In 2008, at the Uvek oil depot (owned by OJSC Saratovnefteprodukt ) a unique ecological project was realized - a system of remote-controlled rising containment booms was implemented to prevent contaminating the Volgograd reservoir of the Volga River with accidental oil spills when loading tankers. TNK-BP invested about 6 mln rubles in this project.
The new protective system is a 200m containment boom that consists of separate pneumatic sections (10 m each) including two bank sections (12 m each) equipped with a specially designed spray arrester that ensures tightness of the boom between the water and the bank. When not in use, the boom is located in the riverbed across from the mouth of Uvek Bay and is kept still by ten mooring anchors, each with a weight of 150 kg. The booms’ outer materials are resistant to effects from oil, gasoline, acids, alkalis and ultraviolet rays. Their service life is at least ten years. The sections are fastened with quick-release locks that allow replacing faulty sections in no longer than 30 minutes. The project to arrange a rising boom system in the berth water area of Uvek Oil Depot (owned by OJSC Saratovnefteprodukt) fully fits TNK-BP strategy for improving industrial and environmental safety because its innovative approach has ensured the permanent protection of the Volga riverbed against penetration of petroleum products from the oil depot berth water area.
Quick prevention of a potential emergency oil spill into Europe’s biggest river minimizes the risk of environmental damage. Subsidiary specialists should note that this was a pilot project, which may be successfully implemented in other subsidiaries (with due consideration of the local conditions) where oil-loading takes place or simply where oil is produced in the vicinity of water petroleum products are loaded into tankers or oil is produced in the vicinity of water areas or even on the sea shelf.