Bornemann Pumps, a leading manufacturer of oil and gas pumps, said Wednesday it has developed a subsea skimmer that can clean up deepwater oil leaks before they reach the surface.
Working like a subsea vacuum cleaner, Bornemann’s technology can be deployed over leaking oil and gas at depths of up to 10,000 feet, the company said. The Obernkirchen, Germany-based company said a subsea skimmer could have minimized the impact of last year’s spill in the Gulf of Mexico, removing hydrocarbons from the water while experts worked to cap the well.
“We consider this a considerable breakthrough in the effort to bring higher safety and environmental standards to offshore oil and gas exploration and production,” said Gero von der Wense, Bornemann’s chief executive officer. “Our subsea skimmer can control a blow out even before a well is capped. It literally sucks up and processes the oil and associated gas.”
Bornemann’s concept for a subsea skimmer rests heavily on the company’s expertise and experience in manufacturing multiphase pumps for boosting mixtures of oil, gas and water. The company has been a leading source of multiphase pumps for a quarter century, with some 500 systems installed.
The skimmer utilizes a collection cone atop a twin screw, multiphase booster pump and motor. Von der Wense said the twin screw pumps can handle hydrates, caused when hydrocarbons mix with cold seawater. It was these hydrates – an ice-like mass – that created a particular challenge for BP as the company tried to bring the Macondo well under control.
While traditional oil and gas production involves separating oil and gas mixtures at the source, Bornemann’s multiphase pumps allow for oil and gas to be moved together in one pipeline. The result is more efficient, environmentally friendly and safer than traditional methods.
“The oil industry is ready to get back to work in the Gulf,” said Von der Wense. “But the permitting process has been slow. This is the kind of technology that should give regulators and lawmakers the confidence that the industry can move quickly and responsibly.”
Its pump and cone can be suspended from a surface vessel and kept in position by a preinstalled system sited at the leak, he said. Remotely operated vehicles will be needed to help install and position the subsea skimmer and guide the process, and Bornemann is looking for partners to test and operate the system before it begins manufacturing.
Von der Wense also said the company is looking to add a subsea sales engineer in the U.S. to further tap its subsea capabilities.
About Bornemann Pumps:
Bornemann Pumps is a technological leader in boosting the production of oil and gas mixtures onshore, offshore and in the subsea. Bornemann’s method is efficient, environmentally friendly and safer than other technologies on the market.
Source:Businesswire , May 5, 2011; Image: Bornemann Pumps