HELSINKI, March 7 (Xinhua) -- An international exercise of Arctic oil spill combating took place on Wednesday in the Gulf of Bothnia, the northernmost bay of the Baltic Sea.
In the staged scenario, tanker Finter had run aground on the Kutumatala area off the town of Oulu, northern Finland. The tanker had been towed to the port of Oulu, but 2,000 to 3,000 tons of oil had leaked from the ship.
Inspector of the Finnish Environment Center Jouko Pirttijarvi told newspaper Kaleva that the fictitious amount of leaked oil was large. Pirttijarvi said the operation went "moderately".
In the winter condition, a real oil gathering operation would take days and the actual impact would be clear only after the ice cover of the sea melted in April or May.
Taking part in the oil spill combat were the Finnish navy multipurpose vessel Louhi and the coast guard surveillance ship Turva. Swedish coast guard vessel KBV 181 also joined.
The operation at sea took place parallel with a table top excercise by the Arctic Council group of Emergency Prevension, Preparedness and Response (EPPR). The meeting attracted experts from several countries and was chaired by Jens Peter Holst-Andersen, chairperson of the working group EPPR.
The exercises were arranged under the 2013 MOSPA agreement created under the auspices of the Arctic Council. The abbreviation stands for Agreement on Co-operation on Marine Oil Pollution preparedness and Response in the Arctic.
The EPPR meeting in Oulu continues on Thursday. It is one of the events associated with the two year chairmanship of Finland in the Arctic Council.