Category Archives: News

UK backing loans for ‘risky’ offshore oil drilling in Brazil

Photo source: ©© William Kitzinger


The British government is subsidising one of the world’s largest and riskiest oil-drilling projects in the Atlantic Ocean and would be liable for tens of millions of pounds if a major accident took place.

Documents seen by the Guardian show that UK trade ministers underwrote loans taken out by the Brazilian state-run energy company Petrobras in 2005 in order that Rolls Royce and other companies could contribute to the building of the giant P-52 platform.

The platform is now operating 125km off the coast of Brazil in 1,798 metres (5,900 feet) of water, deeper than BP’s Deepwater rig…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK

US accepts Gulf oil spill aid from 12 countries

Photo source: NOAA / US Coast Guards


The United States will accept offers from 12 foreign countries to help clean up and contain the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said on Tuesday.

Offers of boom to contain oil and collect it off the surface of the water have been accepted from Canada, Mexico, Norway and Japan, said a spokeswoman from the Unified Area Command, an entity headed by the US Coast Guard that is coordinating with BP on the oil spill response.

A total of 27 countries have offered assistance to the US government following the explosion in April of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig…

Read Full Article; AFP

Stunningly High Levels of Toxins Found in Whales

Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve


Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth’s oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.

A report released Thursday noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. From polar areas to equatorial waters, the whales ingested pollutants that may have been produced by humans thousands of miles away, the researchers said…

Read Full Article; By Arthur Max, The Associated Press.

Hands Across The Sand

Photo source: ©© Syedasif


All across America, from St. Petersburg, Florida to Cannon Beach, Oregon, from Santa Cruz, California to Coney Island, New York, tens of thousands of people yesterday came together at ocean beaches and inland waterways to form a human barrier against offshore oil drilling in a nationwide protest called Hands Across the Sand.

But what started as a U.S. protest quickly went global. Hands Across the Sand drew people to 820 sites in 34 countries, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa…

Read Full Article: :World Joins “Hands Across the Sand” to Protest Offshore Oil Drilling; ThoughtCo.

A Line in the Sand Over Offshore Drilling, New York Times

Hands Across The Sand

Beneath the Surface: if only it were just a nightmare

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


After Oceanographers, Scientists and Official recognition of underwater plumes, Undersea robot aimed for 3-D image of BP oil plume.

By Xavier Briand, Reuters.

Scientists geared up on June 16th, for a 12-day trip in the Gulf of Mexico with an undersea robot they hope will capture 3-D images of oil plumes from the BP spill.

Oceanographers and others have been monitoring the plumes of oil, gas and dispersant chemicals coming from the broken BP wellhead since soon after the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform.

An underwater video camera shows the oil gushing from the wellhead on the sea floor, and aerial and ship observations have charted where the spill has drifted on the water’s surface…

Read Full Article, Reuters

National Science Foundation Article

Beneath The Surface, oil plume explained; By Donald Reinhardt, Professor of Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Oil and water don’t mix” but “oil and water and dispersants do mix” and then large underwater oil plumes will exist and wreak havoc wherever they go.
The BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of April 20, 2010 at the Deepwater Horizon Rig in Mississippi Canyon 252 is a historic, economic, environmental, engineering and scientific event of major significance. The spill is already one of the greatest man-made and natural disasters in American history with hundreds of thousands gallons of Louisiana crude streaming daily into the Gulf waters from one mile below…

More On What is an oil plume?

How does the oil plume looks like? in Washington Post

Recent Tests confirm spreading of plume, in NY Times

International Help En Route For The Gulf

The Deepwater Horizon site. Photo source: NOAA


With no assurances it will be allowed to join the Gulf of Mexico oil spill cleanup, a Taiwanese-owned ship billed as the world’s largest skimming vessel was preparing to sail Friday evening to the scene of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The ship, the length of 3 1/2 football fields and 10 stories high, is designed to collect up to 500,000 barrels of oily water a day through 12 vents on either side of its bow. It docked in Norfolk en route to the Gulf from Portugal, where it was retrofitted to skim the seas. The ship and its crew of 32 were to leave Virginia waters Friday evening.

The owners of the “A Whale” said the ship features a new skimming approach that has never been attempted on such a large scale. They are anxious to put it to its first test in the Gulf…

Read Full Article; The Time Picayune

Minimal Advances in Oil Spill Cleanup Since Valdez Spill

Big Smith Island near Valdez Alaska. Taken during clean-up of Exxon Valdez spill. 700 miles of coast line was contaminated with crude oil. Captions and Photo source: ©© Jim Brickett


Two decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, cleanup technology has progressed so little that the biggest advancement in the Gulf of Mexico disaster, at least in the public’s mind, is an oil-water separator based on a 17-year-old patent and promoted by the movie star Kevin Costner…

Read Full Article; The New York Times

Sand mining ban for North Stradbroke Island, Australia

North Stradbroke Island. Photo source: ©© Paul Welding


The ancient dunes of North Stradbroke Island will be saved under a bold new plan to phase out sand mining and convert the ecosensitive tourist playground to a national park.

Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, just announced that the Government will progressively halt sand mining on North Stradbroke Island by 2027.

After 50 years of mining, 80 per cent of the island will eventually be converted to national park, with 50 per cent of it to be declared within the next 18 months…

Read Full Article, Courier Mail

Green jobs to replace mining work on Stradbroke: Bligh, Brisbane Time (06-21-2010)
Hundreds of mining jobs set to disappear as the industry is wound up on North Stradbroke Island will be replaced with green positions, Premier Anna Bligh claims. Ms Bligh announced on Sunday, up to 80 per cent of the huge sand island off Brisbane would be declared a national park and no new mining leases would be signed…

A hole in the world

Feather on oiled boom. Captions And Photo source: ©© Lance Cheung


How long will it take for an ecosystem this ravaged to be “restored and made whole” as Obama’s interior secretary has pledged to do? It’s not at all clear that such a thing is remotely possible, at least not in a time frame we can easily wrap our heads around. The Alaskan fisheries have yet to fully recover from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and some species of fish never returned. Government scientists now estimate that as much as a Valdez-worth of oil may be entering the Gulf coastal waters every four days. An even worse prognosis emerges from the 1991 Gulf war spill, when an estimated 11m barrels of oil were dumped into the Persian Gulf – the largest spill ever…

Read Full Article; By Naomi Klein, The Guardian, UK