Tag Archives: Oil Pollution

After Gulf Of Mexico It is Dalian Now

Even a fortnight after a fire at an oil depot in Dalian, China is struggling to clean up the crude oil leaked into the sea.

Two weeks ago an explosions at an oil terminal near the northeastern city of Dalian set off a fire that raged for 15 hours and took 2,000 firefighters to extinguish.

BBC reports that , “an army of volunteers and fishermen has been mobilised to help clean up the pollution from the area around the port of Dalian, one of China’s most important strategic oil reserves.

But conditions are grim for those involved.

Photo: AP

The scene at a small harbour where they are collecting the oil is like something out of the 19th Century.”

According to Chinese officials, the oil slick is under control and has not reached international waters.

Dai Yulin, the deputy mayor of Dalian port in northeast China, said Monday that more than 8,000 fishing boats helped to keep the 435-square-kilometer slick from reaching the open sea.

DeepWater Horizon Oil Spill Where is BP Headed?

DeepWater Horizon as it stood on and before 20th April 2010-Pic from Transocean

This Was Deepwater Horizon before it went up in flames and hit the ocean floor. Pic Courtesy Transocean /AP.

Pic Courtesy Deepwater Horizon Response 

It is the end of May, 42nd day of Deep Horizon Oil Spill, the Oil is still leaking and tomorrow 1st of June officially the Hurricane season starts. WSI (Weather Services International of Andover, Massachusetts) predicts 2010 hurricane season could be stronger than the 2005 season (the strongest in recorded history, remember Katrina?). The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  NOAA released its 2010 hurricane season forecast on 27th May Thursday which also reiterated the prediction made by WSI – This is going to be an “Active to Extremely Active Hurricane Season”.

If the outlook holds they predict:

  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

A profile of the rig which caused the single largest Environmental disaster in US History –

 Manufactured by the Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2001, Deepwater Horizon a submersible oil rig under contract to BP exploration has been used in multiple drillings before including Atlantis, The Thunder Horse field and the Tiber before drilling in the current spot Mississippi Canyon which is known as the Macondo Prospect. It was close to completion when the explosion and the sinking happened. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig in September of 2009 drilled the deepest oil well in history at a vertical depth of 35,050 feet (10,683 m) and measured depth of 35,055 feet (10,685 m). Water depth is 5000 feet as we have been hearing so it is not the deepest oil well per se. Check out the list of deeper oil wells in the ocean (List Courtesy FT.com)

A look at the Other Major Oil Spills and How they compare (courtesy FT.com)

Comparing The Oil Spills world over by spillage.

After the explosion the rig sank to bottom of the sea and rests about 400 meters away from the pipe which keeps spewing oil. Right now after the failures of Top hat – the one ton metallic box now lying side by side with the sunken rig, Tubing – the tube attached to the riser which was siphoning oil managed 900,000 barrels, Top Kill  and other methods BP plans to put a lid on the pipe after cutting it right above the leak with a robotic arm. Look at the picture to see the details of the LMRP (Low Marine Riser Package) and how it is supposed to function. The drilling ship on top is supposed to siphon out the oil once the contraption is in place. Hopefully it helps to hold the oil until the 2 relief wells being drilled are a reality in about 3 months (one of which is right now on hold as they work on the LMRP)

BP's latest attempt May 31st 2010, LMRP

The issues with installing the LMRP are how much oil will spill when the pipe is cut? Right now it is a leak that has spewed out all this oil into the gulf.  Let’s hope for everyone’s sake it works, like all the other things BP tried this too is a trial for the first time at this depth. If this does not work there are some estimates that the leak could go on until August of 2010! Scary scenario having all that oil mixed with the storms which are expected…

There is also the issue that if a hurricane hits after the LMRP is in place, the tube siphoning oil will have to be removed as the ship retreats to the shore to sit out the storm, where-by the oil again will be flowing out… who knows what kind of an environmental effect it will have by then.

If left alone the Macondo well will take 7 years to empty itself out!!

Till date the spillage if filled in gallon milk jugs lined up side by side, there would be enough to reach from Chicago to New York – and back!

