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Oil Spill Response Equipment Testing, Training and Research

Email Address
PO Box 473,
Atlantic Highlands,
NJ 07716,
United States of America
Fax Number

Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility, is the only facility where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, training and research can be conducted in a marine environment with real oil under controlled environmental conditions, including waves, temperature and oil types.

Oil spill response equipment and technology

Ohmsett’s mission is to increase oil spill response capability through independent and objective performance testing of equipment, providing realistic training to response personnel, and improving technologies through research and development. Public and private sector entities use Ohmsett as a research center to test oil spill containment / clean-up equipment and techniques, test new designs in response equipment, and conduct training with actual oil spill response technologies.

The primary feature of Ohmsett is a large, above ground, concrete wave test tank measuring 667ft long, 65ft wide and 11ft deep. The tank is filled to a depth of 8ft with 2.6 million gallons of crystal clear salt water. The facility is located on Naval Weapons Station Earle in Leonardo, New Jersey, one hour south of New York City, and is maintained and operated by the Department of Interior Minerals Management Service (MMS) through a contract with MAR, Rockville, Maryland.

Oil spill response equipment testing and product research

The Ohmsett facility represents a necessary intermediate step between small-scale laboratory testing and open water testing of equipment. Ohmsett is used for examining the fate and behavior of crude oil and oil product research, and testing and evaluating oil spill skimmers and fire-resistant containment booms.

Ohmsett has an above-ground concrete test tank that is 667ft long, 65ft wide and 11ft deep and filled with 2.6 million gallons of crystal clear salt water.
Testing and research opportunities are virtually endless at Ohmsett; recent research projects include herding agents used to thicken oil slicks in broken ice.
Ohmsett’s capabilities and marine environment play an essential role in developing new technology and creating effective oil spill response evaluations; we provide independent and objective testing with measurable and repeatable test parameters.
During hands-on exercises, students increase their proficiency using booms and skimmers while practicing removing spilled oil in realistic spill conditions in the Ohmsett tank.
Students operating an oleophilic drum skimmer in a portable oil storage tank during hands-on training.

These services are offered through the use of an air-injected propane burner system that realistically simulates in-situ burning at sea, remote sensing equipment and systems to detect oil, sorbents and sorbent booms, and cold water testing and training (with or without ice) with the ability to simulate realistic broken ice conditions.

Realistic dispersant effectiveness testing

The Ohmsett facility has become a world leader in realistic dispersant effectiveness testing through the design and development of a calibrated, referenced and realistic test protocol and subsequent testing under cold and temperate conditions using fresh and weathered crude and fuel oils.

The National Research Council strongly supports the use of wave tank testing in its recent review of chemical dispersants. Ohmsett is the world’s largest wave-tank complex presently conducting such research and is the logical venue for bridging the gap between laboratory and field testing.

Hands-on oil spill response training

Ohmsett is the premier hands-on training site for state and federal government agencies, private industry and foreign countries. Ohmsett has been selected by the US Coast Guard (USCG) as its designated training facility for personnel newly assigned to oil spill response duties and for personnel attached to the National Strike Force Coordination Center. Other government agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Navy use the facility to train their emergency response personnel.

Many domestic and international oil companies and private spill response organizations send their personnel to Ohmsett training classes to practice with the same equipment they have in their inventory. This allows students the opportunity of containing and collecting different types of oils during changing sea conditions from calm to open ocean.

Oil spill response and strategies training courses

Ohmsett’s oil spill response and strategies training covers the National Incident Management System (NIMS) IS-700 series, incident command systems (ICS) IS-100 series sanctioned by FEMA, geographic information systems (GIS) applications in spill response, and an eight-hour HAZWOPER refresher.

Training advantages include increased proficiency with hands-on training in the tank where students practice recovering real oil, using full-scale equipment under realistic oil spill conditions with waves and currents, and performance analysis of collected and measured recovered oil. Training sessions can be configured to meet specific needs.

White Papers

Press Releases

  • Ohmsett to Attend RETECH 2011

    OHMSETT, the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility will be an exhibitor at RETECH 2011 Energy Technology Conference & Exhibition September 20-22, 2011 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. In its third year, RETECH is t

  • Ohmsett Releases Free White Paper

    Ohmsett, the leading oil spill response research and renewable energy test facility, has released a free white paper on the Offshore-Technology website. Ohmsett is the only facility in the world where full-scale oil spill response testing, training and research can be conducted with oil

  • Ohmsett to Exhibit at the Clean Gulf Conference in Tampa

    Ohmsett, the national oil spill response research and renewable energy test facility, will be exhibiting at the 20th Annual Clean Gulf 2010 conference and exhibition, from 19-20 October 2010 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. More than 65 speakers and 25 training sessions, panel d

  • The Wendy Schmidt Oil-Cleanup X Challenge

    The X-PRIZE Foundation has announced the $1.4m Wendy Schmidt Oil-Cleanup X Challenge. It is designed to attract teams from around the world to develop innovative, rapidly deployable, and highly efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface. The Wendy Schmidt Oil-Clea

  • Ohmsett Upgrades Generator and Beach Systems to Create Better Waves

    The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has funded upgrades to the Ohmsett wave generator to improve the quality of waves with the aim of simulating ocean waves more closely. While the old wave forms were adequate for testing oil spill response equipment, they were not close enough to o

PO Box 473
Atlantic Highlands
NJ 07716
United States of America

Email address
Fax Number