Friday, 11 May 2012

Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Pulsation dampeners are used to stabilize the flow of gas or oil. They also stabilize the pressure in the circuit with dosing pumps. Pulsation dampener is gas vessel. Generally the gas in the vessel is Nitrogen. The function of the pulsation dampener is to separate gas from the circuit liquid. Thus, it avoids loss of gas. The vessel separates both the fluids and is made of either of the 2 materials: rubber and thermoplastic material. When rubber is used it is referred to as bag type. The type of material to be used is decided on various factors; the pressure, the corrosive effect due to the liquid in the circuit, and the temperature.

When these instruments are not in place there is a possibility of a blowout or spillover. One such spillover was the Gulf of Mexico or Deep water Horizon Oil Spill, a spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which flowed intensely in 2010 for three months. The spill was a result of the flow of oil from the sea floor oil gusher on 20th April, 2010. It was a result of the explosion of Deep water Horizon submersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU). This was owned and operated by one of the world's largest offshore drilling contractors.

The explosion injured 16 workers and killed 11 of them. Around 99 people survived but with serious injuries. The explosion caused a massive spillover in the Gulf of Mexico. This disaster had a severe effect on the environment. It is also considered the second largest environmental disaster in US, after the Dust Bowl.

Parts such as blowout preventer, gate valve and pulsation dampener need to be examined and should function well to prevent such blowouts.


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