Another oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

July 28 2010

A new oil spill has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly 100 days after the BP-run oil rig disaster, which caused the worst environmental crisis in US history.

The fresh spill off Louisiana’s coast occurred as a tugboat struck an abandoned well in Barataria Bay in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The collision sent a plume of oil and gas 100ft into the air. A mile-long slick has since spread across the area, which is surrounded by wildlife-rich wetlands.

Oil spill response operations have already begun and rescue crews have set up a two-mile-long perimeter around the site to protect vessels and mariners from the spill.

Admiral Thad Allen, the US Coast Guard chief, said Tuesday “response crews were able to take advantage of ‘significant resources’, vessels of opportunity, skimming equipment and boom already in the area to work on the Gulf oil spill.”

The well, which was once owned by Cedyco Corporation, was abandoned in November 2008.

The spill is at least the third leak in the area since the BP oil catastrophe began on April 20, after an explosion left 11 people killed in the Deepwater Horizon rig.

Three months into the oil spill, the London-based BP has finally managed to place a containment cap over the well, temporarily halting the gushing oil.

However, the leak is expected to continue until mid-August when the company will complete the building of two relief wells. Source

BP may never get the leak totally fixed. Seems they have done a pretty sloppy job.  That’s a lot of oil in the ocean and a lot of damage to the environment. Now another oil leak and who is responsible for this one we must ask ourselves?

Blowout: BP’s deadly oil rig disaster

Update on the Oil Spills—All of Them

By Jeffrey Kluger
July 28, 2010

Michigan is not the first place that comes to mind when you think of oil spills. But as of Monday, add the state to the list of those laying booms, scrambling cleanup teams and otherwise trying to stanch the flow of thick crude leaking from a busted oil pipe. And add that spill  to yet another new gusher the Gulf of Mexico—this one just 65 miles south of New Orleans—the third such incident to occur on a drilling platform other than BP’s lost Deepwater Horizon since that rig exploded and sank on April 20.

If you’re tempted to write your senator about the sudden spate of  spills, don’t bother. The new leaks are occurring just days after Harry Reid and his timorous Democratic majority walked away from their year-in-the-making energy bill, under threat of filibuster from Mitch McConnell and his snarling GOP minority.

The Michigan incident has a lot of similarities to the BP disaster—albeit writ small. Once again it’s an international company that’s to blame—this time Canada’s Enbridge Energy Partners. Once again, it’s a body of water at risk—this time the Kalamazoo River and perhaps Morrow Lake, which lies in the path of the spill. And once again, a CEO is promising to make things right.

“Our intention is to return your community and the waterways to their original state,” announced Enbridge chief Patrick Daniel. Once again too, the company is so far underachieving. Daniel toured the spill site with Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and conceded that the clean-up effort so far is “anemic.”

The spill came from a rupture in a 30-in. diameter pipe that on a typical day carries 190,000 bbls (8 million gal.) of oil between Indiana and Ontario. The breach was sealed quickly, but not before  19,500 bbls (800,000 gal.) of crude got away. Residents of nearby homes  were evacuated, locals were warned against approaching the spill or inhaling its fumes, and workers deployed 14,000 ft. of boom—with 45,000 more on hand—to contain a river slick that has so far spread 20 miles.

Things have not been brought so readily under control in the Gulf, where a tugboat struck a shallow-water well in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay on Tuesday morning, rupturing the wellhead and sending water, oil and gas spewing into the air. The modest depth of the water should make the spill much easier to stop than  BP’s, but for now the shower of crude is continuing to climb 100 ft. in the air, creating a comparatively small slick that’s being  contained by 6,000 ft. of boom. This is the second beating Barataria Bay has taken this summer, having just been cleaned of BP oil last week.

The Gulf’s other two recent leaks are also comparatively minor—and comparatively common—and would not be making news at all if not for the BP elephant that’s been in the room for more than 100 days now. But that’s just the point. The only way to slake our thirst for oil is to continue to engage in industrial practices that are inherently dirty, unreliable and extremely dangerous. The only way to avoid the problem is either to invent a magic bullet that satisfies all our energy demands spotlessly and cheaply or to count on our legislators to cowboy up and pass the tough legislation necessary to price carbon, cap emissions and encourage the development of clean renewable technologies like wind and solar. For now, the safer bet is on  the magic. Source

Recent

The attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself

Nobel Peace Prizes ‘are being awarded illegally’

US House Vote on Afghan War Funding a Disgrace

Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the U.S. Criminal Justice System

The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated

US occupation not for “liberation of Iraqis

Mental illness rising among US troops

Republicans in the US House of Representatives want Israel to attack Iran

Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 5:46 am  Comments Off on Another oil spill in Gulf of Mexico  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blowout: BP’s deadly oil rig disaster

May 3  2010 Updates at bottom.

Next step pollution containment chambers.

Seems the Chemicals didn’t work all that well.

Obama went to check out the damages.

The oil slick on April 30, approximately is 130 miles long and 70 miles wide and growing. Between 200,000 to 210,000 gallons per day are now spilling out of the oil well. BP  admits it cannot handle this disaster and is asking for help as well.

April 29 2010

The oil is leaking about 5,000 barrels a day apparently – five times greater than initial estimates.

