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Oil Absorbents

oil-absorbents (1)

Project Title: Poole Harbour

Products/Services: Absorbent oil booms and oil absorbent pom poms

Project Undertaken: March 2023

Industry Sector: Onshore Oil Field


What was the problem? 

At the end of March 2023, around 200 barrels of reservoir fluid escaped from a pipeline at an onshore oil field and processing facility located next to Poole Harbour, Dorset. The reservoir fluid comprised of 85% water and 15% oil.  

The largest natural harbour in Europe, 5,000 acres of Poole Harbour are designated as an area of special scientific interest (SSSI), and its saltmarshes and mudflats are home to seabirds including spoonbills, avocets and black-tailed godwits. 

The Poole Harbour Company reported approximately 30 “slightly oiled” birds but, fortunately, no birds appeared to have been seriously harmed.  

When the spill occurred, the company operating the oil field immediately put its oil spill plan into action. The pipeline was shut down and booms were deployed   to contain the spill  and mitigate the spread.  

Oil spill response teams were mobilised. 

Once the spill was contained, the response teams used pumps to suck up the pollutant and transfer it to nearby tanks. 

 How was the Darcy Group involved? 

Darcy maintain stock of essential oil spill absorbents and equipment across the country at spill responder hubs for just this type of emergency, as well as large backup stocks at our manufacturing facility in Birkenhead. High volumes of spill response products such as Cushions, Booms, Pads, RollsSweeps and a range of equipment including containment boomsskimmers and Mobile Oil water separators are available  from stock when it is needed most.

Darcy also maintains a 24/7 emergency response line because when spills happen, response times are critical to reduce the environmental impact of spills.

Spill responders attended the Poole Harbour oil spill and used their existing stock of absorbent booms. Due to the size of  the spill and sensitive nature of the location, responders at the site contacted Darcy to replenish stocks to ensure ongoing capability. Booms and Pom Poms were delivered promptly the very next day. 

In addition to supplying the spill response crews, we also supplied the site operators and replenished their emergency stock.

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Darcy Pom Poms




What impact did our products have? 

Our fast dispatch of supplies enabled the crews working on the spill response to continue with their task in the knowledge that they were receiving high quality, reliable equipment. Spill responders choose Darcy because they know our products work. We are the professionals’ choice. 


What was the final result? 

There were no reports of oil outside of Poole Harbour at all, and no oil has been reported outside of the containment area since a week after the spill occurred. The clean-up operation will continue in the contaminated area until it is fully dealt with. 

Ten days after the spill, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) declared that swimming, bathing and water sports could once again take place in Poole Harbour, with the exception of the immediate area around Ower Bay where the leak took place. However, advice remains in place not to consume any fish that are found dead, dying or visibly contaminated with oil, and the local shellfish industry was halted for almost a month, with economic consequences.  

It's expected that parts of the harbour will take several months, if not longer, to fully recover to their pre-spill state. The environmental impact of the spill is being investigated by the Poole Harbour Commissioners, Natural England and the EA.  

Darcy Spillcare products have been trusted by spill responders since the 1960s. Whenever you need us, we’re here to help 24/7.  The Professionals' Choice. 

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Darcy Products Limited trading as Darcy Spillcare Manufacture, a company registered in England number 0472058.

The registered office of the company is, Brook House, Larkfield Trading Estate, New Hythe Lane, Larkfield, Kent ME20 6GN.