Research Categories / Behavior of Oil

OSRR-162-Development of a Portable Oil Analysis Kit for Responders

The Minerals Management Service joined in a cooperative effort with Environment Canada to develop a field kit to measure oil properties. Spill responders must understand the properties of the petroleum before determining safe and efficient countermeasures for spills. Many countermeasures are precluded when oil becomes highly viscous and dense through weathering. Development of the kit focused on five tests; density, viscosity, water content, flash point and dispersant effectiveness.

OSRR-287-Fate and Behavior of Deepwater Subsea Oil Well Blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico

To analyze the behavior of oil spilled during a deep water blowout. The study will focus on three questions: What properties and behavior are expected of the oil on the surface, such as slick thickness, area, and dispersibility?;
what cleanup measures, if any, are available and appropriate to deal with the spill?; and
are there any major differences in oil spill behavior and countermeasures between a blowout.

OSRR-298-Testing at Ohmsett to Determine Optimum Times to Decant to Temporary Storage Devices

The Objective of this study is to conduct full-scale tests of recovered oil/emulsion/water separation rates at OHMSETT in order to predict the optimum time for decanting separated water in temporary storage devices.

OSRR-311-Oil Spill Containment, Remote Sensing, and Tracking from Deep Water Blowouts Status of Existing and Emerging Technologies

This is an assessment of existing or developing technologies that could be used to sense, track, contain and recover oil released by deep water blowouts or pipeline ruptures. The assessment will include literature reviews, consultation with experts in well control and a review of U.S. and international patents for developing technologies in this field.

OSRR-324-Experimental and Analytical Study of Multi-phase Plumes in a Stratified Ocean with Application to Deep Ocean Spills

These are laboratory studies of the break up of oil, gas, and gas/oil mixtures discharging into a pressurized water environment. The interaction between gas bubbles and oil droplets under dynamic conditions simulating buoyant rise of this mixture were calculated. These experiments will be conducted in a high pressure test vessel located at the University of Hawaii. The experimental design simulated the release of hydrocarbon gases and fluids from a well blowout or pipeline rupture in deep water. The atmospheric pressure experiments were performed at MIT.

OSRR-347-Emulsions Formed at Sea and in Test Tanks

This project will evaluate the tendency of oils to emulsify at sea into unstable, meso-stable, or stable emulsions. Until now there were only laboratory scale tests of emulsification and some analysis of emulsions collected at sea during clean up operations. The proposed work will extend the laboratory work into the Ohmsett tank and evaluate the factors that affect emulsification, such as oil slick thickness and wave energy in a controlled, reproducible environment like Ohmsett.