Earlier reports said:

Oil continues to spill undersea at an estimated rate of 160, 000 litres a day. (  1,000 barrels or 42,000 gallons of oil a day) The oil rig may have had as much as 700 thousand gallons of diesel on it as well.

By Danny Fortson

April 25 2010

Fireboats rush to contain the flames on the rig

It was a calm, balmy evening in the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the crew of the Deepwater Horizon, a giant drilling rig moored 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, were unwinding after a 12-hour shift in the blazing sun.

It had been a good day. After weeks of drilling, the rig, a technical marvel designed to tap the world’s most remote fields, had struck oil. It was a long way down — some 18,000ft beneath their feet, further than the height of Mont Blanc.

BP, which had hired the rig, was preparing a press release to trumpet its latest success. The news would have gone down well in Washington. Weeks earlier President Barack Obama had opened up to explorers swathes of the Gulf and east coast, much of which had been off limits since the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

Then at 10pm last Tuesday, Deepwater Horizon’s lights went out. An eerie thud followed. Then another. Jim Ingram, a seasoned offshore worker, was preparing for bed. “On the second [thud],” he said, “we knew something was wrong.”

Moments later a torrent of gas, oil and mud burst through the rig floor, and for reasons nobody yet knows, ignited. In an instant the Deepwater Horizon exploded into a fireball.

There was little time to react. Some of the 126 crew jumped overboard, breaking bones from the 80ft drop into the sea.

Most managed to clamber into covered lifeboats, which were quickly winched down to the water. They gathered up colleagues and sped away from the roiling blaze fed by a fountain of oil and gas.

It was 45 minutes before they were met by a nearby BP supply ship that had been alerted to the distress signal. US Coast Guard helicopters flew the critically injured to hospitals. The rest of the survivors endured a tortuously slow return trip on the supply ship.

They arrived at a hotel outside New Orleans just before 5am to tearful family members. The father of one of the workers said: “Thank God he wasn’t on the rig floor. He would have been burnt alive.”

Eleven people were missing. The coast guard covered 3,400 sq miles in spotter planes, cutters and helicopters before calling off the search on Friday. Rear Admiral Mary Landry said: “The time of reasonable expectation of survivability has passed.” All eleven are presumed dead.

The accident was the deadliest for America’s offshore industry in more than two decades. The question now is who gets the blame.

Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, has staked his reputation on cleaning up the company’s act. When he took over three years ago, the oil giant’s image was still tainted by the 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery that killed 15 people and injured many more. The company paid millions in fines and pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

BP had just six men on the Deepwater Horizon. The rest were employees and contractors of Transocean, the firm that owned the rig and was responsible for the drilling. US authorities, Transocean and BP have all launched investigations to work out what went wrong.

The search for answers will be difficult: 36 hours after bursting into flames, the Deepwater Horizon capsized. The only trace it left was a one-mile by five-mile oil slick.

OBAMA enraged environmentalists last month when he repealed a moratorium on oil exploration on America’s east coast. His choice of venue for the announcement, Andrews air force base in Washington DC, in front of an F16 fighter jet modified to fly on biofuel, carried a less-than-subtle message. Finding domestic sources of fossil fuels is not just an economic issue, but a security one.

Five weeks before, Lord Hunt, Britain’s energy minister, delivered a similar message from a manufacturing yard in Fife. He announced the government’s largest-ever licensing of the seabed for oil exploration since the first parcels were offered in 1964, throwing open pristine swathes of coastal waters off Land’s End as well as large chunks of the English Channel that had previously been protected.

Domestic oil sources are dwindling at an alarming rate, pushing governments and the industry to increasingly desperate measures.

Kurt Arnold, a Houston lawyer with a pending case against Transocean, said: “The reality is that as we push and push into deeper exploration, deaths and injuries are more of a problem. You don’t hear about it because it’s offshore.

“They say it’s better than it used to be, but a lot goes unreported because of where it is.”

The Gulf of Mexico accounts for a third of America’s oil production. It attracts highly trained engineers as well as manual labourers, who can make far more than on land.

The work is dangerous. So far this year there have been three fires on rigs in the Gulf. Since 2001, 69 people have died in accidents. (The worst industry disaster remains the Piper Alpha catastrophe off Aberdeen, in 1988, when 167 workers died.) The Deepwater Horizon was designed to avoid such disasters. It was at the technological frontier, a “semi-submersible” rig intended for ultra-deep water, where rigid support structures are impossible.

Instead, it sat on pontoons equipped with thrusters that reacted to the tides to keep it in place. Six months ago it drilled to a record depth of 35,000ft. That well was also drilled for BP, not far from the site of last week’s disaster.

It is still unclear what caused the accident but it appears to have been a blowout — a sudden spike in pressure that sends oil or gas bursting up to the surface. If that happens, the blowout preventor, a guillotine-type valve on the seafloor, triggers automatically to cut the flow. It didn’t. BP sent remote-control submersibles to close it manually but they failed, which is why the rig continued to burn.

“I’m surprised by this,” said Manouchehr Takin of the Centre for Global Energy Studies, the research firm. “The deeper you go, you can find pockets of high pressure and low pressure, which can be a problem because the hydrostatic column must always be balanced. The fail-safes in place are incredibly good. This is just a tragic accident.”