Latest update from

Reuters: Embattled BP readies to Plug Gushing Gulf Well

Some Useful urls/ telephone numbers for those impacted by the spill

Property damage claims: BP Claims  Claims Hot line – 1-800-440-0858

Volunteers – (If you are from out of state please do contact the organizations listed below before heading out for clear instructions and to be able to help.)

The rig on fire on 20th April 2010

Picture Courtesy the US Coastguard

Deep Horizon Oil Spill Getting Messier By The Day

 Picture source BP/AP/Columbus Dispatch

I was listening to Billy Joel singing Down Easter Alexa and it hit me the fishermen who live by the Ocean in the Gulf states pretty much have the lines written for them “Can’t make a living as a bayman anymore… There ain’t much future for a man who works the sea…” this is effecting a whole spectru… from environment to wildlife to people… there seems to be hardly anyone untouched by the oil spill in the gulf.

 It has been 5 weeks since the Rig submerged spewing out oil onto the Ocean floor and into the currents headed for the shore. BP is still to this minute trying to plug the leak! The tube which was “supposedly attached” did not work. Now they are trying to cover it off with Concrete and mud slush Top Kill (which has a 60% chance of succeeding!) On 26th May that is today Morning they did just that, they pumped the tube full of mud and concrete.  After a month of trying to cover it up by saying it was “just” 5000 barrels of oil being pumped into the Ocean (when conservative estimates suggests it is between 20,000 to 80,000 barrels a day!) and they would be able to control it and seemingly being inept to manage a catastrophe of this magnitude BP is still not sure when they can have it under control  and when.

The video on their website shows a plume of dark murky substance gushing into the Ocean, Bp officials say it will take 24 hours to know whether the cement, mud et al filling worked in plugging the flow (mainly because this is the first time it is being tried at a depth above 5000feet! Keep in mind in the midst of this Shell is planning to head out this summer to the Arctic Ocean to scout for oil with its 514 foot drilling ship Frontier Discoverer! Could one even imagine how bad a situation like this can be in the Arctic where the temperature and water is much more hostile and the environment equally fragile…

Under water Camera of Oil spill in The gulf

While all this is going on being far away from the Ocean front states, I wondered what was happening on the shore. Today mornings News Paper had a small 1″x1″ pic of Elmer’s Island beach with a “Beach Closed” sign. I wondered how the cleaning was going and searched for articles about the cleaning effort. I landed on MoJo (motherjones.com the site for fearless un-biased journalism). One of their Mac McClelland took a trip down to Louisiana to see for herself what was happening on the shores. She writes  :

Mon May. 24, 2010 12:14 AM PDT

Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge, even after all the warnings, looks worse than I imagined. Pools of oil black and deep stretch down the beach; when cleanup workers drag their rakes along an already-cleaned patch of sand, more auburn crude oozes up. Beneath the surface lie slimy washed-up globules that, one worker says, are “so big you could park a car on them.”

It sends a chill up ones spine, the thought of having oil permeate sand and water… how long will it really take? what will be the after effects? She also writes about the hoops BP made her jump through to get into the reserve. Everything  around there is closely monitored by BP and controlled by them supposedly “for safety precaution”. You can read her interesting report here

It was also today that a Government report came out which said MMS -Minerals Management Service – supposed to enforce safety and environmental rules on offshore rigs are winding and dining with the Oil Executives!

Wonder what tomorrow holds in store… This is a debacle which has its tentacles spread far and wide… June 1st is the official start of the Hurricane season in the Gulf too… May be Nature will be kind to us and our misdeeds and delay it a bit to help in cleaning up the mess we created. If not I shudder at the thought of heavy winds, water and oil… who knows how far and how wide it will spread…

Hurricane Season and the Oil Spill Video

For now lets all hope that the drilling mix being pumped into the tube holds and stops the oil flow… Keeping fingers crossed (toes too!)

By the Way if interested you can follow the rise and fall of “the plume” (see what is happening to the leak basically!)live here

Source :The Columbus Dispatch

Why BP/ Shell should be stopped form drilling in the Arctic Ocean