The Oil Drum takes a look at the “cap” or “dome” that BP will try to surgically place over the underwater oil gusher in hopes of halting the worsening environmental tragedy. Technically it’s a Subsea Oil Recovery System, and word is that BP is rushing one of these into the Gulf as we speak.
How it works
• The system is made up of a 125-ton, 14′ x 24′ x 40′ structure that will be set on top of the largest leak source. This leak is located at the end of the riser, about 600 feet from the wellhead.
• Equipment at the top of the system is connected to a 5,000 foot riser that will convey the hydrocarbons to the surface ship, the Deepwater Enterprise.
• Once in place, oil will flow up into the containment system’s dome to the surface ship.
• Once on the surface ship, the hydrocarbons will be processed and oil will be separated from water and gas. The oil will then be temporarily stored before being offloaded and shipped to a designated oil terminal onshore.
• The Deepwater Enterprise is capable of processing 15,000 barrels of oil per day and storing 139,000 barrels.
• A support barge will also be deployed with a capacity to store 137,000 barrels of oil.
• This system could collect as much as 85% of oil rising from the seafloor.
And here’s a diagram of how it looks in place:
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