Results from environmental monitoring have so far shown no effects from operational discharges into the water column and there has been no significant accidental discharge of oil or chemicals in the Barents Sea so far.
The greatest environmental risk from future oil production can be associated with potential activities which might influence near-shore areas, especially in ecologically valuable areas like the Lofoten-Islands, the Polar front, Pechora Sea with great amounts of sensitive species and areas.
It is expected that two new wells will be drilled in the Norwegian and Russian sectors of the Barents Sea in 2009. For transportation of gas condensate, there are plans to build underwater pipeline that will lead to significant disturbance of the bottom sediments and coastal line.
The environmental risk, or the risk that an oil spill will affect seabirds, the supra-littoral zone or other elements of the ecosystem, depends on a number of factors. The most important of these are the probability of an oil spill, the magnitude of a particular spill, its geographical position in relation to vulnerable areas and resources, when it occurs in relation to periods when vulnerability to oil spill is particular high, and the spill trajectory.