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 November 1st, 2009

Australia Oil Well on Fire

Posted by feww on November 1, 2009

UPDATE: Australia Blazing Oil Rig May Collapse

Australia West Atlas oil well catches fire

ON FIRE: West Atlas drilling rig and the Montara wellhead platform

Oil Spill AFP via BBCThe oil well which has caused a massive spill in the Timor Sea, off the north west coast of Australia, caught fire on Sunday

PTTEP Australasia, a Thai-based energy  company which operates the well, said the fire broke out as it made another attempt to plug the underwater leak.

After a 10-week leak, West atlas drilling rig and the Montara wellhead platform caught fire on Sunday. Photo AFP via BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Fire broke out on the West Atlas drilling rig and the Montara wellhead platform after the West Triton successfully intercepted the leaking well this morning,” Ferguson said.

“Well kill operations were under way at the time, but have now been suspended. Non-essential personnel are being evacuated from the West Triton.

“Current operations are focused on reducing the intensity of the fire.”

The rig’s Thai-based operator, PTTEP Australasia, said specialists had finally succeeded in the first stage  of plugging the well at 9:30 am (0130 GMT) after weeks of failed attempts.

“They had not actually stopped or killed the leak… and then unfortunately the fire broke out,” AFP reported a company spokeswoman as saying.

For more than 10 weeks the leak has been spewing  oil and gas at at least 400 barrels a day.

Jose Martins, a director at PTTEP Australasia said the only way to extinguish the fire was to plug the leak.

When oil, gas and condensate began seeping into the Timor Sea PTTEP estimated it would take 50 days to plug the well in an area described by Tourism Australia as “one of the world’s last true wilderness areas.” Three previous attempts by PTTEP Australasia to plug the leak, 2.5km below the sea bed, by pumping it full of heavy mud, have failed. Photograph: Debra Glasgow/WWF. Caption: Guardian UK. More Photos…

“The measures which we have been able to take so far can only mitigate the fire. They will not stop the fire.”The best way to stop the fire is to complete the well-kill and stop the flow of gas and oil at the surface from the H-1 well, cutting off the fuel source for the fire.”

Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said in a statement that some of the world’s leading experts were working to fix the leaking well and respond to this latest problem.

Mr Ferguson said the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority had been called out to help fight the fire and that Geoscience Australia and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority were on standby.

However Greg Hunt,  an opposition spokesman, has accused Environment Minister Peter Garrett of doing nothing to stop the oil leak.

“Ten weeks of complacency, 10 weeks of drift, 10 weeks of inaction from Mr Garrett,” he said.”In the absence of action… the prime minister must step in and convene a national environmental emergency task force within the next 24 hours.”

“The government remains deeply concerned about this incident,” Ferguson said.

“From day one our top priorities have been the safety of people and the protection of the environment. Stopping the flow of oil and gas safely and as soon as possible remains our prime objective.”

The Australian government on Saturday released a report saying birds and marine species were at risk from the oil spill, but it said the full impact could not be immediately determined. Reuters reported.

“This spill has been a disaster from the outset,” Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said on Sunday.

“Coupled with the environmental impacts of the oil entering the ocean, the potentially hazardous effects of the dispersants being used and the threat to fisheries both here and in Indonesia, now we have a fire on our hands.”

PTTEP plans to produce about 35,000 barrels of oil per day from the Montara field, which should boost its 2009 petroleum sales to 240,000 bpd.

PTTEP operates more than 40 oil and gas projects in 14 countries throughout  the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with Montara as its main exploration and production business, said Reuters.

PTTEP are just as guilty as BP [America.] The difference is that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation, do their jobs, whereas Aussie authorities sit on their thumbs.

When the US govt takes BP to the cleaners, shouldn’t Australia show some grit, too?

