Title: An Innovative Oil Pollution Containment Method for Ship Wrecks Proposed for Offshore Well Blow-outs
Authors: ANDRITSOS FivosCOJINS Hans
Citation: Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (OMAE 2011) p. 73-81
Publisher: ASME
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC64166
ISBN: 978-0-7918-4434-2
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC64166
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In the aftermath of the PRESTIGE disaster, an innovative system for the prompt intervention on oil pollution sources (primarily ship wrecks) at great depths was conceived at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission. This system, with some re-engineering, could also serve for collecting oil and gas leaking after an offshore well blow-out and could constitute a reference method for prompt intervention on deep water oil pollution sources like ship wrecks and blown-out offshore wells. A large fabric dome, solidly anchored at the sea bed, covers entirely the pollution source and channels the leaking oil to a large open bell-shaped reservoir just under the sea surface so as not to be affected by the waves. Oil occupies the upper part of the bell and is periodically recuperated by a shuttle tanker while water escapes from the open bottom. The buoyancy of the reservoir keeps the whole system in tension. The concept was validated and optimized through detailed engineering, laboratory experiments and simulations performed by a consortium of leading European institutes and industries in the frame of a dedicated collaborative research project (DIFIS), resulting in a light, modular and easy to deploy design. Such a system, suitably dimensioned and re-engineered to take account also of the gas flow, could cover the wellhead area so as to collect all leaking oil and gas until the implementation of the relief drilling. The present paper outlines the DIFIS system and elaborates on its advantages and risks in containing blow-outs such as that of the Macondo well.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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