Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Satellite data used to warn oil industry of potentially dangerous eddy


Ocean FOCUS began issuing forecasts on 16 February 2006 – just in time to warn oil production operators of a new warm eddy that has formed in the oil and gas-producing region of the Gulf of Mexico.

These eddies, similar to underwater hurricanes, spin off the Loop Current – an intrusion of warm surface water that flows northward from the Caribbean Sea through the Yucatan Strait – from the Gulf Stream and can cause extensive and costly damage to underwater equipment due to the extensive deep water oil production activities in the region.

The Ocean FOCUS service is a unique service that provides ocean current forecasts to the offshore oil production industry to give prior warning of the arrival of eddies. The service is based on a combination of state-of-the-art ocean models and satellite measurements.

Oil companies require early warning of these eddies in order to minimise loss of production, optimise deep water drilling activities and prevent damage to critical equipment.

The Loop Current and eddies shedding from it pose two types of problems for underwater production systems: direct force and induced vibrations, which create more stress than direct force and results in higher levels of fatigue and structural failure.

The impact of these eddies can be very costly in terms of downtime in production and exploration and damage to sub sea components.

Information provided by Ocean FOCUS gives industrial operators an accurate and up-to-date analysis of the present situation to support production management decisions.

In addition, Ocean FOCUS forecasts will be used by oil and gas companies planning major operations such as installing new equipment – which are very sensitive to local conditions and may require prolonged ‘windows’ of low current speed to achieve successful completion.

The Loop Current is presently to the north of its average position, sparking concerns that more eddies could be generated over the next few weeks. The current eddy, dubbed ‘Walker’, was detected breaking away from the Loop Current in mid February.

Ocean FOCUS was developed by Ocean Numerics and is partially supported by the ESA’s Earth Observation Market Development (EOMD) programme. Ocean Numerics and the Ocean FOCUS operators will continue their monitoring to ensure early and reliable detection of further eddies.

Ocean Numerics is a joint venture between France’s Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), the UK’s Fugro GEOS and Norway’s Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre (NERSC).

Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>