Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for August 23rd, 2009

Australian Oil Disaster May Get a Lot Worse

Posted by feww on August 23, 2009

No Worries, It’s Only Crude Oil!

Leaking offshore Australian oil well will probably spill into Timor Sea until October

A leaking offshore Australian oil well will probably spill crude  oil into the Timor Sea for the next two months before it can be plugged, according to the Rig operator PTTEP Australasia.

According to various reports the crew of 69 aboard the rig were evacuated shortly after the leak was detected.

The leak would cause tremendous harm to the wildlife in the region.

Australia Oil Spill
In this image taken from a footage shot by AuBC/CH7/CH9 as pool and distributed via APTN, white smoke billows from an oil rig 2 off northwest coast in Australia, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009. A plane loaded with chemical dispersants rushed Saturday toward a slick spilling from an oil rig in remote waters off Australia’s northwest coast. (AP Photo/AuBC/CH7/CH9, POOL via APTN). Image may be subject to copyright.

The leak began on Friday after the well was ruptured some  3,500 meters below sea level, PTTEP Australasia said, adding that they plan to drill a relief well to intersect the existing well and stop its flow by pouring in mud to cement the leak.

The company said that it would take 20 days to bring a new offshore drilling rig from Singapore, and another four weeks to drill the new well.

The spill is now about 25 km long and at least 45 meters wide. The operator refuses to say how much oil is being spilled into the Timor Sea.

Australia Oil Spill
In this image taken from a footage shot by AuBC/CH7/CH9 as pool and distributed via APTN, white smoke billows from an oil rig 2 with a slick of oil off northwest coast in Australia, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009. A plane loaded with chemical dispersants rushed Saturday toward a slick spilling from an oil rig in remote waters off Australia’s northwest coast. (AP Photo/AuBC/CH7/CH9, POOL via APTN). Image may be subject to copyright.

“Environmentalists have expressed concern about the giant slick, saying the entire area is ecologically significant and part of an ‘ocean super highway’ for migrating animals between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.” Reuters reported.

“Many breathe air and could surface in the oil, an official of WWF Australia said.”

“From a global scale this is one of the most important places on the planet for ocean wildlife,” Reuters reported Gilly Llewelyn, WWF Australia’s director of conservation as saying.

The area is regarded as  “critical migration routes,”  like an “oceanic super highway,” she said, adding that three endangered species of turtles, as well as sea snakes, and pygmy blue whales may be affected.

The spill reportedly occurred at the Montara development, which was scheduled to start  production by the end of 2009.  “The West Atlas drilling unit is owned by Norway’s SeaDrill Ltd, but operated by PTTEP Australasia.” Reuters reported.

oil slick
Oil leak coming from the offshore West Atlas oil rig (top), Montara Project, about 255km off the north Kimberley coast of Western Australia state. Image: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

According to an aerial photo released by AFP the center of the slick is located at  12° 35.645′ S, 124° 49.000’E, about 255km off the north Kimberley coast of Western Australia state.

The Montara Project: A Leaky Dream?

The following information is from Coogee Resources website


The Company intends to develop the Montara Project via an FPSO located at the Montara field with tie-backs to the Skua and Swift/Swallow fields via flowlines. The development plan for the Montara Project involves nine producing wells, of which six will be drilled in Phase 1 (currently scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2008) and three will be drilled in Phase 2 (currently scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2009). Coogee Resources has commenced work on the design, engineering and procurement activities for the Montara Project. Facility construction began in July 2007 and development drilling is scheduled to commence in early 2008.

Location and geography

The Montara, Skua and Swift/Swallow oil fields are located in the southern Timor Sea approximately 650km west of Darwin. This section of the Timor Sea is administered by the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry Fisheries and Mines (NTDPIFM) within Australian territory and is free from any potential issues of sovereignty.

The Montara oil field is approximately 82 kilometres south-west of the existing operations at Challis. The Skua oil field is located 25 kilometres north-west of the Montara oil field and the Swift/Swallow oil field is located 9 kilometres south-east of the Skua field.

Montara Project Development Schematic

Image and introduction material may be subject to copyright.

Coogee Resources Exploration Focus Areas. Image and introduction material may be subject to copyright.

What caused the rupture?

Timor Plate
Map of Timor Plate. Original map license:  CC-BY-SA

Drilling at the edge of abyss. FEWW believes that the rupture in the well occurred as a result of the recent intense seismic activity in the northern and central sections of Sunda Trench to the northwest of the Montara oil field, as well as ongoing moderate seismic activity on Timor Plate boundaries. The region is one of the most active segments of the Pacific Ring of fire, the one place you wouldn’t want to drill for oil. NO sane geologist or geophysicist/field seismologist would recommend drilling activity in the area. You have been warned!

Related Links:

Posted in australian oil spill, Kimberley coast, Montara development, SeaDrill Ltd, Sunda Trench | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

NZ Dairy Goliath FONTERRA Killing Rainforest

Posted by feww on August 23, 2009

Our thanks to TEAA for supplying the links

New Zealand dairy Goliath Fonterra and NZ farmers fed their national herd one-quarter of the world’s palm kernel stock food supply in 2008

A new scandal involving Fonterra, New Zealand’s dairy Goliath, and the country’s unscrupulous farmers has broken out.

