With expanding oil exploration, production and refining, the need to clean large volumes of water in the event of an oil spill has become a critical issue. Aqua-Guard’s RBS TRITON™ oil skimming technology won the 2012 Innovation Award from the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. The technology was also a finalist in the Innovation category at the 2013 Offshore Support Journal Awards in London, UK.

With oil recovery efficiency of up to 98% oil and only 2% water, the RBS TRITONTM rotating brush skimming system with patented oil recovery and removal technology has been proven in thousands of applications of recovering light oils to extremely heavy unrefined oils. The firm’s oil skimming systems have been used in 104 countries around the world in situations requiring the removal of surface oil from ponds and API separators, as well as in oil spill response operations in locations onshore, near shore and offshore. They were used by Burrard Clean Operations (now WCMRC), to recover diluted bitumen (Dilbit) from Burrard Inlet, during a pipeline spill in 2007.
Each system consists of a floating oil skimmer head, powered hydraulically from an external diesel, electric or pneumatic power system. Different pumping configurations are available including heavy duty lobe pumping systems able to transfer large volumes of light to extremely heavy oil products.
At the Chevron refinery in Vancouver, the smaller RBS TRITON™ 35 and 60 model skimmers have proven to be very effective at recovering oil in industrial processes as they have been operating constantly for the past five years, with very little maintenance. Installed in the primary API separator basins, they remove most surface oil and re-distribute the oil back for reprocessing. This not only has financial benefits for the customer, but also has a positive impact on the environment by reducing the hydrocarbon content of effluent wastewater.
Medium sized RBS TRITON™ 150 systems are also being used extensively to recover surface oil from large oil ponds and in throughout the Middle East and Latin America. These oil skimming systems are able to recover large amounts of ultra heavy oil, which can be reclaimed by the oil company.
Even larger URO 300 and URO 600 systems are designed specifically for the offshore support vessel (OSV) market. These massive systems are mounted onboard the OSVs and are used to recover high volumes of oil in the event of a major offshore spill, such as the BP Horizon Macondo spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Aqua-Guard now has a fleet of these URO offshore systems on standby in Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Japan and Korea. These machines have the highest oil recovery capacity in existence and are able to recover up to 600 m3/hour, according to Aqua-Guard. At the Costa Concordia cruise ship grounding in Italy in 2012, Aqua-Guard’s RBS TRITON™ 300 skimmers were on standby and ready to intervene in the event of an oil spill.
More recently, RBS TRITON™ 150 systems were used extensively to recover 1,850 m3 of oil over a 10-day period (120m3/h oil) at a pipeline spill of heavy oil in Panama. The internal pumping systems mounted onboard the skimmer heads recovered the heavy oil from the surface of the water and transferred it 140 meters to oil storage tanks.

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