American Energy Investment Group’s oil-spill-retainer system, the Protection Ring Offshore Environment (PROE), is a self-propelled, submersible system that uses a retractable oil-retainer curtain and is assigned to the offshore drilling rig at all times. The ring-like device has a curtain suspended vertically from the ring bottom that retains the oil spill. When not in use, PROE can be submerged below marine surface traffic. The retracted curtain during submergence substantially reduces current drag and compressed-natural-gas-fuel usage. PROE may also be divided into several parts in case the spill accumulates in several areas. Several million barrels of oil spill can be captured with PROE. Much larger than a conventional skimmer, PROE uses a similar concept but can perform a number of critical operations that skimmers cannot. It is designed for remote, high-seas work and large spills. In the event of a blowout or other accident, PROE is surfaced, the two ends are locked together to encircle the rig, and the retainer curtain is deployed. Setup operations are estimated to require less than 1 hour. The azimuth thrusters provide the force necessary to move PROE into the correct position and maintain that location with the aid of global-positioning technology.
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