Gulp Oil Skimmers

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the necessity for a more efficient and effective means of collecting oil from the water’s surface was readily apparent. Out of this necessity, the Gulp series oil skimmers were created. With a total of 8 units deployed during the response, Gulp Oil Skimmers is credited with collecting a vast amount of the recovered oil.

The Gulps are barge-based platform mechanical skimmers. With three models in production, Gulp Oil skimmers are able to respond in all environments ranging from Open Ocean to shallow bays and inland lakes. One unique feature of the Gulp system is the availability to rapidly skim the surface at the rate of 5 knots while having the stability necessary for effective separation of the oil and water. In any response situation, speed and efficiency are the required objectives. The Gulp series skimmers excel at both.

The Fleet: The Big Gulp, The Little Gulp, & the Mini Gulp

The Big and Little Gulps are identical in design and operation, with size being the differential factor. Both of these models utilize tugboats for their propulsion. They are towed to the spill location where the tug is then positioned on the hip, or side, of the barge. The tug in this position allows the units unparalleled maneuverability while skimming. This maneuverability permits the Gulps to follow the natural progression of the oil on the surface instead of having to attempt and corral it with boom, as other skimmers must. In fact, there is no need for the use of boom with the Big and Little Gulps. Frankly, we operate to fast for them as boom can typically only withstand speeds of up to 1 knot when pulled across the surface of the water. With size being the differing factor, The Big Gulp is utilized in Open Ocean settings while the Little Gulp is suited for near shore and bay settings.

The Mini Gulp is the smallest model in production and designed to provide the rapid response needed in protecting the most ecologically sensitive environments. When deployment is necessary, the unit is towed to the general location of the spill via a pick up truck and launched as you would any vessel on a trailer. Then, with a top cruising speed of 38 knots, arrival at the spill site and skimming operations can begin immediately. These units are an integral component of any first response package.