Designed to recover oil from land or water, skimmers come in a variety of sizes and types and can be free

floating or mounted on a vessel.

Skimming oil
1 Head Separates oil from water

Skimmer components

2 Transfer system Built-in pump, vacuum, or other device

3 Containment unit Tank or container for recovered oil

Drum skimmer
• Covers large surface area

Brush and belt skimmer
• Mounted on a barge or on a specially constructed vessel

Drum picks up and rolls oil into container

Oil carried up belt to container

Rope mop skimmer

Disc skimmer

• Oil sticks to rotating discs

• Launched from a vessel or shore; very little water is collected

Oil scraped off inside skimmer head Rotating mop loop drags along surface; loop runs back through unit and squeeze rollers remove oil
© 2010 MCT Source: Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center Graphic: Melina Yingling

Weir skimmer
• Floats on surface where concentration of oil is highest Like a floating vacuum head; creates low spot on surface for oil to flow into