Progressive Technical Services Ltd

Land remediation & sludge processing case study


Courtesy of Progressive Technical Services Ltd

In late 2009 the company was approached by a London based consultancy on behalf of their clients with oil and gas interests in an Eastern European country. The brief was to supply a technology that could assist in the clean-up of historical oil spills around redundant oil wells in a working oilfield. Our initial meeting led us to believe that this was a viable contract and following several meetings we were asked if we could send a representative to the country to meet the client and propose a viable technology to assist in the clean-up operation. Following a week long site visit in early 2010 we confirmed our interest in the project and requested the RFP when it was ready. A few months later the company submitted its proposal and we were informed in August that we had been successful and were awarded an initial three month trial period with a proposed mobilization date was October. In November the equipment arrived in Albania and a six week mobilization period commenced. Prior to returning to the UK before Christmas the equipment was live and load tested and found to working within the design parameters. Returning after the New Year the project went live, with the equipment receiving its first load of crude oil. The crude oil was loaded onto lorries and dump trucks and delivered into a holding tank where it was deposited onto a heated screen to filter out bushes and rocks. The melted material was then diluted and mixed within a homogenising tank to a pumpable consistency. It was further heated to approximately seventy degrees and pumped over to a vibrating shaker to further filter out stones and small items of vegetation. From there it was pumped over to a two phase centrifuge to separate the liquids and solids. The centrate was collected in a centrate tank where it was sampled for oil quality and water and solids contents and pumped into six hundred tonne holding tanks where over a forty-eight out period the oil and water separated. Further sampling took place before the oil was removed and taken to a central treatment facility for blending. With positive results from the outset the company was awarded a further three month extension. The company used a two three man team on a four week rotation to maintain continuity with the local labour and the client. This continuity and the continuing good results and progress resulted in the client extending our presence in Albania for a further six months. After twelve months of hard work in the baking sun with temperatures hitting forty-five degrees centigrade and a prolonged wet winter resulting in the site flooding we had removed almost four thousand five hundred cubic metres of material from the oil field and processed five thousand two hundred cubic metres of material. Over sixteen thousand barrels of oil were produced during the period. Our teams worked a total of twenty thousand one hundred and sixty man hours without any lost time or reportable injuries.

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