VOC target met

October 20, 1999, 10:00 CEST

Technology developed by Statoil for recovering volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on shuttle tankers has lived up to expectations during trials.

The VOC absorption project aims to recover 70 per cent of the fumes released to the atmosphere when crude oil cargoes are loaded offshore.

Anna Knutsen is the first shuttle tanker to try out this solution, one of two being studied through an 18-member oil company partnership headed by Statoil.

This version, which involves returning the recovered VOCs to the cargo, has proved successful during a lengthy test period.

"We've met our specified recovery target," says Øyvind Lund. He heads the overall VOC project, which won the Statoil chief executive's prize for health, the environment and safety in 1998.

Mr Lund adds that Anna Knutsen, owned by Norway's Knutsen shipping company, has tested the recovery plant with crude from both Statfjord and Gullfaks in the North Sea.

The aim of his project is to help meet the international commitment accepted by the Norwegian government to reduce the country's VOC emissions by 30 per cent.

Offshore loading of crude accounts for more than half the VOCs released in Norway.

The other sub-project, VOC Fuel, involves using the recovered VOCs to run a shuttle tanker's engines. A pilot plant for this solution has been installed on Navion Viking, but testing is still under way.