BP’s relationship with Transocean will come under heavy scrutiny. Transocean is the largest offshore drilling contractor in the world with a fleet of 139 rigs.

The boom in offshore drilling, however, has led to intense competition not just for equipment but for the personnel to operate it. The most qualified crews are often shuffled between the most demanding jobs, like such as one the Deepwater Horizon was working on.

Contractually at least, the responsibility for the accident would appear to lie with Transocean. Like an architect, the oil giants design and oversee the job. It is the building firm, Transocean, that is paid to bring it to fruition, and shoulders the blame if anything goes wrong.

Speraking from Houston, Hayward said he was working closely with Transocean. “It is an incredibly good deepwater operator,” he said. “It’s their rig, their people, their systems, their processes.”

BP, as the owner of the oil, is taking the lead on the clean-up. So far this has been minimal. The fear was that oil would continue gushing when the rig sank. (Also, it had 700,000 gallons of diesel on board.) For some reason the flow reduced to a trickle.

BP has yet to determine why. A flotilla of 32 boats armed with skimming equipment and more than 1m feet of boom to contain any oil spillage remains at the ready.

Hayward said: “We want to make damn certain that this never happens again. That’s why I am here.

“We have an armada of ships ready to make sure that what is a tragic accident doesn’t become a major environmental issue.”

LESS than 36 hours passed before BP and Transocean were hit with the first lawsuit. Scott Bickford is representing the wife of Shane Roshto, 21, who had flown out a few days before to begin a three-week shift.

He is one of the 11 missing, now presumed dead.

“Both Transocean and BP are being sued. If there was any negligence, they’ll be liable,” Bickford said. “We wanted to make sure all evidence was preserved. I went down and saw one of the liferafts that was recovered. It was melted.”

This is just the beginning. It will be months before the cause of the disaster is determined and years before the last payouts are made.

For Transocean the stakes could not be higher. BP, too, will remain forever linked to another tragedy. How Hayward manages the crisis and its fallout could well be a defining moment of his reign at BP, much as Texas City was for his predecessor, Lord Browne.

The incident is certain to be exploited by all sides in the debate over where we get our energy and the risks we are willing to take.

“We strongly opposed Obama’s [offshore oil] proposal,” said Nick Berning at Friends of the Earth. “It endangers the marine environment, it’s obviously dangerous for workers and increasing our reliance on oil makes the climate crisis worse.

“His proposal is not a done deal. Legislation needs to be passed. This will influence that debate.”

Defining moment for the clean-up king

WHEN Tony Hayward took the top job at BP three years ago, the oil giant was in turmoil, writes Dominic O’Connell. Lord Browne, the “sun king” chief executive who had built up the group in a series of daring acquisitions, had left under a cloud after a boardroom bust-up.

The company was still suffering the legacy of an explosion and fire at its Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers and injured 170. The disaster had taken place two years earlier, in 2005, but a malaise still hung over BP’s American operations, fueled by the discovery of leaks in Alaskan pipelines and a string of other health and safety allegations.

Hayward, who has a first-class geology degree from Aston University in Birmingham, set out to reshape BP with a minimum of fuss and publicity. He asked Bain & Co, the business consultancy, to investigate the state of the group. The results were surprising. “I was gobsmacked,” he told The Sunday Times in an interview last November.

“They said, ‘You are the most complicated enterprise we have ever come across’. We were a very complex organisation with little clarity or accountability.”

His answer was to start hacking away at the organisation. He gutted middle management, sold assets and centralised operations. Only one in three of the top managers survived the cull. More than 6,500 jobs were eliminated and overheads fell by a third. The company’s results immediately perked up and investors were happy with Hayward’s increases in dividend payments and share buy-back programmes.

While the Gulf of Mexico explosion is not in the same league as the Texas City disaster, it is still worrying for Hayward, who is on the scene this weekend to monitor the clean-up.

President Barack Obama has only recently opened up new areas of America’s waters to exploration and BP, like the other oil giants, is desperate for virgin territories to explore.

If America pulls back, BP will be forced to look even farther afield. Source

Stormy weather delayed weekend efforts to mop up leaking oil from a damaged undersea well after the explosion and sinking of a massive rig off Louisiana’s Gulf Coast that left 11 workers missing and presumed dead. (April 25 2010)

Update April 26 2010

Fire crews attempting to extinguish fire.

Costs mount as BP battles oil disaster

By Rob Davies
April 26 2010

British oil giant BP is facing a multimillion-pound clean-up bill as it battles to contain a reputation-tarnishing oil spill off the coast of the US.

In the first major test for chief executive Tony Hayward, BP has deployed 32 ships and five aircraft to contain oil gushing from an underwater well in the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion on its Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

The explosion on the £388million rig managed by Swiss firm Transocean is thought to have killed 11 workers who have been missing since last Tuesday, while thousands of gallons of oil are being pumped into the sea.

A spokesman for BP said the clean-up operation had cost ‘ millions’ so far, but added: ‘Its money that needs to be spent and we will do what we need to.’

But the firm could be facing a multibillion-pound bill in the future, based on the fallout from the Texas City disaster in 2005, its last major US accident.

In that incident an explosion at BP’s refinery killed 15 workers and injured 180 others, prompting a report in which the firm was blamed for safety failures.

