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Archive for the ‘ecological disaster’ Category

Massive Oil Spill in Italy Poisoning Major River

Posted by feww on February 24, 2010

“Oil spill threatens ‘ecological disaster’ in Italy”

“An oil spill that fouled a small river in northern Italy reached the Po River on Wednesday, with officials warning of an ecological disaster as they scrambled to contain the spill before it contaminated Italy’s longest and most important river.” AP reported.

A View of Po River from Turin, Italy. Photo Credit: Miguel Tremblay

The spill is believed to have been caused by sabotage at an oil depot which was previously a refinery, “since the cisterns were apparently opened and allowed to flow into the Lambro River near Monza.”

The amount of the spill is estimated at 600,000 liters (158,500 gallons), which is substantially lower than the initial estimates of about 10 million liters.

“The spill began Tuesday and spread south down the Lambro to Piacenza and Cremona overnight, despite efforts to contain it. By Wednesday, it had reached the Po, which crosses the country from Piedmont in the west, across Milan and Verona before emptying into the Adriatic sea.”  More…

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Posted in ecological disaster, Lambro River, Milan, Piedmont, Po River, Verona | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Alaska tug grounds, leaks diesel at Prince William Sound

Posted by feww on December 25, 2009

Tugboat meant to help prevent oil spill disasters in Prince William Sound runs aground leaking up to 35,000 gallons of diesel

The Pathfinder, a 136-foot tug with six crew, on its way back to port in Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef and radioed for help at 6:15 pm Wednesday, the Coast Guard said.

The Pathfinder, a 136-foot tug, is surrounded by a spill containment boom Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009. The tug ran aground on Bligh Reef – the same reef as the Exxon Valdez 20 years ago. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester). Image may be subject to copyright.

Two of the tug’s fuel tanks which were damaged contained about 127,000 liters (33,500 gallons) of diesel fuel, or a quarter of their full capacity, AP reported.

The tug is owned by Crowley Maritime Corp., and is part of a system set up supposedly to prevent oil disasters like  Exxon Valdez from occurring, hit Bligh Reef, a submerged navigation hazard. In 1989 the infamous Exxon Valdez ran aground after hitting the same reef, spilling some 42 million liters of crude oil and causing and ecological disaster.

Yet Another BP Pipeline Leak in Alaska

The above news came just a day or so after BP said it had discovered another oil leak in an oil pipeline connected to a well at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, the third leak reported by the company in less than 4 weeks.

On December 2, BP discovered another leak from a pipeline at a different well at Prudhoe Bay, which leaked about 30,000 litters of oil,  Alaska’s environmental officials said.

On November 29, 2009 a ruptured pipe at the Lisburne field leaked about 175,000 liters of oil and water.

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Posted in Alaska Oil Spill, Bligh Reef, BP, ecological disaster, Prince William Sound | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dubai: Eco Disaster Topped with Cheese and Money Melt

Posted by feww on November 30, 2009

The Banks That Hadn’t Learned Their Lesson

Dubai Developments: Ecological Disaster that Backfired Financially, Too

Camel Market no Place for Horse Jockeys

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange plunged 7.4% in early Monday trading due to ongoing Dubai debt crisis, while Dubai saw a further 6% fall in its market. The fall came after Dubai’s property developer, Nakheel, requested that trading of its Islamic bonds to be suspended.

Last week, the state-owned Dubai World asked for an extension to repay its debts. It’s not known where they’ll get they money from. The property market is stagnant and prices have fallen substantially.

Dubai, UAE: A sleeping fishing village transformed to a center for Mega Pollution. Public Domain Photo.

Dubai today: A concrete jungle filled with phallic symbols. CC license.

Financial Fact about Dubai Financial Meltdown:

  • Dubai’s total debt: up to $100 billion
  • Dubai World debts:  about $64 billion (of the above)
  • International Bank’s exposure to Dubai World: possibly as high as $20 billion

Now, the English translation of a poem by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Emir [minor king] of Dubai.

Take wisdom from the wise
It takes a man of vision to write on water
Not everyone who rides a horse is a jockey
Great men rise to greater challenges

FEWW Comment:

The Foolish horse jockeys ignored the wise Emir’s advice
Polluting the Gulf water to its depth
And water washed their hoof-prints off
Before the stupid banks could get their money back

Nakheel’s Grand Wet Dream.
Image may be subject to copyright.

