20 Jun 2013 17:16 -Whilst the occurrence of major oil spills may be becoming more infrequent due to the combination of drilling technology and more safety and environmentally conscious operations, in reality significant environmental disasters will never be completely eradicated with wide-ranging causes including factors such as harsh weather conditions, mechanical failures, human error, criminal negligence, wars, terrorism etc.
The environmental, political and financial impacts of such events are hugely damaging as can be the ensuing publicity. After each disaster Exploration and Production companies review and enhance their preparedness and response plans to mitigate these issues.
All the while the global demand for oil continues in a seemingly unabated manner.
There is therefore, a rapidly growing shift to deepwater or extreme environment drilling across the globe and even the extraction of bitumen from oil sands all of which bring with it challenges not only in exploration and production technology but also in the technology for effective environmental containment, response and indeed storage in the case of recovered pollutants.
As was only too evident in the Deepwater Horizon incident where there was an insufficient offshore high volume oil recovery technology and capability.
Lessons further highlighted the need for efficient and effective recovery of volume pollutant with minimal water content in order to optimise the use of potentially limited recovered oil storage on vessels
It is essential that oil spill response equipment innovates and adapts accordingly and, as an example, to meet this demand Vikoma has developed an innovative High Capacity Skimming system specifically designed for offshore use. The system, known as the OPRS 300 (Oil Pollution Recovery System) utilises a unique oil collection principle based upon patented oleophilic ‘tufted discs’ which has been proven to collect up to 300 m3 per hour of oil and can work across oils with viscosities ranging from 1 to 1 million cSt and with minimal free water pick up, thus maximising the potential of recovered oil storage.
In essence, it is crucial for manufacturers to gain a clearer and more detailed comprehension of the challenges that Exploration and Production companies are faced with. Whether it is more efficient recovery methods, products able to operate in extremes of high and low ambient temperatures, oil spill solutions for vessels of opportunity or improving oil encounter rates in arctic environments it is essential that the development of oil spill technology keeps pace with the challenges that the more extreme E+P environments present.
– See more at: http://www.oceanologyinternational.com/en/Oceanspacenews/Oceanspace-Articles-Search/19062013/High-Volume-recovery-of-oil-spills-offshore/#sthash.ZMrc6SCq.dpuf