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OR&R Lecture Series: Dr. Tim Nedwed of ExxonMobil’s Upstream Research Company

JUNE 1, 2020 — On the list of what you didn’t know that you didn’t know, remotely controlled, fire-breathing jet skis for oil spill response would be right up there near the top.  Well, they are under development and Dr. Tim Nedwed, lead for ExxonMobil’s Upstream Research Company discussed them on May 21 as part of OR&R’s weekly lecture series, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW.

Conceptual drawing of response method.
Image credit: ExxonMobil.

Yes, these devices are built to withstand deployment from an aircraft, use chemical surfactants to corral and thicken the oil, ignite the slick with a flame-thrower and monitor emissions. They even have a tethered quad-copter that can observe the activity from 400 feet in the air. These jet skis can respond faster, may be ultimately less expensive than conventional methods, and do not put humans in harm’s way. If you tell your teenager that ExxonMobil is also fitting the device to work with virtual reality glasses, they will want one for Christmas.

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Lecture series poster.
Image credit: NOAA.
Last updated Monday, June 8, 2020 8:08am PDT