Giant Oil Skimmer Unusable Due to Dispersants

Saturday, July 17, 2010
By Paul Martin

Giant Oil Skimmer Unusable Due to Dispersants

Paul Rioux
NOLA.com
Saturday, July 17, 2010

The massive “A Whale” oil skimmer has effectively been beached after it proved inefficient in sucking up oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill.

The oil is too dispersed to take advantage of the converted Taiwanese supertanker’s enormous capacity, said Bob Grantham, a spokesman for shipowner TMT.

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Share He said BP’s use of chemical dispersants prevented A Whale, billed as the world’s largest skimmer, from collecting a “significant amount” of oil during a week of testing that ended Friday.

“When dispersants are used in high volume virtually from the point that oil leaves the well, it presents real challenges for high-volume skimming,” Grantham said in a written statement that did not include oil-collection figures from the test.

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