COMPUTATIONAL PREDICTION OF PETROLEUM SPILL VELOCITY DISTRIBUTION ON CALM SEA SURFACE
Publication Date : 01/03/2018
The movement of spilled oil on water or sea surface depend mostly on the effects of wind and the surface currents close to the site of the spillage and of less importance is the internal spread of the slick itself and when the tidal waves are absent. When spillage occur at shoreline areas, the slick movement predictions could be used to determine the probable location of potential shoreline contamination and thereafter direct the prevention of its spread to sensitive spots or area. The parameters of importance in predicting oil-spill movement on water surface include surface current, speed and direction, wind speed and direction, oil spreading characteristics. The spreading behavior depends mostly on the physical properties of the spilled oil i.e., evaporation rate, specific gravity or density, boiling range, viscosity, pour point, emulsification ability, dissolution/water solubility. The forces that contribute to oil spill movement on calm sea (water surface) are gravity force, viscous force, surface tension and inertia force and by making a force balance around a spilled oil molecule, an empirical model is obtained for predicting spill movement and to determine the critical diameter of spilled oil molecule. This helps in the assessment of spill-volume required for determining clean-up equipment and man power requirements for the entire operation. Some of the techniques used in preventing oil-spills include: Proper automation of oil/gas well; Running of pressure element on a wire line; Permanent installation of pressure elements; The use of high resolution aerial photographs; Monitoring oil facilities regularly; The use of oil drainage collection platform. The simulation model was developed from first principles and used to obtain the velocity distribution and validated with MATLAB software implemented on a digital micro-computing device HP model X590 Series.
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