WWW.SHIPSANDOIL.COM
home   Picture of the Day     ship information   articles and features     news and views   PPUBLICATIONSA  webcam 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Locations of visitors to this page

SUMMARIES OF MAJOR  ACCIDENT REPORTS
(In event order)

THE KULLUK INCIDENT
December 2012
THE COSTA CONCORDIA
January 2012
THE DEEPWATER HORIZON
April 2010
THE BOURBON DOLPHIN
April 2007
THE STEVNS POWER
October 2003
THE OCEAN RANGER
February 1982
THE OCEAN EXPRESS
April 1976

PICTURE OF THE DAY
PIC OF THE DAY ARCHIVES
2007 - 77 Photographs
2008 - 101 Photographs
2009 - 124 Photographs
2010 - 118 Photographs
2011 - 100 Photographs
2012 - 97 Photographs

 

 

         

Go to 'Publications' to buy any of these books.

DON'T FORGET YOU CAN PURCHASE "THE HISTORY OF THE SUPPLY SHIP", "SUPPLY SHIP OPERATIONS" and "RIGMOVES" HERE FOR 52.50 TOGETHER

TANK CLEANING MACHINES, OIL RIGS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

It is amazing to those of us who have experience of the use of tank cleaning machines, firstly in oil tankers and latterly in the tanks of support vessels, that there are not more used on oil rigs.

Drilling fluids are difficult liquids to deal with and almost all of them contain solids which will settle out if the liquid is left unstirred for any length of time. Traditionally, in order to prevent the settlement of the solids to take place in the mud pits they have been provided with agitators which are small propellers and mud guns which are small nozzles which jet the mud in the bottom of the pits.

Mariners who visit oil rigs are usually amazed that these floating objects are provided with mud pits at all. Virtually non of the pit systems are totally enclosed. The best are decked in but still have holes through which pipes may pass and manhole coamings with no hatches. The worst are decked out only with gratings. They are therefore not tanks in any sense of the word except in the way that an ordinary domestic bath is a tank. In addition the agitators and the mud guns are not designed in any scientific way and as a result quite a lot of solids settle out in the bottom of the pits.

In the past this was not much of a problem. When the tanks were empty some-one would open what is known as a "Dump valve" or to continue with the bath tub analogy – pull out the plug, and then some minions would climb into the tank and wash it out with water. The result would then drain out through the dump valve into the sea.

Traditionally the only place which held mud was the mud pit area and the total quantity held was about 2000 barrels in oilfield figures or about 300 tonnes.

Now with the great increase in the expected water depths at which mobile rigs will operate, and the extra depth in the substrata to which they are expected to drill it, has become impractical to hold all the mud in the pits and so older rigs are modified so that some of the mud can be held in tanks. New rigs are provided with purpose built tanks. Of course those in the oil industry, remaining oblivious to the technology available in the marine industry, have also fitted these new tanks with agitators and mud guns and the lack of effectiveness is only apparent when the rigs return to port for maintenance and the tanks are found to be half full of solids. These solids can cost a five figure sum to remove.

In addition to these unwanted costs to the rig owners, their clients are now becoming more interested in the environmental effects of the drilling process. Today drill cuttings are being transported back to the shore for processing solely because they are contaminated with drilling fluid. However the residues within the mud pits and the mud tanks remain a problem.

Even knowing the extent of the problem does not seem to provide the industry experts with a solution. The manifestation of their difficulty is the depth of solids in the bottom of the tank and so the approach up to today has been to attempt to find a means of cleaning up this residue without creating an unacceptable level of contaminated water. This either has to be transported ashore or disposed of in some other way such as by passing it though an oily water separator and then sending the collected solids ashore.

We in Marex have been rather coy over the years and have not generally revealed the principles behind the tank cleaning process to any but those who have been trusting enough to purchase machines. One exception was our wholehearted collaboration with a Norwegian shipbuilder who then passed the principles on to a competitor.

So, in the interests of environmental protection here is the first rule of tank cleaning:

PREVENT THE ACCUMULATION OF SOLIDS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

TO RETURN TO FEATURES INDEX CLICK HERE

FEATURES

THE DEEPWATER HORIZON
Deepwater Horizon -The President's Report
Deepwater Horizon - The Progess of the Event

OTHER ACCIDENTS
The KULLUK Grounding
The Costa Concordia Report
The Costa Concordia Grounding
The Elgin Gas Leak
The Loss of the Normand Rough
The Bourbon Dolphin Accident
The Loss of the Stevns Power
Another Marine Disaster
Something About the P36
The Cormorant Alpha Accident
The Ocean Ranger Disaster
The Loss of the Ocean Express

OPERATIONS
The Life of the Oil Mariner
Offshore Technology and the Kursk
The Sovereign Explorer and the Black Marlin

SAFETY
Safety Case and SEMS
Practical Safety Case Development
Preventing Fires and Explosions Offshore
The ALARP Demonstration
PFEER, DCR and Verification
PFEER and the Dacon Scoop
Human Error and Heavy Weather Damage
Lifeboats & Offshore Installations
More about PFEER
The Offshore Safety Regime - Fit for the Next Decade
The Safety Case and its Future
Jigsaw
Collision Risk Management
Shuttle Tanker Collisions
A Good Prospect of Recovery

TECHNICAL
The History of the UT 704
The Peterhead Connection
Goodbye Kiss
Uses for New Ships
Supporting Deepwater Drilling
Jack-up Moving - An Overview
Seismic Surveying
Breaking the Ice
Tank Cleaning and the Environment
More about Mud Tank Cleaning
Datatrac
Tank Cleaning in 2004
Glossary of Terms

CREATIVE WRITING
An Unusual Investigation
Gaia and Oil Pollution
The True Price of Oil
Icebergs and Anchor-Handlers
Atlantic SOS
The Greatest Influence
How It Used to Be
Homemade Pizza
Goodbye Far Turbot
The Ship Manager
Running Aground
A Cook's Tale
Navigating the Channel
The Captain's Letter

GENERAL INTEREST
The Sealaunch Project
Ghost Ships of Hartlepool
Beam Him Up Scotty
Q790
The Bilbao OSV Conference