The company has paid out around £1.3billion in compensation and nearly £60million in fines for Texas City, and also reported lost earnings and repair costs of up to £650million relating to the accident. BP is already facing anger for this latest accident from US politicians, who have queued up to demand greater scrutiny of oil companies.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson said: ‘The tragedy off the coast of Louisiana shows we need to be asking a lot more tough questions of big oil.’

And his Louisiana counterpart, Senator Mary Landrieu called for a full investigation into the spill.

In a statement, the company said it ‘continues to forge ahead with a comprehensive oil well intervention and spill response plan’. One of the options being considered is to submerge a giant dome above the area of seabed from which the oil is gushing.

The dome, it is hoped, would catch the oil as it rises, which could then be pumped out.

The spokesman said the idea worked in shallow waters, but had never been tested in deep water.

The slick is around 40 miles off the coast and is not expected to reach land for three days.   Source

Big Oil Fought Off New Safety Rules Before Rig Disaster

Both companies British oil giant BP and Transocean have also aggressively opposed new safety regulations proposed last year by a federal agency that oversees offshore drilling — which were prompted by a study that found many accidents in the industry.

There were 41 deaths and 302 injuries out of 1,443 incidents from 2001 to 2007, according to the study conducted by the Minerals and Management Service of the Interior Department. In addition, the agency issued 150 reports over incidents of non-compliant production and drilling operations and determined there was “no discernible improvement by industry over the past 7 years.” For entire story go HERE

Update April 27 2010

Robot subs attempt to shut off oil leak

A vessel tries to contain oil spilled from a sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico

Engineers from the British oil giant BP were yesterday racing to avert an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as crude continued to leak at the site of the submerged oil rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded and collapsed a week ago.

Up to 42,000 gallons of oil a day is spewing from a crumpled pipeline and uncapped well nearly a mile below the ocean’s surface, about 40 miles off the Louisiana coast.

Efforts to stop it rest in part on robot submersibles but BP officials said the task was “highly complex” and might not succeed. Surface operations by aircraft and ships to break up a thin slick that has grown to about 600 square miles were postponed by bad weather.

It was feared that a change of wind direction might push the oil towards land. “We’re in a very serious situation,” said Rear-Admiral Mary Landry, of the US Coast Guard. “Forty-five to 90 days is the initial estimate … before this well could be secured.” A search for 11 missing workers from the rig was called off on Friday. Source

Related

Oil spill set deadly record for Sea Birds

The Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 killed more sea birds than any oil spill in history, according to a study by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists. For the entire Story go HERE

Legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Excerpts from different articles at the site.

2 studies report long-term effects on Sea Otters.

Many fishermen were also hit by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill

10 years later, front-line spill workers link physical ailments to cleanup work, cancer being one of them.

The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was not the most egregious accident to damage ocean waters, but “only one of many, many changes, the mass majority of which are incremental, invisible, sometimes irreversible … and together quite insidious,” according to Jane Lubchenco, a professor of marine biology at Oregon State University                                                 For all the articles go HERE

Exxon Valdez payments List

List of Oil spills around the world

Another recent disaster in a mine. 25 died.

Deadly Record: Massey’s Mine In Montcoal Has Been Cited For Over 3,000 Violations, Over $2.2 Million In Fines

Safety Violations

Well who is keeping tabs on safety one has to wonder?

If a mine can have 3,000 violations, one has to wonder how many violations there are in the oil industry?

Safety should be paramount in all industries,  but in these two sectors mining an oil there seems to be little done to prevent disasters.  Why?

This is for the safety of the people who work there, those living in the areas, the impact on wildlife, the impact on water supplies and the destruction to the environment as a whole.

Seems none of the above are really taken into consideration.

Over the last week I noticed the price of Gas went down a bit because of the planes being grounded by the Volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Well that gave me a profound thought.

One has to wonder how much the price of Gas would go down if war was eliminated.

How much of the worlds resources are wasted on war?

How much does war, in total dollars and cents, cost the world?

You need the resources to make the weapons, planes, tanks, ships and jeeps etc. You need the fuel to transport and operate, the vehicles  vehicles once they are there.

The total cost from beginning to end must be staggering.

The destruction of lives and the environment are horrendous. In many cases the destruction is permanent.

The cost of Health care due to war is unimaginable.

The total cost of war is beyond your wildest dreams.

If a volcanic eruption can bring down the price of gas over a week, imagine how much the price of gas would fall without war.

War is not a necessity.  It is time we removed all the things that are not necessary that wastes the worlds resources.

If you want to save trillions of dollars a year. Eliminate war.

Spend the money on agriculture in third world countries so they can feed themselves.

To curb over population promote birth control. Millions of women around the world do not have access to it. Millions cannot even afford it.

Spend the money on renewable energies.

There are a million ways to spend money on more constructive things as opposed to war.

Save the environment we live in, instead.

Hey everyone is allowed to fantasize right.

But if you had a choice of the environment and war, which would it be?

War is a major polluter.

War is not sustainable on any level.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Update April 28 2010

U.S. Coast Guard to burn oil leaking from sunken rig

By Kevin McGill
April 28 2010

NEW ORLEANS—Racing against a threat to environmentally sensitive marshlands, authorities planned to begin Wednesday burning some of the thickest oil from a rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said the burn was expected to begin in the morning.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner says fire-resistant containment booms will be used to corral some of the thickest oil on the water’s surface, which will then be ignited. It was unclear how large an area would be set on fire or how far from shore the first fire would be set.

