AN OIL SPILL IN ICY WATERS

Oil Spill Response

Lamor has developed oil spill recovery solutions that can handle demanding Arctic weather.

There is never a good time for an oil spill, but a February night in Arctic conditions is one of the worst. This is what happened in 2011 when a 165-meter container ship ran aground between Norway and Sweden.

 

The leaking vessel was quickly ringed in booms after the accident, but much heavy fuel oil had already escaped and was threatening Sweden’s Kosterhavet national park and Norway’s Ytre Hvaler park. To make matters worse, constantly shifting winds and currents sent oil in unexpected directions while sea ice made collection a challenge.

Due to the spill’s location, both Norwegian and Swedish authorities responded. On the first day the Swedish Coast Guard deployed two oil recovery vessels equipped with Lamor’s in-built systems. These two vessels had been in service for many years and had experienced crews. By the second day the Swedish Coast Guard had added a new vessel to the operation, the KBV 001, which was also equipped with Lamor’s in-built oil recovery system.

The Lamor in-built oil recovery system LORS is a vessel-mounted advancing skimming system. As the vessel advances in an oil slick, booms on the sides trap oil which is efficiently collected with conveyor chain brushes. The entire vessel becomes an oil slick processing system.

 

As the clean-up operation progressed temperatures dropped and ice began to form. Recovery could continue because of Lamor’s heated brush cleaner, oil collection sump and cargo tanks.

 

The Swedish KBV 001 also worked in conjunction with two Norwegian Coast Guard vessels. The Norwegian vessels towed a U-shaped boom to concentrate the oil to the KBV 001 vessel at the bottom of the U sweep, retrieving the collected oil.

 

Lamor LORS Oil Recovery System

 

 

In seven days the clean-up operation was complete. In total, 110 cubic metres of spilled heavy fuel oil were collected, over half from the open sea. The ice and subzero temperatures were dealt with by Lamor’s robust equipment and heated elements, while the brush conveyor belts safely collected the thickened and heavy oil. The free water content of the collected oil was less than 5 per cent. The crews were happy that their decks remained clean during the whole operation, giving them a safe and pleasant work environment.

 

Lamor’s customer, the Swedish Coast Guard, was able to quickly, safely and efficiently recover the oil in demanding conditions. The fragile marine ecosystem of two national parks was protected from what could have been an ecological, economic and reputational disaster.

 

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CURRENT USE OF LAMOR'S OIL RESPONSE SYSTEMS

Several vessels with the same type of LORS system are in operation on the other side of the world, off the coast of China. They were successfully put to the test after a spill at an offshore rig and again after a tanker accident. The Yellow Sea might not have ice, but it can have extremely heavy seas. The LORS has been developed to be sturdy and robust enough to handle Arctic ice or Pacific waves, and everything in between.

Rune_Hogstrom_circle

Head of Spill Response

Rune Högström

“In cold weather conditions the first thing you need is equipment capable of handling ice. If you can’t work in ice, you can’t collect the spilled oil. Lamor’s OSR solutions were created to handle the coagulated oil, ice and freezing temperatures of Arctic weather.”

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Lamor's OSR solutions on the KBV 001 Poseidon

2 x 8-brush chain systems

In-built Lamor Oil Recovery Systems on each side

8 to 12 meters

Automatic sweep boom spreading arms with telescope

2 x 115 cubic meters / hour

GTA oil transfer pumps on each side

Heated oil recovery process

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