N e w M A R C O Oil Recovery System Used In Gulf
A new type of offshore oil-spill skimmer built by MARCO was assigned to recover oil when a 7 2 , 0 0 0 - d w t L i b e r i a n tanker started spilling oil on November 1, 1979, following a collision at sea five miles south of Galveston Bay, MARCO reported its Class XI oil recovery system was shipped to the spill site with encouragement from the U.S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage and the U.S.
Coast Guard. It was put into service on the Bering Seal, a 200-foot rig-supply boat chartered for the cleanup project. The Class XI was utilized for 49 days, recovering oil and sludge. When recovery operations were halted in mid- January, MARCO skimmers had recovered more than 340,000 gallons of oil.
The new MARCO system readily converts any available vessel with adequate tank capacity into an oil-spill recovery vessel. It consists of an unmanned, high-capacity skimmer attached to containment booms in a funnel-like configuration. The booms are deployed behind a 50-foot outrigger spar and support mast secured aboard the available vessel. The oil diversion booms "sweep" a 50-foot swath, channeling pollutants to the skimmer module, where a MARCO "Filterbelt" system recovers oil and debris from the water surface. Oil and debris are gravity-fed through a macerator, then pumped to the vessel's storage tanks through an integral, hydraulically driven offload pump and four-inch flexible hose. The 19-foot skimming module incorporates i n f l a t a b l e pontoons which provide a high degree of buoyancy and tendering, and also permit compaction for storage and transportation in a standard 20- foot container van.
Actual use, as with the tanker spill and last summer's defense of the Texas coast from Mexican oil, demonstrated a high degree of effectiveness with the MARCO Filterbelt system.
In addition to oil-spill recovery equipment, MARCO Seattle (Wash.) is also a leading manufacturer of large commercial fishing vessels, hydraulic pump drive equipment, and oilfield separation products.