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UK-US firm unveils new oil spill technology

18th October 2012

Cambridge Consultants announces first stage of new oil spill detection technology based on natural fluorescence detection of oil in water

UK-US firm unveils new oil spills technology
Cambridge Consultants will draw on its fluorescence experience of developing detection solutions for several applications

Cambridge Consultants on Thursday announced the first stage of a new oil spill detection technology platform for the health, safety and environment value chain which “aims to provide a compact, robust system that can be permanently installed for example along subsea pipelines,” the firm said in a press release.

Cambridge Consultants will draw on its fluorescence experience of developing detection solutions for applications such as clinical diagnostics equipment, fertility monitors and pregnancy tests for the upcoming project. The firm hopes to transfer this experience over to the oil and gas sector and detect the natural fluorescence of small amounts of oil in or on water.

“The environmental impact of oil and gas leaks has never been more visible to the public – with the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico – yet the solutions currently available do not meet all the requirements in terms of performance and reliability,” said Frances Metcalfe, associate director, Oil and Gas, at Cambridge Consultants.

“Our work so far shows that any reliable oil spill detection system will need to use more than one sensing method, and the best combination will depend largely on where and how it is going to be used. An oil spill ‘alarm’ system of sensors distributed across the seabed – or a series of oil platforms – is going to need a different design solution from a system for scanning a harbour or stretch of coastline from a distance to track oil spills that might be heading for the shore,” Metcalfe added.

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