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Removing oil from sunken ships

Thousands of decaying shipwrecks worldwide are leaking oil. Miko Marine helps to mitigate the threat to the marine environment with the Moskito, a remote-controlled underwater oil removal solution.

A 2005 study estimated that there are more than 8 500 shipwrecks in the world’s oceans, containing up to 22 billion litres of oil. Many of these vessels were sunk during World War II and have been corroding for over 75 years. It is only a matter of time until their tanks are breached and their oil released into the ocean.

When leaks are detected or suspected, efforts may be made to recover the oil before it can spread. However, the cost of removing oil from a shipwreck may be prohibitive, and the process can take weeks or months. It is often challenging for divers to reach ships at depths below 66 metres, without using cost intensive methods.

Underwater oil removal from shipwrecks

The Miko Moskito is a remotely operated machine that can be submerged to depths down to 3 000 metres to remove oil before it leaks into the water.

The Moskito is lowered to the wreck site with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and secured onto the vessel with powerful electromagnets. The drill unit drills a hole in the tank, creates a seals and inserts a valve and hose connection. An electric pumping system is lowered to the wreck and pumps the oil into a recovery tank on a surface vessel.

The entire process is operated and monitored from a laptop.

Concrete benefits

The Moskito is cost-effective, rapidly deployable and can be airfreighted on short notice. All parts are manufactured in Norway.

The Moskito is also capable of penetrating the containment tanks of offshore drilling units, and is suitable for removing hazardous liquids.

Market potential

Over 8 500 wrecks have been identified as high risk for pollution hazards. A lower-cost alternative to diving operations has the potential to facilitate thousands of recovery operations.

The Moskito was first deployed in 2014, and was recently used to remove 400 metric tons of oil from the Thorco Cloud in the Singapore Strait.

Established in 1997, Miko Marine provides safety, salvage and recovery systems for marine vessels. These include underwater magnets, sea chest covers, emergency hull repair kits and magnetic patches to repair hull leaks.

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Company

Miko Marine AS

Vollsveien 4, NO-1366 Lysaker, Norway

+47 469 05 000
mikomarine.com

At a glance

  • Patented underwater system for removing oil from shipwrecks

  • Functions at depths down to 3 000 m

  • Easy to deploy and cost-effective

Status

Available

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals