|Projects||Offshore oil spil monitoring, modelling, and countermeasures in harsh environments|
Description: An oil spill is a release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters. Oil spills include releases of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, spills of refined petroleum products (such as gasoline, diesel) and their by-products, heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, and the spill of any oily white substance refuse or waste oil as well. World-wide from 1978 to 1995, there were more than 4100 major oil spills of 10,000 gallons or more. One of the recent examples is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (the BP oil spill or the Gulf of Mexico oil spill) which was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which lasted for three months in 2010. Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) produces about 270,000 barrels of crude oil, from three active offshore oil fields which are Hibernia, Terra Nova, and White Rose, representing 10 percent of Canada¡¯s total crude oil production. Oil spills in NL offshore happen more often than environmental assessments predicted.
Offshore oil spill management
|Produced water treatment||
Considering the significant impact being caused by offshore oil spill, it becomes urgent to provide strategies of prevention and emergency response. Diagnosis provides prediction for the risk levels of the marine environment regarding the leaking of oil, and corresponding prevention strategies. Emergency management provides an effective assistance for decision makers to find the best managing approach in the least time. A few models have been developed for oil spill response planning based on decision support system (DSS). However, these models usually deal with the response operations and the diagnosis and alert process separately. Our research aims to develop an integrated diagnosis, alert and emergency response system for supporting prevention and clean-up of offshore oil spill in NL based on geomatic analysis, hydro-dynamic simulation, risk assessment, and optimization. The major research areas include: 1) to develop a new type of biosurfactant technology with less toxic, more efficiency, higher biodegradability, and resistant to environmental changes for Atlantic Canada; 2) to integrate the bioremediation and the developed biosurfactant, leading to a biosurfactant-enhanced bioremediation technology with characteristics of lower surface tension, easier to be degradated, higher biodegradability after functioning as surfactants, and easily adapt to harsh environmental conditions; 3) to develop a framework of offshore management system by dynamically integrating of diagnosis, alert, and emergency response; 4) to develop a technology screening approach to determine the best technologies especially for the harsh environment; and 5) a simulation based optimization model to allocate the budget, resource, manpower, etc.
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