Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - ballast

Oil Rig Ballast Control System Accidents

March 6, 2014

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Ballast control systems are a vital part of semi-submersible oil platforms. The ballast control system is made up of a network of pipes, valves, pumps, and tanks, which work as a liquid control system to keep the vessel at an even keel. Offshore drilling is an extremely risky undertaking, which is susceptible to accidents, which may cause human casualties and environmental disasters. One of the key systems necessary to keep oil rigs afloat, is the effective design of the user interface for the ballast control system, which significantly contributes to overall safety of a rig’s crew and the environment. The threat of disaster is the main reason to provide the operators with the most effective ballast control system possible. One such disaster occurred in 2001 aboard Petrobras’ P36 oil rig.

Preventing Ballast Water Invasive Species Propagation

July 13, 2013

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Ballast water is used to stabilize ships at sea, being pumped-in to weigh down a ship for safe navigational conditions when the ships hull is not filled with cargo for a voyage. Controlling the amount of ballast water embarked helps to reduce stress on the hull while providing transverse stability when underway. The correct use of ballast also makes ship propulsion more efficient and increases maneuverability. By correctly controlling the amount and location of ballast within the hull an officer can compensate for weight lost due to fuel and water consumption during a voyage, always maintaining optimum stability. Just by reading the paragraph above it becomes clear to any landlubber that ballast water is vital for safe ship operations.

Aubin Brings its Gel Based Products to Brazil

June 15, 2013

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Although the Scottish chemical technology company Aubin originally specialized as a cement and stimulation additive supplier, it has made strong inroads into the Oil and Gas industry in recent years, with the subsea sector being their main target. The company is based in Ellon, Aberdeenshire and has been in business since 1987. Some 6 years ago they came up with a novel product, which came to be known as “gel with a memory”. It is mainly used for pipe pigging purposes as it can be squashed but returns to its original shape. Named L-gel, the product is also used for risers, which are considered impossible to be pigged. It can go around tight bends and through blocked areas where a conventional pig would probably get stuck.