The slick is the result of oil leaking from the site of last week’s huge explosion of the rig Deepwater Horizon that left 11 people missing and presumed dead.

Oil continues to spill undersea at an estimated rate of 160, 000 litres a day. ( 1,000 barrels or 42,000 gallons of oil a day)

Robot submarines have been unable to cap the well. Operator BP Plc. says work will begin as early as Thursday to drill a relief well to take pressure off the flow from the blowout site. That could take months.

Winds and currents in the Gulf have helped crews in recent days as they try to contain the leak, but it has moved steadily toward the mouth of the Mississippi River, an area home to hundreds of species of wildlife and near some of the Gulf’s richest oyster grounds.

Meanwhile, the cost of the disaster continues to rise.

The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20. The rig was owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP.

Industry officials say replacing the Deepwater Horizon would cost up to $700 million (dollar figures U.S.). BP has said its costs associated with containing the spill are running at $6 million a day. The company said it will spend $100 million to drill the relief well, which it does not expect to be operating for up to three months. The coast guard has not yet reported its expenses.  Source

Imagine the air pollution from this one.

April 28, 2010

Update April 29 2010

Working on off shore rigs is dangerous in the Gulf of Mexico since 2001 there have been 59 fatalities, 1,349 injuries and 852 fires.

But that is only the off shore ones I went looking for all the accidents just to see how many there are around the world.

I didn’t find anything about  world wide statistics yet but I did find some Rather interesting pictures of Accidents

Blowouts and some of the injures oil workers have had ( warning some of them are horrendous). There are many pictures and videos on oil wells. Be sure to check them out. There is a wealth of information at the site,  just check the Site Map to find it all. You could spend the day there and not get through it all. Oilfield Accidents

Thought a few of you might be interested in having a look.

Excellent photos that show Deep water Horizon sinking. Transocean Deepwater Horizon photo slide show…

Click on image to enlarge.


Compliments of Roughneck City

More Photos of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon Fire

Blowouts are explained on the video Lodgepole link below. It took 63 days to finally cap the well. It was above ground not under water. Underwater is much more difficult..I would imagine..If you watch all five Videos on Lodgepole you will see why. It seemed anything that could go wrong did. Go to the Video page for the other 4 videos. Blowout at Lodgepole Part 1

Update April 29 2010

Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico ‘could be worse than Exxon Valdez disaster’

The US Coast Guard and the oil firm were leading the bid to limit the spread of slick, fed by oil leaking from broken well pipes one mile under the sea at an estimated rate of 5,000 barrels a day – five times greater than initial estimates.

With three leaks detected near the sea, the spill could eventually match the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989, when 11 million gallons gushed from a crippled tanker into an Alaskan sound, devastating the local habitat.

For the entire story Go HERE

The oil slick could hit the shoreline , Thursday April 29 2010 from what many reports have said.  Apparently it is about about 12 miles out earlier today.

Two Mysteries Surround Gulf Oil Spill …

April 29 2010

Normally, hydraulic equipment controlled by engineers up on the oil rig can close the BOP. As a backup, most BOPs have automatic shutoff valves known as “Dead Man” switches that cause the BOPs to close automatically if there is loss of communication from the oil rig. As another backup measure, many BOPs have radio-controlled switches to allow crews to close the valve remotely—but the Deepwater Horizon lacked that device. So now, as the oil continues to pour out of the open well nearly 1.5 kilometers below the ocean surface, engineers are desperately trying to close the BOP manually using an arm on a robotic submersible. For the entire story go HERE

Army of volunteers needed for Gulf oil spill cleanup

Volunteer efforts are underway in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida to contain and clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Deep Water Horizon response team is actively working to contain the spill and has laid down 217,000 feet of barrier. They’re asking coastal residents to report areas where oil can be seen on the shore or to leave contact information if they wish to volunteer by calling 1-866-448-5816. Oiled animals should be reported at 1-866-557-1401, but not captured.
The National Audubon Society is carefully coordinating their response with government officials to ensure that the response goes as smoothly as possible. Prospective volunteers who sign up at AudubonAction.org will be connected with state and federal agencies, Audubon leaders and other volunteer organizations who are in need of assistance.
For the entire story and organizations looking for help and donations go HERE to get phone numbers or web sites.

As the oil begins to wash ashore, reports David Usborne reports from Venice, Louisiana, on a community powerless to save itself.

May 1  2010

Despair and resignation reigned among fishermen and other seafaring residents of the southern Louisiana shoreline yesterday as the vast Gulf of Mexico oil slick began to slide silently into fragile marshlands and ecologically precious inlets fed by a deep-water leak that no one seems able to plug.

“They can’t turn it off, they don’t know how to,” lamented Captain Sean Lanier, who makes his livelihood taking tourists fishing for redfish and speckled trout through the grassy waterways and inlets at the mouth of Mississippi here. “What we need now is a James Bond to go down there and close that thing down.”

