The state-owned company in Chile reported on Friday last, May 13, 2016, that the oil tanker, IKARO, moored off the crude. Terminal at was loading decanted oil (slurry oil) for export when the weather conditions deteriorated. The operation was halted and the line disconnected. The tanker moved offshore. The following day divers checked the loading line as required by the operating procedures and found the line had separated from its usual location and an undetermined amount of oil had leaked on the seabed. The very next week, the Environment Minister, Paul Badenier, call the spill at Quintero: “an inexcusable fault" and said that this would greatly impact the already difficult relationship with the local community.

This is the second spill that occurs in the Bay of Quintero. In 2014, about 38,000 liters of oil leaked into the sea.

This is a reminder that although real time leak detection on offshore, flexible lines used for loading and offloading product from oil tankers is a challenge, companies must implement a robust and reliable solution. Reliable leak detection is difficult because it is very difficult to install pressure sensors or flow meters on the tanker side of the flexible hose. This means there can only be sensors on the shore side, making it difficult to differentiate pressure drops caused by a small leak from pressure changes caused by low-level pump fluctuations.

Following extensive research, Atmos is currently testing a single sensor method that overcomes this limitation, using pressure pulses to test the integrity of the line.

Categories: Industry update

By: Atmos International
Date: 12 April 2019