Statoil to use M-I SWACO’s tank cleaning technology

Schlumberger’s M-I SWACO has signed a NOK 500 million ($55.8 million) contract with Statoil under which it will deliver its newly-developed technological solution for the cleaning of tanks on supply vessels.

The contract extends over four years with an option to renew for a further four years.

Although Statoil has not used this type of technology on supply vessels before, M-I SWACO has tested the technology on its own vessels. This is also the first time that the Schlumberger company M-I SWACO has commercialized the technology.

According to Statoil, the solution comprises an automatic system which means that personnel avoid having to enter the tanks in order to clean them. Statoil said that wash water and soap are also recycled so that it is only the actual waste washed out of the tank that has to be delivered for further processing.

Jone Stangeland, vice president of logistics and emergency preparedness at Statoil, said: “The solution increases the safety of our personnel as there is no need to enter the tanks and we reduce both time use and costs.”

The supply vessels transport chemicals in tanks below deck. When the tanks are emptied offshore they must be cleaned before being used for other assignments.

Statoil says that tank cleaning is often carried out with the vessels’ own tank cleaning plant, although manual tank cleaning has also been necessary on some occasions. Manual tank cleaning is carried out by emptying the tanks of residual volume before personnel enter them, erect scaffolding and rinse with water and chemical cleaning agents.

Statoil says that this type of cleaning normally generates a high volume of waste and a typical clean can involve 10–15 cubic metres per assignment. The new system will fit onto a lorry, and once the system has replaced manual cleaning, vessels will spend much less unproductive time while docked in connection with tank cleaning, the Norwegian company explained.

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