More than a week after the sinking of the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig, about 40 miles out to sea from here, the leading edge of a slick as large as Jamaica was beginning to lick the reeds and mud flats of the estuary, threatening oyster beds, fisheries and tourism in communities that have barely recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Strong winds and 7ft waves were pushing the slick inshore even faster.

For the entire story go HERE

White House Suspends New Drilling / Oil Spill Hits Gulf Coast Shoreline

Update for May 2 2010

Now they are thinking about using a Chemical to help clean up the mess which may be as bad for the environment as the oil as there is has not been any long term study done however.

Oil-spill disaster: Chemicals used in cleanup add to toxic mix

May 2, 2010

For now, heavy applications of the soaplike liquid may be all that stand between the fast-spreading crude and Florida’s coastline, which could be in jeopardy by midweek, , according to projections by response authorities in Roberts, La.

Environmental advocates and scientists consider dispersant the lesser of two evils when faced with what could turn out to be the nation’s worst drilling-related offshore oil spill. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that “dispersants used today are less toxic than those used in the past, but long-term, cumulative effects of dispersant use are still unknown.” For entire story go HERE

To bad they didn’t have a few dozen Slick Lickers. Other wise known as Oilevator. And old invention.

They probably don’t even make them any more. But had they had a few of those it would be better then using Chemicals and you still get to save  the oil.  Now one would think this type of invention could have been improved upon considering the drilling at sea, as they do now.  A few of these on  a larger scale would be  very helpful at a time like this. But whatever. Just a thought from a stupid person? LOL Beats Chemicals all to hell of course. And remember, if we run out of oil we can always go back to the old horse and buggy days. Horses were smart enough not to have head on collisions.

Environment: The Slick-Licker

Ferried out to the spill on small landing craft, four lickers extended their long, conveyor belt “tongues” to the oil. A whir of machinery, and the absorbent material on the belt spun into the oil and sopped it up. Heavy rollers at the end of the conveyors then squeezed out the oil into 45-gallon drums. In ten weeks about 200,000 gallons of oil had been lapped up. The licker is doubly effective because its conveyor belt is coated with oil prior to deployment. The result is that the tongue repels surrounding water and gobbles up only oil.

Oilevator is dirt cheap (about $7,500 per machine), and it has worked so well that a government task force has recommended that at least one slick-licker be placed in each Canadian port. For entire story go HERE

Halliburton in spotlight in gulf spill probe

Updates May 3 2010


In this April 26, 20010 photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, the base of a pollution containment chamber is moved to a construction area at Wild Well Control, Inc. in Port Fourchon, La., April 26, 2010. The chamber will be one of the largest ever built and will be used in an attempt to contain an oil leak related to the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon explosion. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer Third Class Patrick Kelley)

Crews have had little success stemming the flow from the ruptured well on the sea floor off Louisiana or removing oil from the surface by skimming it, burning it or dispersing it with chemicals. For entire story go HERE

The containment chambers will be 40 feet tall, 24 feet wide and 14 feet deep.

We have a second type of containment Dome. Not sure which one will be used.

How to stop the BP oil spill: What else can be tried now? May 3, 2010

Welders at work on the Pollution Control Dome being built in Port Fourchon Monday, as BP rushes to cap the source of the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon platform disaster. BP might be ready to deploy the structure, which would funnel the oil into ships, by this weekend. Newscom For entire story go HERE

Obama toured the Coast.

The bulk of the slick is now nine miles offshore.

Mr Obama flew to New Orleans and drove for two hours to the tip of the Mississippi delta to show his concern for communities at risk of economic extinction from the growing oil slick to the south – and to show Americans that he has learnt from his predecessor’s mistakes. The visit was part of an urgent push by the White House to present its response to Louisiana’s latest disaster as more nimble than that of President Bush after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For entire story go HERE

Iran offers to help contain US oil spill

May 3 2010

The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has offered to assist the US in efforts to prevent an ecological disaster caused by the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Following an explosion on a BP-operated oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last month, at least 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude oil are thought to be spilling into the water every day.

NIDC managing director Heidar Bahmani announced the firm’s readiness to use its decades-long expertise to fight the oil slick, the company’s public relations office told Press TV.

“Our oil industry experts in the field of drilling can contain the rig leakage in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent an ecological disaster in that part of the world,” Bahmani said.

Overlooking the new US drive for slapping more UN sanctions on Iran over its civilian nuclear program, the company said that there is an urgent need for action to protect the nearby coasts from the advancing oil spill.

The governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Florida have reportedly called a state of emergency for fear of the oil slick’s environmental and economic damages.

The disaster has also prompted the White House to ban oil drillings in new areas of the US coast until the British company explains the cause of the explosion that killed 11 employees and resulted in the oil spill.

Maybe the US and BP should consider the help seems they are not doing so well on their own. Maybe Iran has the answers they need. It’s  time to put ego’s aside.

They do after all  help the US in the Health care field.

This is rather interesting It talks about  some of the Chemicals/pollution that  are emitted while drilling for oil among other things…Check table 2 on page 10

I have one question that I haven’t found an answer for yet. Who built the “Blowout Preventor” that failed to work?

BP is hoping to have the oil stopped withing a week. Somehow I have a hard time believing that.

Seems everything that has been tried has not worked.

This is a very nasty oil disaster and there are three leaks at this point in time.


