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Thread: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    In actuallity, the dispersants were found to be far less toxic than the oil.
    When I read that sentence ... I think: "So it causes cancer in 10 years instead of 7 years. hmph."
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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
    So you have no idea of the method of cleaning this ship uses, but let's do it anyway? Sounds like someone said recently...Ready..fire..aim.

    I've tried to find something that would explain the method this ship uses to separate the oil from the water and how effective it's methods are, but all I can find is article after article saying the same thing - Taiwanese ship on it's way to the Gulf.
    I did a little digging around yesterday on this, as well, since no one really seems to know. There is very little data describing exactly how this ship will remove the oil from the water; the few mentions I came across used the word "decanting."

    The skimming technique employed by the A Whale involves a series of vents situated on the vessel’s hull. These vents allow surface water to be taken into the interior of the ship as it cruises. As the oily mixture is taken into the ship, a decanting process begins which collects the oil content found in the water. The remaining seawater is then released back into the gulf and the cycle continues. --Oil Spill Costs Rise to $3 Billion as BP Tests World’s Largest Skimming Ship
    Pretty vague, isn't it?

    Evidently, the process A Whale will use involves letting a liquid (in this case, a mix of sea water, oil, and dispersants) settle so the heavier stuff falls to the bottom, then pouring the lighter stuff off and the sediment that's left is disposed of.

    Given that oil floats on water, I suppose the process should more correctly be labeled "reverse decantation," but whatever. It's still remarkably vague, and clearly this process will NOT solve the problem of the non-floating oil/gas/dispersant mix that is suspended in the water ("plumes").

    Scientist Awed by Size, Density of Undersea Oil Plume in Gulf

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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by Glinda View Post
    I did a little digging around yesterday on this, as well, since no one really seems to know. There is very little data describing exactly how this ship will remove the oil from the water; the few mentions I came across used the word "decanting."



    Pretty vague, isn't it?

    Evidently, the process A Whale will use involves letting a liquid (in this case, a mix of sea water, oil, and dispersants) settle so the heavier stuff falls to the bottom, then pouring the lighter stuff off and the sediment that's left is disposed of.

    Given that oil floats on water, I suppose the process should more correctly be labeled "reverse decantation," but whatever. It's still remarkably vague, and clearly this process will NOT solve the problem of the non-floating oil/gas/dispersant mix that is suspended in the water ("plumes").

    Scientist Awed by Size, Density of Undersea Oil Plume in Gulf
    Thanks for the info Glinda.

    Yeah I'm familiar with decanting (on a much smaller scale, of course) and that was pretty much what I expected they were doing. I figured if they had a more elaborate process it would have been highly publicized, especially from the owners.

    On the smaller scale the spill would be vacuumed into trucks and let mother nature (separation) take it's course. Then the decanted water (oily water) would be drawn off and further processed to remove the remaining contaminates, while the decanted oil would be refined into usable product.

    As I understand it, after undergoing the decanting process, this ship would then discharge the decanted (still contaminated) water back into the gulf. Further processing of the decanted water would be difficult and expensive from a ship, even one of this size. The decision then becomes - is putting contaminated water back into contaminated water causing more harm than good. The 'ol between a rock and hard place. I think this is what the Coast Guard and scientists are trying to determine before giving the OK on this vessel.

    Now while this may not be the most desirable option, it may very well be the only option. Someone asked me early on in the spill if booms would have stopped the oil, if they had been deployed earlier and/or in larger quantities. I said no, mainly because booms weren't designed for open sea containment and the enormity of this particular spill, but if that's all you have, by all means do what you have to do. All you have to do is look at the photos of contaminated booms lying on the beaches to see what I'm talking about. They help, but they don't work as well in reality as they do in theory. It looks as though we are in a similar situation in regards to this cleaning process.

    I think the authorities are right in inspecting the ship and determining if this process is acceptable, but I believe they will allow it. Not a whole lot of choices out there and though help has arrived, the calvary hasn't...
    Last edited by BWG; 07-05-10 at 06:41 PM.
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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by Glinda View Post
    Given that oil floats on water, I suppose the process should more correctly be labeled "reverse decantation," but whatever.
    Yes. No chemicals involved here, and a few of you folks in this thread should apply down at the EPA... lol.

    The ship has giant inlet "slits" just above the water line. These slits lead to a series of settlement tanks inside the ship. To skim the water, they fill up the ballast tanks, bringing the slits to just below the water line. Water pours in to the first tank. Oil rises to the top, so they pump the water or let it gravity feed from a outlet on the bottom of the first tank into another tank. The oil is skimmed off the top and stored, and after going through several tanks, the water is returned to the gulf.

