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Shell executives see industry benefitting from oil-spill cleanup contest

OIL&GAS JOURNAL

HOUSTON, Oct. 11
By Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

The X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit organization, along with philanthropist Wendy Schmidt, presented a $1 million first-place award to Elastec/American Marine Oct. 11 during a ceremony in New York.

Elastec/American Marine of Carmi, Ill., and Cocoa, Fla., achieved more than three times the industry’s previous best oil recovery rate tested in controlled conditions.

The second-place winner, NOFI from Tromso, Norway, won $300,000. Despite schedule delays caused by Hurricane Irene, NOFI reached more than two times the industry’s previous best oil recovery rate.

The two winners emerged from 10 finalists selected out of more than 350 entry submissions from around the world in the competition launched in July 2010 following the April 2010 blowout of BP PLC’s Macondo well (OGJ Online, Sept. 14, 2011).

The finalist teams demonstrated their cleanup systems during rigorous testing at Ohmsett oil spill response and research in Leonardo, NJ. Ohmsett is an oil spill response and research test center owned by the US government.

Technologies tested

Each finalist had a week to demonstrate their individual technology using Ohmsett, the largest outdoor saltwater wave and tow facility in North America, said Peter K. Velez, global emergency response manager for Shell International Exploration & Production.

Shell was the only industry participant and was a supporting partner to the competition. As supporting partner, Shell provided the funding to lease Ohmsett and provided the oil, Velez said.

On behalf of Shell, Velez also assisted with technical, operational, and scientific components of the competition. He noted the competition enabled the 10 finalists to test their emerging technologies on a scale that they would not have been able to do otherwise.

David Lawrence, executive vice-president of exploration for Shell Upstream Americas, told OGJ that all of the technologies tested from the 10 finalists could improve oil spill response efforts.

Contact Paula Dittrick at [email protected]

FULL ARTICLE

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