Recent

Can You Pass The Iran Quiz

NATO troops kill Again! This time three Afghan women

Testing the Limits of Freedom of Speech: Ernst Zundel Speaks Out

Pilot cleared of 9/11 accusations, gets compensation

Khadr legal team turns down plea offer from U.S

Israeli troops attack protesters injuring and killing Again!

The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Canada unfairly blocked British MP George Galloway, court hears

Ukrainian Government in Action: Egg Throwing? Smoke Bombs? Wrestling?

A Book: “The Shepherd’s Granddaughter” to remain in Toronto schools a win for Canadians Freedom Of Speech

Haitians worry free food distribution halted too soon

How George Galloway was barred from Canada in less than 2 hours

Goldman Sachs profited from market crash

UK: AWOL soldier, Joe Glenton loses sentence appeal

Israel threatens Syria with war

Philippines: Arrests, Torture, and the Presidential Election

Paulson and Co. made a $3.7 billion profit on collapse of subprime mortgage market

War Veteran Jesse Huff Commits suicide outside VA Hospital

The 2nd Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in south Iceland

US Air Force Program: Marine Mammals and Other Sea Life to be Decimated

by Rosalind Peterson

August 16 2009

The United States Navy will be decimating millions of marine mammals and other aquatic life, each year, for the next five years, under their Warfare Testing Range Complex Expansions in the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS under NOAA), has already approved the “taking” of marine mammals in more than a dozen Navy Range Warfare Testing Complexes (6), and is preparing to issue another permit for 11.7 millions marine mammals (32 Separate Species), to be decimated along the Northern, California, Oregon and Washington areas of the Pacific Ocean (7).U.S. Department of Commerce – NOAA (NMFS) Definition: “TAKE” Defined under the MMPA as “harass, hunt, capture, kill or collect, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, kill or collect.” Defined under the ESA as “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.” Definition: Incidental Taking: An unintentional, but not unexpected taking (12).

The total number of marine mammals that will be decimated in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico for the next five years is unknown. The NMFS approvals will have a devastating impact upon the marine mammal populations worldwide and this last Navy permit, which is expected to be issued in February 2010, for the “taking” of more than 11.7 million marine mammals in the Pacific will be the final nail in the coffin for any healthy populations of sea life to survive.
Now with ever-increasing numbers of permits being issued for sonar programs in more than twelve ranges in the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic regions of the United States, our marine mammals and other sea life are facing complete devastation. When you add bomb blasts to this list, warfare testing of all types, future war testing practice, and the toxic chemicals which are both airborne and to be used underwater, there is little chance that most marine life will survive in any significant numbers. Our U.S. Senators and U.S. Congressmen refuse to postpone these disastrous “takings” or hold U.S. Congressional Hearings while pretending to be ocean environment friendly in their re-election speeches.

Earlier this year, June 8th through June 16, 2009, a delegation from Connecticut and California spent time walking the halls of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. We left petitions, color fliers, and information about saving our marine mammals, requested a postponement and U.S. Congressional Hearings. Ninety-nine senate offices were visited and 2/3 of offices in the U.S. House of Representatives. The silent response from our elected officials regarding these two requests has been zero…one U.S. Congressman even stated that citizens would be “laughed out of the halls of the U.S. Congress for suggesting that we protect our marine mammals”. Corporate paid “Lobbyists”, who hand out money by the $Millions, on the other hand, are always accepted at hearings, give testimony, and are welcomed in the halls of Congress…apparently the voices of citizens of the United States are not given the same status.

These virtually unregulated Navy Warfare Testing Programs already approved are now taking a toll on marine mammals, the fishing and ocean tourism industries, and on all aquatic life. Many U.S. Senators and Congressmen are ignoring these issues by pretending that they doesn’t exist even though they have been informed in advance of these programs.

A brief history of the Navy Warfare Testing Program is needed to understand the full implications of this Pentagon/Navy Warfare Testing Program. In 2004, the Bush Administration signed a bill weakening U.S. Environmental Laws (1), with regard to the U.S. Navy. And then in 2008, President Bush signed an executive order allowing the Navy to be exempt from environmental laws which protects endangered and threatened species (2-4). The Navy Southern California Complex was the first one to benefit from this executive order. Soon other Navy Range Complexes were obtaining exemptions from the NMFS with little or no oversight or significant mitigation measures (5).

A partial listing of known Navy Range Complexes (6), shows the amazing scope of the disaster. According to U.S. Congressman Waxman in a letter dated March 12, 2009: “…The Navy estimates that its sonar training activities will “take” marine mammals more than 11.7 million times over the course of a five-year permit…The sonar exercises at issue would take place off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Hawaii, Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico – affecting literally every coastal state. In many regions, the Navy plans to increase the number of training exercises or expand the areas in which they may occur. Of particular concern are biologically sensitive marine habitats off our coasts, such as National Marine Sanctuary and other breeding habitats…In all, the Navy anticipates that its sonar exercises will “take” marine mammals more than 2.3 million times per year, or 11.7 million times over the course of a 5-year permit….” This statement was made in response to public inquiries regarding the Navy Northwest Training Range schedule for Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

KTVU Oakland San Francisco Television Station is the only television station to investigate and air a story about this U.S. Navy program (13), on May 18, 2009. It took a great deal of courage, in the face of the fact that no other major television networks would carry this story. A few courageous radio stations are also helping to get the word out to the public.