    The problem here is not about returning water that is MORE toxic or harder to clean up... the problem is some moron down at EPA is going "by the book" and applying rules that should not apply (citing normal dumping regulations for clean water).

    SKIM THE OIL!!!

    Oh and PS... this "super skimmer" really isn't that much better than the koseq arm boats. It has a path width of 200 feet, and travels between 1 and 2 knots. This equates to not much more than a square mile of capability per day, and to put this in perspective, in order to fully contain and suck up all the oil out there, they would have needed 1000 of them in operation just 2 weeks after the spill (meaning they would have needed to be deployed immediately).

    Disclaimer: If you are offended by the above post, and you aren't a SJW or truther, grow a pair.

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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Forgot to mention... this EPA thing is not new to the super skimmer. The skimming operations have been hampered by this from the beginning. On a more comical note, EPA says that it's "probably fine" if the return water outlet is IN FRONT of the ship, and has been allowing that. Just no dumping to the sides or behind the ship. Again, buncha morons running the show on the government end of this entire ordeal.
    Disclaimer: If you are offended by the above post, and you aren't a SJW or truther, grow a pair.

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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by Glinda View Post
    Hm. As far as I can tell (and there's acres of evidence to prove it) we HAVE been using burning, skimming, and sand berms (among other things) on this spill.



    From where, exactly, do you get your oil spill news?
    But, obviously, not enough. The CG forced BP to halt initial burning operations on day 1 of the spill. The sand berms weren't authorized for weeks. It's been over two months and the government is just now allowing super tanker-skimmers into the GOM.

    Please, stop covering your boy and be honest for a change.
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    Attn1 Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The CG forced BP to halt initial burning operations on day 1 of the spill.
    I'd be interested to see your evidence/documentation of this, if you can find such a thing (but I bet you can't). I certainly never heard anything about BP starting oil burns while the rig was still in flames.

    Of course, simple common sense would dictate that this odd claim of yours is simply a lie. Given that on day one of the spill the oil rig was still in flames and near collapse, and given that on day one not enough oil had spilled to warrant even suggesting that the oil be set alight, and given that BP had a few other immediate emergencies (burning/collapsing oil rig, rescue operations for people in the water, 11 dead, PR scramble) to deal with, there's no way they could possibly have "initiated burning operations on day 1 of the spill."

    I call bull****.

    Furthermore, the Coast Guard decided to try burning the oil on April 27 (seven days after the rig exploded/sank and the spill began), and conducted their first test burn the following day.

    The Coast Guard began burning a portion of the spill Wednesday [April 28] in an attempt to stop it from reaching sensitive environmental areas and the Louisiana shoreline. The slick was about 16 miles from Venice, La.

    The test burn began about 5 p.m. CDT and Landry said it was successful. The "controlled burn" is designed to "minimize environmental risks by removing large quantities of oil" on the surface of the gulf, without affecting populated areas on shore, a Coast Guard statement said. --New Leak Feeds Growing Louisiana Oil Spill
    The Coast Guard late Wednesday afternoon started a test burn of an area about 30 miles east of the delta of the Mississippi River to see how the technique was working. --Crews Start Burning Gulf Oil Slick


    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The sand berms weren't authorized for weeks.
    Sixteen days, to be exact.

    May 11, 2010: Louisiana requests emergency permission from the federal government to dredge barriers and construct berms.

    May 27, 2010: Federal government grants Louisiana partial permission to dredge. --GOP.gov
    Jindal eventually got his crap together, and his dredging program began approximately June 14.

    June 16, 2010: LA Governor Bobby Jindal took a helicopter out to the Northern end of the Chandeluers Island chain to see the state-led dredging operations under way there along with Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis and St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro.

    Governor Jindal said, “The Great Lakes Cutterhead Dredge, called the California, arrived onsite this past weekend and began initiation procedures, safety protocols, and hookup of floating flexible discharge pipes between the dredge and the discharge pipe. Over ten support vessels, including barges, crew quarters and ferries have been mobilized to the site. The California is dredging and moving an average of 54,000 cubic yards of dirt a day. Thus far, 108,000 cubic yards of material have been placed as the beginning base for the barrier berm. We can already see the beginning of the above water segment of the berm beginning to form. Dredging has also begun on the west side of the Mississippi River - with the Stuyvesant dredging Cubit’s Gap in the mouth of the river and moving the material toward site W9, Pelican Island." --Timeline of Events in BP Oil Spill

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    It's been over two months and the government is just now allowing super tanker-skimmers into the GOM.
    A couple of questions/points:

    1. How many oil-skimming supertankers are there in the world, exactly?

    2. Of that number, precisely how many have been offered for our use?

    3. When and by whom were they offered?

    4. You say "the government is just now allowing super tanker-skimmers into the GOM." Since I don't think there has ever been an oil spill of this magnitude in the Gulf, the number of times we've needed a supertanker-skimmer there is zero, so I seriously doubt there is some sort of general government moratorium the prohibits supertanker-skimmers from entering that body of water.

