Cleaning up old oil the Ardent way

'Tidewater Enabler' acted as main vessel for the oil recovery operation (Eddy KennedyCBC) 'Tidewater Enabler' acted as main vessel for the oil recovery operation (Eddy KennedyCBC)
Industry Database

Ardent Global has completed a complex pollutant removal operation from a cargo vessel that sank in Canadian waters over 30 years ago.

In 1985 the cargo vessel Manolis L laden with 3,000t of newsprint sank in 70m of water in Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland. In 2013 pollution in the vicinity was traced to the wreck by Canadian authorities and initially sealing devices installed on the wreck but as the threat of pollution remained the decision was taken to recover remaining pollutants from the vessel and leave it in a tight condition.

Heavy fuel oil, diesel and lubricants had to be removed and Ardent, appointed for the task chose the now established hot-tap method of pollutant removal using its dedicated oil removal system. Access to the vessel’s tanks was made by Ardent’s PEER hot-tap system which included a bespoke pumping/heat exchange skid installed on the wreck and secured by electro-magnets or on the seabed as close as possible to the PEER hot taps, allowing for minimal head pressure. The requirement included heating and pumping the bulk fuel and other tanks and then flushing them in a cycle.

An umbilical carried steam from a diving support vessel to the pump/heat exchange skid while the PEER installation, hot tapping, circulating, pumping and recovery was powered by a work-class ROV. The hose connections to offload points are designed for ROV operations as well as being “diver-friendly”. The pump/heat exchange skid is also equipped with pressure and temperature sensors and the system also includes a number of safety measures designed to reduce the risk of accidental oil spill. Throughout the pollutant removal operation, the work was monitored by the Canadian Coastguard, other authorities and regional stakeholders.

Ardent was formed in 2015 through the merger of Svitzer Salvage and Titan Salvage and offers services in addition to the traditional reactive salvage provision. Like a number of similar large companies, while emergency response and wreck removal is the core business, Ardent offers services working with shipowners, insurers and oil companies aimed at working out a plan of action in case an incident occurs where time is critical. In short an example of the modern approach to what in the past has been something of a Cinderella industry.

By Peter Barker

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