Prototype testing for subsea crude oil storage unit in Arctic announced

Prototype testing for subsea crude oil storage unit in Arctic announcedIt has been announced that the prototype testing for the Subsea Storage Unit in the Arctic is now underway. The storage system is being developed by Kongsberg Oil and Gas Technologies in cooperation with Statoil and Lundin, with financial support from The Research Council of Norway.

The Subsea Factory is set to be a series of Subsea Storage Units with oval tops, and each is estimated to contain 25,000 cubic metres of oil and the diameter of each tank will be 40 meters, reports TUjobs.

The Subsea Storage Units will be emptied regularly via shuttle tankers during the ice-free season.

Trond Weberg, the director of Kongsberg Oil and Gas Technologies’ subsea division, recently said at the Norwegian Subsea Symposium in Tromso, “We see this as an important contribution to Statoil’s Subsea Factory plans. It is also suitable in areas with harsh weather conditions, such as the Arctic.”

Weberg followed by stating, “There will be no emissions of volatile organic compounds or VOCs, as is common in the use of storage vessels. It is easy to operate and there is a low risk of accidents.”

Tests of the units are currently underway to ensure their resistance to chemical erosion from the crude oil. If there is a tear in the inner liner, the oil will be collected in the interior chamber. At the top there are several security systems and chambers to collect the oil. The cover is designed for the removal and insertion of a new container. Before the oil is pumped into the plastic container, the tank room will be filled with water. The oil in the container will then displace the water.

Weberg says that plastic containers for storage of fuel have been in use for many years, both in civilian and military situations. The same type of container has been used to transport water. They will withstand a drop of 1,000 meters without breaking.

A pilot model of the SSU should be ready with the next year. In late 2017 or early 2018, the concept will be ready for full-scale realisation.

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