    5. Can you give us the names of all the other supertanker-skimmers that have been prevented from entering (i.e. not "allowed") in the Gulf of Mexico in years past/pre-BPmageddon?

    6. Without consulting or notifying our government of his plans, and never waiting for a contract commitment from BP or contacting US regulation agencies for compliance, the owner of the Taiwanese supertanker had the ship reconfigured as a skimmer in Portugal during the first week of June, and just sent it here. The retrofitted ship didn't arrive in the Gulf until July 30.

    7. Nobody "refused to allow" the supertanker-skimmer to enter the Gulf. Nor did our government tell the owners "We don't want your help." In fact, our government went immediately ahead with testing the ship to see if it actually works, and if so, how well. This has yet to be fully determined.

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    be honest for a change.
    You first.
    Last edited by Glinda; 07-06-10 at 03:26 AM.

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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by Glinda View Post
    6. Without consulting or notifying our government of his plans, and never waiting for a contract commitment from BP or contacting US regulation agencies for compliance, the owner of the Taiwanese supertanker had the ship reconfigured as a skimmer in Portugal during the first week of June, and just sent it here. The retrofitted ship didn't arrive in the Gulf until July 30.

    7. Nobody "refused to allow" the supertanker-skimmer to enter the Gulf. Nor did our government tell the owners "We don't want your help." In fact, our government went immediately ahead with testing the ship to see if it actually works, and if so, how well. This has yet to be fully determined.
    Actually, according to local news reports in Chinese, the U.S. government WAS notified of the plans and they were rejected. He went ahead, did the refits anyway and basically show up to the party uninvited. Also, the testing was delayed. The ship had been there for several days before testing had begun...
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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    This article is a little vague, but it seems as though even the ship's owners aren't quite sure of the capability of the 'A Whale'.

    I'm not knocking the ship or it's owners or it's use and I know that this is a newly retrofitted vessel and hasn't been used before. As I look for more detailed information, I find that info sketchy and scarce, maybe because there's nothing else to report. The cleaning process that has been attributed to it is old school technology, if you can call it technology. It's simple gravity. I guess with all the media hype of it's arrival I was expecting a little more. It's just a larger version of what we already have.
    Bob Grantham, spokesman for Taiwanese shipping firm TMT, says the company's vessel, dubbed "A Whale," will need further testing off the coast of Louisiana.

    Grantham said in an e-mail Monday that conditions in the Gulf over the weekend were too choppy to get definitive answers on the vessel's capability.
    [...]
    Grantham says testing will resume as soon as the water is calmer.

    More testing needed for giant oil skimmer - Gulf Oil Spill - MiamiHerald.com
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    Re: Taiwanese oil 'super skimmer' arrives in Gulf of Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
    This article is a little vague, but it seems as though even the ship's owners aren't quite sure of the capability of the 'A Whale'.

    I'm not knocking the ship or it's owners or it's use and I know that this is a newly retrofitted vessel and hasn't been used before. As I look for more detailed information, I find that info sketchy and scarce, maybe because there's nothing else to report. The cleaning process that has been attributed to it is old school technology, if you can call it technology. It's simple gravity. I guess with all the media hype of it's arrival I was expecting a little more. It's just a larger version of what we already have.
    This is bureaucracy at it's best... What's harmful about skimming the oil from the water. It might not catch it all, but it's at least getting some of it. The only argument I can think of as a "worst case scenario" is if the skimming somehow causes the water to dissolve in the water and sea life would absorb more of the oil or the skimmer disrupts the oil and causes it to mix with the water and same thing happens. Well I don't know which is worst, letting the oil reach the gulf stream or the oil mixing with the top layers of the water.... 16 days to approve of the sand berms. The oil reached the marshes before the berms could be fully built. Now watch this, by the time we approve of the oil skimmer, the oil would have reached the gulf stream.... Then we are gonna blame someone again, most likely Bush....

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