Fonterra and NZ farmers imported more than one million tonnes of palm kernel expeller (PKE) in 2008 from Indonesia and Malaysia, where the tropical rainforest is being lost leading, among a plethora of looming ecological disasters, to the destruction of orang-utan and tiger habitat.

To produce palm kernel (and palm oil) vast tracks of tropical rainforest in Indonesia and Malaysia are clear-felled to make room for plantations, destroying a primary carbon sink, in addition to creating a major source of carbon emissions, and accelerating the extinction of thousands of species.

the Sumatran orang-utan.
The Sumatran orang-utan is losing its habitat to New Zealand farmers. Photo: Oka Budhi/Greenpace

“An international body, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, has been set up to ensure sustainable supply of palm product, but secretary-general Dr Vengeta Rao said last week that ‘very little’ of what entered New Zealand would have been certified.” NZ’s Sunday Star Times reported.

Roundtable say only a total of about 330,000 metric tons of PKE on the global market since August 2008 may be considered certified. New Zealand imported 1,104,387 ton, nearly the same amount as the combined consumption of the 27 EU countries.

Two weeks ago, the Sunday Star-Times travelled to Indonesia with Greenpeace communications manager Suzette Jackson and Waitakaruru farmer Max Purnell to see, first hand, the impact of this trade that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says has increased one thousand-fold since 2000.

We spoke to community leaders who said they had been jailed in their fight to keep land from palm companies, and conservationists who feared for the future of animals such as the Sumatran orang-utan.

“Not only is this trade damaging to the environment on the ground here, it’s also really damaging to how we are trying to portray ourselves internationally, as a country that does care, that does give a damn, and wants to live up to what we trade on our clean, green identity,” said Jackson.

Are New Zealand farmers telling the truth about “the spike in imports” being due to a harsh drought in 2008 compelling them to import supplementary feed?

Not so!  Says Jackson, “the figures have climbed really steadily over the past 10 years. Drought has a little bit to do with it, but the major reason this increase has come about is through the intensification and corporatisation of New Zealand’s dairy sector.

Purnell said he had witnessed the “systematic, deliberate, studied rape and desecration of land and the local people’s ability to have a future with it”.

New Zealand palm kernel imports jumped from a third of a ton in 1999 to about one-half of a million ton in 2007 and then more than doubled to over 1.1 million tons in 2008.

According to an article published in the  Sri Lankan daily newspaper, Heladiwa Irida Sangrahaya, Fonterra milk products are adulterated with palm oil or other vegetable oils. “On March 15, the newspaper printed an article and editorial alleging the milk products did not contain full cream, but instead added palm oil and vegetable oil.”  Fonterra didn’t like the article and is seeking a billion rupee (about $17 million) and a gagging writ over the newspaper and its editor.

Fonterra part owns the rural supply chain RD1, which sells palm kernel expeller to the farmers. RD1 buys its bulk imports from Wilmar International, the world’s largest trader of palm oils and kernel, a company known globally for rainforest destruction.

Be fair to the rainforest, tiger, orang-utan, and countless other species that are going extinct.

Boycott New Zealand Dairy and Meat Products!

Related Links:

Posted in fonterra kills, industrial farming, NZ Dairy products, NZ lamb, palm oil industry, Sumatran rainforest | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Greece on Fire!

Posted by feww on August 23, 2009

Athens Fires May Torch Marathon!

At least 100 forest blazes have started throughout Greece in less than a day torching the worst record set in 2007, officials said.

Fires in Greece
Up to 80 large forest fires torch Greece. The worst blazes are occurring in areas where homes are built among trees, reducing the forests, natural resistence to fire. Photo AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Summary of events:

  • Fires are spreading through northern suburb of  Athens, the Greek capital.
  • The government has  declared a state of emergency in the area.
  • The fires have spread as far north as the towns of Grammatiko and Varnavas, and are also threatening the town of Marathon.
  • Thousands of hectares of forest, farmland  and olive groves have been blackened; many homes and structure have been destroyed.
  • Gale-force winds are intensifying the blazes, which started late Friday, intensifying  overnight through Saturday
  • Fire crews are trying to prevent the fires from reaching Pendeli, a famous suburb of the capital with spectacular view of Athens.
  • “Much of Pendeli mountain was destroyed in 2007, and further erosion of the treeline would be an ecological disaster,” the BBC’s reporter in Athens said.
  • The 2007 forest fires on mainland blackened 6% of Greece’s tree cover, killing 70 people.
  • “The fires are further contributing to the deforestation of the mountains around Athens. Three of the four mountains surrounding the capital have already been stripped of their trees by fire,” BBC added.
  • In July thousands of hectares of forest and farmland were incinerated across the Mediterranean in France, Greece, Italy and Spain, aided by heat waves and dry conditions.

Related Links:

Posted in Collapsing Cities, collapsing ecosystems, Gorbachev revolution, Mediterranean drought, Mediterranean heat waves, Pendeli mountain | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »