Repsol Forms Technical Committee for Prestige Tanker Spill

Last February 14th the Spanish Government entrusted Repsol YPF with the task of solving the problem of the fuel contained in the Prestige oil tanker. Repsol immediately YPF formed a working team composed of more than 15 experts having also the collaboration of all the technology units of the Company and of its Technology Center in Móstoles (Madrid).

Meanwhile, Repsol YPF set up a Technical Committee to evaluate the project, with the cooperation of the following companies with experience in deep waters: BP, Eni, Petrobras, Statoil and TotalFinaElf.

This Committee, who had previously reviewed the problem, gathered a group of 40 worldwide experts in deep waters who met in Avila from March 10 to March 14. After a more detailed analysis of the situation the Committee announced a series of recommendations, put forward in an action plan, with the timetable and estimated budget for the operations that will take place this summer.

Basically, the plan calls for the immediate technological development of robots capable of working at 4.000 meters water depth and of sealing the leaks that could still remain active. There will an attempt with an initial pilot test through gravity extraction of the fuel by using shuttles bags and also a compilation of all the necessary data to carry out the definitive engineering solutions of extraction, pumping and confining of the wreck. The environmental and safety issue will have a strong focus in the planning and execution of this project.

With this proposal all attempts are made to solve the situation originated by the sinking of the Prestige, in a shortest possible term, by using the latest and best technology available to operate at 4,000 meters of water depth.