Researchers combined detailed observations, laboratory experiments, and existing numerical models to develop the Texas A&M Oil Spill (Outflow) Calculator (TAMOC) and improve predictions of subsea oil and gas plume dynamics.
The severity of an oil spill’s impact depends on many factors, including the amount and source of oil, the oil’s physical properties, how and where the oil spill material moves, and actions taken by responders. For a deepwater blowout, particles dispersed by multiphase plumes of gas and oil may follow a path different than the plume centerline, which can complicate efforts to simulate rising plumes and predict how much and where oil spill material travels.
Study author Scott Socolofsky explained, “In the oceans, the water column is both density stratified and flowing. These conditions are difficult to study simultaneously in the laboratory. We developed a model that is similar in structure to existing models, but that includes dissolution, and rigorously validated the model to data from the literature and our own studies, including laboratory and field-scale measurements.”
The researchers created a modeling framework that includes modules for the dispersed-phase equations (the discrete particle model), particle tracking (the Lagrangian particle model), a multiphase integral plume based on a double-plume model (the stratified plume model), and a Lagrangian framework for a crossflow dominated plume (the bent plume model).
The publicly available model, the TAMOC model, includes oil dissolution, a key process during the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The improved prediction models using TAMOC may play a critical role in assessing the pros and cons of response tactics in future spills.
“The main advances of our model are to include a rigorous oil chemistry model, which we published previously, and to describe a method to simulate the effects of ocean currents on subsea oil well blowouts,” Socolofsky said. “Although other models also simulate currents, their methods have not been well described. Because our model is publicly available, we carefully describe all methods and provide the source code.”
The researchers published their findings in Environmental Fluid Mechanics.
Read the full story here.
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
3 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Being Human - reserve your place at this one-day course
3 - 4 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For a better understanding of geomechanical factors, attend this course
1 Nov 2019
- Bali, Indonesia
Don't miss out!
9 - 11 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
The programme combines expert input, case studies, and immersive scenarios from the E&P and other industries to embed your learning and enable you to progress to the next level of your career.
10 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Safety Leadership focuses on the ‘Human Factors’ (HF) which complement technical training to optimize reliability, safety, compliance, efficiency and risks within a team-based environment.
This course will help you develop a better understanding of factors that could impact your daily economic decisions as well as establish a new set of applicable tools to use in your professional career.
Through this workshop, attendees will go through the different processes involved in strategic planning including the elements of organizational SWOT, business scenario and options development, elaboration of strategic options and communication to stakeholders.
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.