Miko Marine recently formalised the cooperation with the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) and Innovation Norway, to develop a new oil removal / hot tapping tool. The prototype was successfully demonstrated at the Norwegian Commercial Diver’s School (NYD), and this led to an R&D-contract and cooperation project between Miko Marine, NCA and Innovation Norway.
As a part of this new project Miko Marine will optimize the tool for ROV applications. The tool will be all electric, lightweight and environmentally friendly. The production will be completed within 2014, and the tool will then be field-proven on an actual wreck under supervision by Miko Marine and the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
Miko Marine believes that this new product will lower the cost for oil removal operations, thus lowering the bar for when to empty a potentially polluting wreck.
Extract from the “Wreck Oil Removal Program”-report published in 2009 (source: Maritime Law Association of the United States):
Currently, there are over 7,000 sunken vessels littering the coastal waters of the United States. While most of these vessels are relatively small and do not pose a substantial pollution threat to the environment, there are an estimated 400 oil-carrying tank ships and barges, and 1,300 non-tank vessels of at least 400 gross tons carrying oil as fuel in and near US waters. These sunken wrecks, many of which have been submerged for decades, may contain 180 million gallons of oil or more of petroleum products and other contaminants that will eventually become a sizable threat to our coastal regions. The amount of oil on these sunken wrecks is roughly the equivalent of 15 Exxon Valdez-sized spills. As the structural integrity of the sunken vessels weakens, the oil may be released in chronic or periodic discharges, or in a sudden massive spill.