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CSA Directs Build of Mobile Laboratories for Oil Spill Response

The mobile container units will enable marine environmental sampling and monitoring equipment to be rapidly mobilized in response to an oil spill

Energy operators committed to deepwater drilling in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico now have access to a suite of marine environmental sampling and monitoring equipment to be used during response to an oil spill. On behalf of the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) and BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BP), CSA Ocean Sciences, Inc. (CSA) has developed mobile operational and laboratory containers that meet the standards of Det Norske Veritas, American Bureau of Shipping, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The containers are equipped with water monitoring equipment, instrumentation, and supplies to enable rapid mobilization to an incident site. Specialized oceanographic equipment for in situ monitoring of water column properties is installed in the mobile units, including fluorometers, dissolved oxygen sensors, and underwater video cameras. A combined winch, A-frame, and custom cable 3,000 m in length is part of the operational suite, serving as a mobile Launch and Recovery System (LARS) for deploying sampling equipment and monitoring instruments in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Instruments included in the mobile laboratory include LISST particle size analyzers, portable mass spectrometers, and air monitoring devices that enable scientists to conduct laboratory analyses at sea. Custom health and safety features are integrated in the containers to protect offshore personnel while working in the mobile units during an oil spill deployment. According to CSA project manager, Senior Scientist Dr. Jodi Harney, “Development of this oil spill water monitoring program demonstrates how the energy industry is taking action to minimize response time for marine environmental operations in the event of an oil spill.”

This program is part of CSA’s Marine Environmental Services for Spill Response, in which CSA assists clients in preparing for and responding to oil and gas releases and associated damage assessments. For more information on CSA’s capabilities and marine environmental services for spill response, please call 772-219-3000.

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