Industry Briefs

SpillsTotalfina Elfand the French government plan to use a novel approach to pump out the 146,000 bbl of heavy fuel oil that remains in the sunken Erika tanker, which broke up Dec. 12 off the coast of France (see Watching Government, p. 34, and OGJ, Jan. 24, 2000, p. 28). The plan incorporates technology akin to Petroleos de Venezuela SA's proprietary Orimulsion process for converting extra-heavy crude to a liquid boiler fuel. The 400 million-franc plan involves mixing the fuel with an emulsifying agent while using hydrostatic pressure within the ship's hold to transfer the fuel to a submerged intermediate vessel. A double screw pump then will bring the fuel to the surface.Gas gat...

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