage, no oil would never reach the marginal ice zone.
It is also important to realise that oil and ice are affected by the same forces – currents and wind. If an oil spill were to occur, any oil on the ocean and sea ice would move synchronously, and since they will be at minimum 50 kilometres apart, they would never meet. The distance between the ice and the oil would remain relatively constant, until the oil was collected by the oil spill protection equipment or naturally dispersed.
The ice edge is highly variable from day to day, from month to month, and from year to year. It is being monitored daily by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, and defined as an area with more than 10 percent concentration of ice on the sea surface. Norwegian authorities have established as a requirement that if the ice comes closer than 50 kilometres from the drilling site, all operations in oil-bearing layers must be suspended.