Category Archives: Gulf Oil Catastrophe

BP Weighs New Way to Kill Gulf Well

gas-flaring
Gas from the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead is burned by the drillship Discoverer Enterprise May 16, 2010, in a process known as flaring. Gas and oil from the wellhead were being brought to the surface via a tube that was placed inside the damaged pipe. Captions and Photo source: USGS / US Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley

Excerpts;

BP PLC was Monday considering yet another method to kill its ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well amid concerns that the cap it installed last week could be allowing oil and gas to seep out the sides…

Read Full Article, The Wall Street Journal

Photos tell different stories about sand berm effort to block oil spill

sand-berm-louisiana
Sand berms, Louisiana. Photo source: ©© Louisiana GOHSEP

Excerpts;

Critics and supporters of building sand berms to shield Louisiana’s coast from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have released dueling photo sequences that alternately show one of the berms washing away or performing precisely as planned, depending on the eye of the beholder…

Read Full Article, The Times-Picayune

Seeking more details on dispersants

Oil Dispersant
An aircraft releases chemical dispersant over an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Captions and Photo source: NOAA /US Coast Guards

Excerpts;

U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today urged Congress to take up legislation strengthening her agency’s authority over oil dispersants in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico gusher, calling for more testing and disclosure of the chemical ingredients in the controversial spill-fighting products…

Read Full Article, The New York Times.

Suit filed seeking more details on dispersants, AP
BP’s use of chemicals to disperse the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is coming under renewed scrutiny, as environmentalists head to court to seek more information about potential health hazards and a Senate panel plans a Thursday hearing on the issue…

How Fast Can Microbes Break Down Oil Washed Onto Beaches?

oiled-sediment-usgs
Oiled sediment. This photo shows the swash zone at USGS sampling location MS-39 on East Ship Island, MS. Waves have cut a steep section into the sand, revealing alternating layers of clean and sticky organic-rich sand that are visible after low tide. (The swash zone is the zone that is alternately covered and exposed by waves.) Captions and Photo source: Shane Stocks / USGS

Excerpts;

A new Florida State University study is investigating how quickly the Deepwater Horizon oil carried into Gulf of Mexico beach sands is being degraded by the sands’ natural microbial communities, and whether native oil-eating bacteria that wash ashore with the crude are helping or hindering that process…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Lessons in Brazil’s oil spill after a decade


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
WATCH: A Youtube Video

Excerpts;

In Brazil, an oil disaster 10 years ago struck an ecosystem much like the mangrove swamps in the US now being threatened by the giant BP oil leak in the US Gulf of Mexico.

More than 1.3 million litres of oil leaked from an underwater pipeline run by Brazilian oil giant Petrobras in 2000, making it the country’s largest spill devastating delicate mangrove ecosystems and destroying local habitat.

The oil contaminated the waters of Guanabara Bay outside Rio de Janeiro, an area which the Brazilian government at the time said would recover after 10 years.

But today the once-green mangrove bay area only has thick black mud and no life left in the soil…

Youtube Video

BBC Article on Guanabara Bay Oil Spill

Glowing Oil Could Aid Gulf Spill Cleanup

refugio-oil-spill-cc
Oil along the coastline. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

Late last week coastal geologist Rip Kirby (University of South Florida) was on the seashore as part of an effort to detect oil by shining UV lights, widely used to spot vital fluid at crime scenes, on Gulf beaches. The method, he hopes, will allow scientists and cleanup crews to tackle hard-to-spot oil, such as crude mixed with mud or light stains on sand, that’s washed ashore from the sinking of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig.

Under UV light, clean sand appears purple or black. Some minerals, such as calcium carbonate in seashells, glow blue, as does a shovel handle in the picture above. Tar from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill lights up orange-yellow on the beaches.

Although hydrocarbons have long been known to fluoresce, or glow, under ultraviolet light, this may be the first time the technology has been used outside a lab to spot oil…

Read Full Article; By Chris Combs, The National Geographic.

BP Oily waste dumped in landfills

Excerpts;

The Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency shored up their oversight of BP’s work to clean up the oil-soaked Gulf Coast on Thursday, setting new standards for how the company and its contractors should test and track the garbage generated by the ongoing spill.

BP PLC has hired private contractors to haul away thousands of tons of polluted sand, crude-coated boom and other refuse washing ashore from the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

So far the disaster has generated more than 3,913 tons of solid waste, which is being hauled to landfills in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida…

Watch a Youtube Video

Read Full Article

Is oil spill waste being mishandled? AP
A leaky truck filled with oil-stained sand and absorbent boom soaked in crude pulls away from the beach, leaving tar balls in a public parking lot and a messy trail of sand and water on the main beach road. A few miles away, brown liquid drips out of a disposal bin filled with polluted sand…

Youtube Video:
BP Dumping Oil Waste in Mississippi Landfill Despite Objections of County Leaders.

BP crews scoop up the oil off Gulf beaches, the waste is transported to Mississippi’s Pecan Grove landfill

27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Leading environmental groups and a U.S. senator on Wednesday called on the government to pay closer attention to more than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico and take action to keep them from leaking even more crude into water already tainted by the massive BP spill…

Read Full Article, Huffington Green
In an undated photo released by the California State Lands Commission, a nearshore wellhead is excavated off California. In state waters, California has resealed scores of its abandoned wells since the 1980s, but in federal waters, the official policy is out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Neither industry nor government checks for leaks at the more than 27,000 oil and gas wells abandoned in the Gulf of Mexico since the late 1940s. Abandoned wells are known sometimes to fail both on land and offshore.
It happens so often that a technical term has been coined for the repair job: ‘re-abandonment.’