September 22, 2011

A team of LSU researchers, led by Mayank Tyagi, assistant professor in the LSU Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering (PETE) and the Center for Computation & Technology (CCT), has been endorsed by Shell for their three year project titled "Offshore Oil Spill Scenarios Development." 

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster made it incumbent on the offshore oil and gas community to evaluate risks in all phases of offshore development and prepare reliable, fast response mechanisms to minimize the environmental, economic, and human health and safety damage caused by such spill events.

The proposed project will present an analysis of probable and potential events that could lead to accidental release of hydrocarbons into deepwater environments.

"Our goal is to approximately quantify the risks and probabilities associated with a variety of potential leak source scenarios using the available data, identify areas where additional data are needed, and combine with a critical flow path analysis to determine different criteria for evaluating priority orders for intervention techniques," Tyagi said.

A set of community actions will also be developed that leverage and incorporate the principles of business preparedness, mitigation, and continuity to decrease the economic impact of a spill event.

Other team members include: Richard Hughes, Professional-in-Residence, John Rogers Smith, associate professor,  Steve Sears, professor, and Darryl Bourgoyne director, Research & Technology Transfer Laboratory, all from LSU PETE. A complementary team led by Col. Joseph Booth, executive director of LSU's Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI).

SDMI will assist with both the social sciences (community impact) as well as the business perspective (economic impact of both the disaster response and recovery aspects) of disasters and prepare a study of the impact of each of the proposed scenarios. The report will examine possible timelines, tools, and resources that can be deployed to more effectively manage the situation and minimize the health, economic, and social consequences of the various scenarios.

For more information on the College of Engineering, visit For additional updates on this or other research being done at the LSU Center for Computation & Technology, visit


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