Research Categories / Behavior of Oil

OSRR-1017-Literature Synthesis of Oil Properties and Their Impact on Spill Response Options

The range of oil products transported through, explored for, and produced in U.S. waters has increased dramatically over the last two decades. With these increases, the potential for spills of new materials, in new locations, or in severe climates brings into question the efficacy of traditional cleanup and spill response options.

OSRR-512-Transfer of Decanting Technology Research to Oil Spill Response Organizations and Regulators

This project will distill research results collected during the past 6 years of decanting experiments (including the use of chemical demulsifiers to enhance water separation) into proposed guidelines for operational use and to transfer technology to responders and regulators. These proposed guidelines will include a review of regulatory issues and procedures for minimizing environmental impacts.

Tasks of this project are;

OSRR-527-The Effect of Warming Viscous Oils Prior to Discharge on Dispersant Performance

Experiments were conducted in 2002 and 2003 at Ohmsett The National Oil Spill Response Test Facility to assess the dispersibility of fresh and weathered Alaskan and Canadian crude oils in very cold water. Results from these experiments indicate that the crude oils tested were dispersible at near freezing water temperatures. However, there has been criticism of the findings related to the heating of the viscous oils prior to discharge onto the waters surface and subsequent dispersant application.

OSRR-569-Svalbard, Norway Experimental Oil Spill To Study Spill Detection and Oil Behavior in Ice

Proposal focuses on the design and implementation of a field spill in Svalbard, Norway in March 2006, where several remote sensing systems will be tested in both surface and airborne modes. Experiment will be conducted over solid land fast sea ice representative of the type of ice found in many near shore Arctic regions of the world including the Alaskan North Slope.

OSRR-377-Project Deep Spill

A joint industry project (JIP) was formed between the MMS and 23 different oil companies to conduct this research. The project consisted of an experimental release of oil and gas conducted in June 2000 off the coast of Norway. Mixtures of crude oil and natural gas, diesel oil and natural gas, as well as only natural gas were released at approximately 800 meters water depth. The goal was to simulate a blowout or pipeline rupture in deep water and obtain data to verify the predictions of a deep water blowout model being developed under a separate contract.

OSRR-390-A Method to Determine Worst Case Discharges from Facilities that Produce or Transport Oil in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)

This project produced a model to predict a discharge from a pipeline. It also included a pocket guide to quickly make an estimate of a worst case discharge from a pipeline. The model is known as the Minerals Management Service Pipeline Oil Spill Volume Estimation Model (POSVEM). POSVEM is a computer-based methodology to estimate discharges from seafloor pipelines. The system is composed of a Release Module and a Near Field Module, linked together with necessary databases through a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

OSRR-506-Analysis of IFO-180 and IFO-380 Oil Properties for Dispersant Window of Opportunity

This project will extend the work to complete property analyses on IFO-180 and IFO-380 fuel oils used in the June 2003 UK field trials and in the Ohmsett dispersant effectiveness experiments completed in the fall of 2003.

Tasks to be completed:

Conduct detailed oil property analyses on IFO-180 and IFO-380 fuel oils;
Write a technical report, scientific paper and powerpoint presentation that incorporate results from all analyses (SL Ross and COOGER laboratory maintained by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans) on the results of this research project.

OSRR-120-Physical Behavior of Oil in the Ocean

This is a Joint Industry Project (JIP) between MMS and Environment Canada to study oil behavior and oil properties, particularly those of heavy oils. The study includes: buoyancy behavior, solubility, evaporation, dispersion, photo-oxidation, and emulsification. Several information gaps were identified on the behavior of oils where more experimental work is needed:

the kinetics of oil emulsification; the rate of solubilization; the rate of dispersion.

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