Title: Modelling and predicting the rate of hydrocarbon vaporisation from oil spills with continuous oil flow
Author: M.R. Riazi
Address: Chemical Engineering Department, Kuwait University, Kuwait
Abstract: During the recent accident at Macondo Well in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) in April 2010, oil spewed on a continuous basis until the well was closed on July 15, 2010. Estimates put the amount of oil released between 4 and 5 million barrels causing the worst oil spill accident in the US history. A large portion of this oil (40°API) was vaporised causing environmental and safety problems in the air especially in the vicinity of water surface. The purpose of this work was to extend our previously developed oil spill model which was based on a fixed amount of oil poured into a sea to the case in which oil is flowing from a damaged well at the sea ground with continuous flow of oil. In the present model temperature and wind speed were considered variable on daily basis and the rates of vaporisation and sedimentation were calculated by the model. Results of calculations were compared favourably with estimates by some US related government organisations.
Keywords: oil spills; vaporisation rate prediction; offshore production; Gulf of Mexico accident; modelling; hydrocarbon vaporisation; continuous oil flow; air pollution; damaged oil wells; temperature; wind speed; sedimentation; environmental pollution.
Int. J. of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, 2016 Vol.11, No.1, pp.93 - 110
Submission date: 28 Mar 2015
Date of acceptance: 08 May 2015
Available online: 22 Dec 2015