Subsurface oil releases - Verification of dispersant effectiveness under high pressure
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The main objective with this project was to study possible pressure dependency of droplet formation in case of a subsea blow out of oil and the effectiveness of subsea dispersant injection (SSDI). The droplet sizes documented by the SINTEF Silhouette Camera from comparable experiments (nozzle, oil type, flow rates, injection techniques and dispersant product) at ambient conditions (5 meters depth) and high pressure conditions (175 bar or 1750 meters depth) show no significant difference in droplet sizes as a function of pressure. This lack of a pressure effect was observed for both formation of large droplets from untreated oil and formation of smaller droplets by dispersant injection (1 and 2% dispersant dosage). This strongly indicates that SSDI effectiveness is not significantly influenced by hydrostatic pressure. These experiments were performed using stabilized dead oil without gas. Experiments with recombined oil & natura! gas ("live oil") were performed in a study later in 2015 (Brandvik et al., 2016b ).