On its website, Nakheel says:  “Nakheel is the force turning the vision of Dubai into reality. When complete, projects such as the Palm Trilogy, the World and Waterfront will add more than 600 miles of beachfront to the Dubai coastline and cover over 2 billion sq ft.  Nakheel’s 1800 employees are delivering US$60 billion of iconic developments, driving thought leadership, pioneering innovation and creating a legacy for generations to come.” [A legacy for the next generation indeed.]

Elsewhere on its website Nakheel “the Master Developer of Dubai” prophesizes:

“The Palm Jebel Ali is a landmark commercial, residential and tourism development for Dubai, which, along with the Waterfront project, will transform an area of empty desert and sea into a bustling international community, with an estimated population of 1.7 million people by 2020. ”

[No doubt all the sewage will be diverted to Saudi Arabia, to save the Gulf ecosystems from total collapse.]

The Palm Jumeirah

Palm Island Resort, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is featured in this image photographed by an astronaut from the space station, while the  resort was still under construction off Dubai’s Persian Gulf coast. Advertised as “being visible from the Moon,” this man-made palm-shaped structure displays 17 huge fronds framed by a 12-kilometer protective barrier. When completed, the resort will sport 2,000 villas, 40 luxury hotels, shopping centers, cinemas, and other facilities,  supporting a population of approximately 500,000 people.  Image and caption: NASA. Edited by FEWW.

Nakheel’s Marina Residences, Palm Jumeirah. Ugly ecological nightmare. Not a single unit sold. Photo: Nakheel. Image may be subject to copyright.

Why Dubai Developments Are a Major Ecological Disaster

  • Could you even imagine an additional 1.7 million people living in one of the most fragile ecosystem in the world?
  • What would their environmental impact be like?
  • Where would they get their food and water from?
  • How about traveling, commuting, shopping and entertainment?
  • Where would an estimated 3 million tons of sewage end up each year?
  • How about 400 billion tons of gray water annually?
  • How will they dispose an estimated 2 million tons of solid municipal waste each year?
  • [That’s a mountain of garbage equivalent to 7  times the volume of Great Pyramid of Giza. ]
  • An estimated 1,500,000 cars, trucks and other vehicles.
  • An estimated 500,000 sailing boats, powerboats, yachts, ski jets…

Palm Jebel Ali

The prices of properties being sold on the Palm Jebel Ali reportedly fell by 40% in September – November 2008, with the fall being attributed to the Financial crisis.  The truth is there are only so many fools prepared to buy a property off the coast of Dubai for at least 5 reasons [to be discussed at another time.]

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On April 18, 2011, the Moderators discovered that this page had been hacked with some of the information and one image removed.

Posted in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Dubai Debts, Dubai stock market, ecological disaster, UAE | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Australia Blazing Oil Rig May Collapse

Posted by feww on November 2, 2009

Would a Responsible Govt Allow Such Ecocide Continue for So Long?

Australia Oil Rig May Collapse, Fire Out of Control: PTTEP

On August 23, 2009 FEWW asserted that the Australian Oil Disaster May Get a Lot Worse

It has, and there’s no sign of abating.

Oil Rig Fire PTTEP
West Atlas oil rig and Montara wellhead platform on fire. Photo supplied by PTTEP via

Australian government’s silence to the ongoing ecological disaster in Timor Sea has been deafening, their inaction dazzling, their incompetence deplorable and devastating for the region, planet.

Just over 10 weeks after the leak started on August 21, 2009, the size of the oil slick spewing out of a  ruptured pipe at the West Atlas oil rig, which caught fire on Sunday, had grown to about 30,000 km².

Based on all the information they have received, FEWW Moderators believe some 29,000 tons of oil and gas condensate have been leaked into Timor Sea so far.

A laboratory analysis conducted by the Indonesian Environmental Impact Management Agency (NTT Bapedalda) on Oct. 10, 2009 found that the  seawater contained 107.2 milligrams of crude oil per liter.

“We believe the pollution was caused by an oil spill from the Montara oil field in the Timor Sea,” the head of NTT Bapedalda, Alexander Oematan, told reporters in the provincial capital of Kupang on Wednesday.


n18mer124_DDC - lg
More than 10 weeks after a blowout at a newly dug oil well, crude oil and gas condensate continued to leak into the Timor Sea, between northwest Australia and Indonesia. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the Timor Sea on October 28, 2009.
NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey, NASA’s Earth Observatory. Edited by FEWW.

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Posted in australia oil slick, ecological disaster, Montara oil field, Montara wellhead platform, PTTEP Australasia, Timor Sea, West Atlas drilling rig | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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?

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