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Norwegian partnership creates 'one-stop-shop' for oil spill response

Tie-up involves Framo, Maritime Partner, Norbit Aptomar and NorLense.

Image: Oil spill illustration. Image credit: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Updated on 07 Mar 2018 10:51 GMT

Norwegian firms Framo, Maritime Partner, Norbit Aptomar, and NorLense have joined forces to create the OSRV (Oil Spill Recovery Vessel) Group in a move designed to offer a complete oil spill response solution.

The OSRV Group offers a package solution that covers a range of services - from detection and containment to recovery of the spill. All are said to be conducted with "reliable equipment" to handle the challenges if an accident occurs.

"Our aim is to be a one-stop-shop where we pool our efforts and act as a total systems supplier of safe, highly functional, and well-tested technology. The emergency response equipment has undergone thorough testing and quality assurance drawing on 40 years of oil spill response experience," explained Jorgen Brandt Theodorsen, Area Manager, Oil & Gas Pumping Systems, at Framo.

The companies in the Norwegian cluster are all specialists in their particular fields. In an oil response situation, Aptomar's radar and infrared camera identifies and produces an overview of the oil slick, whereas Maritime Partner's powerful, high-speed vessels are used for pulling equipment such as booms in place. The oil is contained with booms from NorLense, and then recovered onto a vessel with the Framo TransRec Oil Skimmer System. This is equipment that is in use worldwide, and the technologies are tested annually as part of realistic drills.

The process in detail

When an oil spill occurs, Norbit Aptomar's radar performs the difficult initial task of detecting the spill on the surface of the sea. With this technology from the Trondheim-based company, live data from the infrared sensor technology establishes the location of the oil slick, its size, its relative thickness, and in what direction it is heading. This provides an overview of the operation and helps decide where to navigate the vessel tasked with the deployment of booms and is also used to confirm that the oil spill has been contained.

The offshore booms from NorLense in Lofoten are designed to handle demanding challenges at sea. In the space of 20 minutes, it is said to be possible for one person alone to deploy 400 metres of the oil spill containment booms.

Maritime Partner's high-speed vessels will endeavour to quickly pull the booms into the correct formation in an effort to achieve the best result possible. Furthermore, the vessels can be used by crew members for other tasks that may arise.

When the oil has been contained, everything is ready for the Framo TransRec system to start the pumps that have the capacity to remove up to 400,000 litres of oil per hour; this is equivalent to 16 large road tankers being emptied of their cargo in 60 minutes.

Race against the clock

OSRV Group points out that the oil recovery process is "a race against the clock".

"The sooner a spill is detected, the sooner it can be contained and managed. It will then be cheaper and safer to recover the spill as quickly as possible," said Framo's Jorgen Brandt Theodorsen.

To ensure that valuable time is not lost when the supply vessel used for oil recovery is full, a tanker can be called in and the oil transferred via Framo's TransRec system. This prevents the operation from being interrupted.

Leasing options

Customers also have the option to lease the equipment from OSVR Group.

"Leasing is beneficial as is does not impact on the customer's liquidity. Cash flow can often be a challenge, and leasing allows for vessels to be converted for new opportunities without the same level of funds available," said Roy Arne Nilsen at NorLense.

Improved utilisation of tonnage

OSRV Group points out that there are many offshore vessels still laid up and without assignments. The equipment supplied therefore provides operators with a turnkey solution where they have access to emergency preparedness expertise without having to acquire it themselves.

"With our package solution, supply vessels can easily be upgraded and used as part of new emergency response tenders. It is quick and easy for shipowners to convert existing vessels in order to offer new services to oil companies," Solberg remarked.

User-friendly equipment

OSRV Group notes that the handling of the equipment requires minimal manpower. This reduces the need for crew members, is cost-effective for the shipowner, and increases the safety level as there are fewer people involved. Thorough training of operators helps extend the lifespan of the equipment, the oil spill partnership points out.

One phone call away

By using OSRV Group, the vessel operator is just one phone call away from what is being marketed as a complete oil spill solution.

"The customer only has to deal with one of the partners to get access to a complete system that covers everything and is fully adapted in terms of functionality, volume and size," explained Roy Arne Nilsen from NorLense's international sales team.

Short lead time on delivery

OSRV Group operates with a delivery lead time of just eight weeks for the full package of Norwegian-manufactured equipment.

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