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Bornemann Pumps develops subsea skimmer

Working like a subsea vacuum cleaner, Bornemann’s new skimmer technology can be deployed over leaking oil and gas at depths of up to 10 000 ft.

“We consider this a considerable breakthrough in the effort to bring higher safety and environmental standards to offshore oil and gas exploration and production,” said Gero von der Wense, Bornemann CEO. “Our subsea skimmer can control a blow out even before a well is capped. It literally sucks up and processes the oil and associated gas.”

The Bornemann skimmer uses a collection cone atop a twin screw, multiphase booster pump and motor. Its pump and cone can be suspended from a surface vessel and kept in position by a preinstalled system sited at the leak. Bornemann is looking for partners to test and operate the system before it begins manufacturing.

Bornemann Pumps says the subsea skimmer could have minimised the impact of last year’s spill in the Gulf of Mexico, removing hydrocarbons from the water while the well was being capped.

“The oil industry is ready to get back to work in the Gulf,” said Von der Wense. “But the permitting process has been slow. This is the kind of technology that should give regulators and lawmakers the confidence that the industry can move quickly and responsibly.”