Recovery is the next step after containment in an oil spill cleanup operation. It is often the major step in removing oil from the environment. As discussed in the previous chapter, an important objective of containment is to concentrate oil into thick layers to facilitate recovery. In fact, the containment and recovery phases of an oil spill cleanup operation are often carried out at the same time. As soon as booms are deployed at the site of a spill, equipment and personnel are mobilized to take advantage of the increased oil thickness, favorable weather, and less weathered oil. After oil spreads or becomes highly weathered, recovery becomes less viable and is sometimes impossible.