Published in the United States Federal Register on March 11, 2009:

The United States Navy published an application, as an addendum to their expanded Warfare Testing program, in the U.S. Federal Register, dated March 11, 2009. This application from the Navy “…requests authorization to take individuals of 32 species of marine mammals during upcoming Navy Warfare testing and training to be conducted in the NWTR areas (off the Pacific coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California) over the course of 5 years…”

The Navy Warfare Testing Program will “…utilize mid- and high frequency active sonar sources and explosive detonations. These sonar and explosive sources will be utilized during Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Tracking Exercises, Mine Avoidance Training, Extended Echo Ranging and Improved Extended Echo Ranging (EER/IEER) events, Missile Exercises, Gunnery Exercises, Bombing Exercises, Sinking Exercises, and Mine Warfare Training…” (More listed in Navy E.I.S.)

The “taking” of marine mammals negatively impacts the entire ecology of our oceans and the life in them which feeds large numbers of people and other species around the world. It should be noted that the list of toxic chemicals that the Navy proposes to use is a long one as noted in the Navy E.I.S. Depleted uranium, red and white phosphorus, mercury, lead, and a whole host of chemicals known to be toxic not only to man, but to marine life, are being served up on the “Navy Warfare Chemical Menu” that will contaminate our air, water, and soil.

Since all of the Navy Warfare Training Range Complexes have received, or will receive in the near future, permits to “take” marine mammals during their respective 5-year warfare training programs the cumulative and synergistic effects of losing millions of marine mammals will be disastrous. It is time to say no to any future permits being issued by the National Marine Fisheries Services. Please feel free to file protests by the August 12, 2009, deadline National Marine Fisheries Service (9), regarding the U.S. Navy Environmental Impact Statement (10).

On May 28, 2009, U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson from California, in a Press Release to NOAA, made the following statements which could be directed toward any ocean Navy testing range:

“…I am concerned about the United States Navy’s ability to properly review the environmental impacts of proposed enhancements in its Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC)… I am particularly concerned that NOAA’s existing mitigation measures may not be best suited for the protected marine mammals and endangered salmonids present in the Pacific Northwest… I am also concerned about proposed changes to current levels of activity in the NWTRC that focus on training for new aircraft and ship classes and physical enhancements to the training range. The Navy’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) acknowledges that these changes, particularly those related to its increased use of mid-frequency sonar, are likely to have measurable impacts on 32 protected marine mammal species known to inhabit the NWTRC…”

Congressman Thompson continues: “…As the Navy moves forward with plans to train on new weapons systems, it is essential that NOAA identifies the environmental impacts of these new aircraft, ships and submarines – and their accompanying mitigation measures – specifically with reference to the productive ocean habitats and species that define the Pacific Coast… I am not aware of any specific elements included in the evaluation and am concerned that the review will be inadequate to address the Navy’s EIS with respect to protection of Pacific Coast ocean ecosystems.

NOAA’s comprehensive review is particularly important given that the Navy has estimated shipboard visual monitoring for marine mammals – the most commonly employed sonar mitigation measure – to be effective only 9% of the time.

It is important that NOAA take immediate steps to validate its comprehensive review of mitigation measures. Specifically, I request that you provide my office with an outline of the comprehensive review process and answers to the following questions:

1. What mitigation measures will be reviewed during NOAA’s process?

2.
What data will NOAA use to identify those mitigation measures best able to protect marine species?

3.
How will your agency’s recommendations target specific species, habitats or training activities of concern?

4.
How will NOAA’s recommendations address sonar impacts to species other than marine mammals?

5.
How will NOAA or the Navy establish performance standards to ensure that recommended mitigation measures are functioning as intended?…”

The public should also be informed of any information received by Congressman Thompson’s office. In addition, there are a few more questions which need to be answered:

1. What are the synergistic and cumulative effects of all the permits that have been issued in the last two years to Naval Range Complex requests?

2. Bomb blasts and toxic chemicals are also being tested by the Navy and NOAA reviews are not including information on the Navy Hazardous Waste and Toxic Chemicals sections of the Navy E.I.S., such as bioaccumulation of chemicals in the food chain, death from exposure to toxic chemicals and bomb blasts.

3. The Navy will also be conducting classified future warfare testing. Since the public is not to be informed of those tests, chemicals being used, electromagnetic weapons systems, and other air or land based tests, who is protecting sea life, human health, water, soil, and air from pollution and other experimental tests?

4. Human health from airborne pollutants, toxic debris, and shoreline contamination from toxic chemicals should also be considered in the NMFS evaluation. The protection of cruise ships, fishermen, ocean tourists, U.S. Coastguard personnel, and the public who swim in the ocean should also be considered in their evaluations. This is not just a marine mammal issue.

It is now time for all of us to weigh in with regard to these warfare programs which will devastate our marine mammals, pollute our air and water, and have negative impacts on human health. We should have U.S. Congressional Hearings and a postponement of these programs until such time as the public can be informed about these issues.

Website: californiaskywatch.com
Website: agriculturedefensecoalition.org

Source

Published in: on August 21, 2009 at 5:46 am  Comments Off on US Air Force Program: Marine Mammals and Other Sea Life to be Decimated  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,