Related News Links:

    Related Links:

    Recent Oil Spills:

    Posted in Australian government, ecological disaster, Indonesia, Leaking Oil Well, oil slick, Timor Sea Oil Slick | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

    Mirinae: Philippines Phlooded

    Posted by feww on November 1, 2009

    Tropical Storm MIRINAE – UPDATE 02 November 2009 at 15:UTC

    On 02 November 2009 at 15:00 UTC Tropical Storm MIRINAE was located near 12.5N, 108.0E, or approximately 290 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The strom has been tracking westward (260 degrees) at a forward speed of about 22km/h during the past six hours, having made landfall shortly after 06:00 UTC. “The Low level circulation center (LLCC) is expected to dissolve over land within the next 12 hours. Remnant vorticity may track towards the Gulf of Thailand,” JTWC said, but the LLCC is not expected to redevelop.

    • Maximum Sustained Winds:  85 km/h
    • Maximum Wind Gusts:  102 km/h


    Image of the Day:

    Philippines After Mirinae

    Santa Cruz streets after mirinae  AP
    Philippines Govt sent naval boats to Santa Cruz where roads were heavily flooded. Even after the floodwater receded after rain had eased, it was still reported as “chest-high” in some areas. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Initial Impact of Mirinae on the Philippines

    • Mirinae was the fourth storm in a month to pummel the Philippines.
    • It made landfall on the eastern coastal province of Quezon, buffeting the area with winds of 150 km/h and gusts of up to 190 km/h.
    • The typhoon struck Quezon about 24:00 UTC, Friday, moving west, south of Manila as it weakened overland into a tropical storm Saturday afternoon, and headed in the direction of Vietnam.
    • Heavy rain and strong winds caused more damage to the already storm stricken areas in the region.
    • Typhoon Mirinae took a similar path to storm Ketsana, whose heavy rains inundated Manila in September causing the worst floods in living memory.
    • The worst storm-related floods in living memory have left hundreds dead , with up to a quarter of a million homeless.
    • Up to 20 people have been killed or were reported as missing, including 7 confirmed  deaths, as of posting. A man was drowned and his small baby washed away in Pililla township in Rizal province, east of Manila, as they tried to cross an overflowing creek, reports said.
    • Six more people were killed in Laguna province, south of the capital, and up to a dozen people are reported missing.
    • In the town of Santa Cruz the roads were flooded, residents waded through a chest high mix of muddy floodwater and sewage after Mirinae dumped heavy rains in the area. govt sent in naval boats to help with rescue operation.
    • “The waters were really high. It was like a flashflood. It was waist deep in our area but in other areas it went as high as the rooftops,” a local official was quoted as saying.
    • Up to 120,000 people were evacuated in areas south of Manila. Residents in other areas were told to prepare essential supplies for 3 days, and stay put.
    • Some 180 flights were canceled, dozens of ferries grounded, many schools closed.
    • Areas south of the capital were worst hit by heavy rain and strong winds, which caused significant damage.

    Philippines  Cyclones Since August 2009

    • 30 Oct: Typhoon Mirinae Struck Quezon, leaving up to 20 dead or missing.
    • 3 Oct: Typhoon Parma’s triggered floods and landslides killing more than 200.
    • 26 Sept: Tropical Storm Ketsana dumped more water on Manila and neighboring provinces than ever recorded, killing up to 400, and leaving a quarter of a million people homeless.
    • 7 Aug: Typhoon Morakot swept northern Luzon, killing more than 10 people.

    Related Links:

    Posted in Climate Change, dividends of climate change, human enhanced natural hazards, Philippines, tropical cyclone, Tropical storm, Typhoon MIRINAE | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    What Exactly Airlines Doing to You?

    Posted by feww on November 1, 2009

    Six passengers faint on board British Airways flight

    London Ambulance service were called to treat at least six passengers at UK’s Heathrow airport after they fainted while on a British Airways flight.

    None of the passengers needed hospitalization and were told they could  continue their journeys, according to the airline.

    London Ambulance Service was asked to meet the flight from Newark at Terminal Five at 0650 GMT on Saturday.

    Emergency services teams initially wore protective suits as it was unclear what had caused the passengers to faint.

    “A handful of passengers on the aircraft fainted during the flight. As a precaution, medical services met the aircraft.” A British Airways representative said.

    It’s not yet known what caused the British Airways passengers to faint.

    Related Links:

    Posted in & Aviation Industry, air travel, airline food, airline safety, airlines, cabin air quality | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »