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Archive for the ‘Exxon Valdez’ Category

BP Leak Already Biggest Oil Disaster in U.S. History

Posted by feww on May 18, 2010

About 1.4 million barrels of crude may have already spewed into the Gulf of Mexico

[NOTE: Fire-Earth estimate for the amount of crude oil already leaked into GOM is about 700,000 barrels as of May 18.]

BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has already exceeded by a factor of 2.5 to 5 the magnitude of Exxon (Exxon Valdez) disaster in Prince William Sound, on the south coast of Alaska in 1989.

In the Exxon Valdez disaster an estimated 11 million gallons (262,000 barrels) of crude oil were released into the Alaskan waters. An estimated 30,000 gallons of crude still remains in the sand and soil.

Even at NOAA’s hugely underestimated calculation of 5,000bpd, the spill total now stands at 140,000 barrels (6 million gallons and counting).

Oil disasters are usually measured in terms of how many barrels of oil are spilled into the waters; however, the plight of so many millions of people whose livelihood depends on what was already an ailing body of water, has added a new socioeconomic dimension.

What BP Says:

BP Plc says its “quick fix” is sort of working. Using undersea remote control devices [‘robots,’]  their technicians have inserted a mile-long tube into the leaking riser, the  massive ruptured pipe, and are  siphoning about a fifth of the oil that is gushing out of the well.

GULF of MEXICO – Gas from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon wellhead is flared by the drillship Discoverer Enterprise May 16, 2010. A fraction of the gas and oil from the wellhead are being brought to the surface via a narrow siphoning tube that was placed inside the much wider damaged riser. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley. [Caption edited by FEWW]

“I do feel that we have, for the first time, turned the corner in this challenge,” BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward said in Florida.

“Over the last 48 hours, we’re beginning to meet with some significant success.”

Clearly the criteria for success in BP minds is different to the rest of us. WE see the leak as still continuing.

Center for Public Integrity has released a new paper that shows 2 of the BP-owned U.S. refineries were responsible for 97 percent of the worst refining industry safety violations in the past three years, according to federal inspectors.

Let the federal inspectors call it safety violations, what BP has done in the Gulf of Mexico is corporate terrorism.

The suspected terrorist who left a car in New York’s Time Square recently which reportedly contained propane gas cylinders, which may or may not have exploded, and may or may not have killed anyone, would probably spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.

BP executives who have already killed 11 people, devastated at least twice as many families and left a number of orphans behind, on the other hand, are walking freely and discussing their next deepwater drilling project.

How Badly is Louisiana Affected?

Meanwhile, hundreds of shrimpers in Louisiana as well as many others whose income depends on fishing, tourism and related industries, have already lost their jobs, and are barely surviving, making ends meet by doing odd jobs where available.

And Florida?

US Coast Guard  Rear Adm Peter Neffenger is on record as saying that the oil could be swept up into the “loop current” and move around Florida coastline.

“Currently it shows to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-50 miles [65km-80km] from the southern edge of the spill,” he said.

“We are watching that carefully and as a result of that we are preparing for potential impact on the southern Florida coast and impacts around the southern Florida coast.”

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Posted in disaster 2010, Exxon Valdez, exxon valdez oil spill, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BP Won’t Pay – Oil Spill Update May 5

Posted by feww on May 5, 2010

BP Won’t Pay for Economic Damage

The Behemoth Didn’t Become an Oil Giant by Meeting Its Obligations or Paying Damages

Furthermore, the system has been set up to protect the big oil, as Fire-Earth have said previously.

Here’s what Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) had to say after he met  with Tony Hayward yesterday:

He asked tony Hayward: “‘Will you be responsible for the economic damages”‘

Tony Hayward replied: “That’s something we’ll have to work out in the future.'”

Nelson has recently co-sponsored new legislation to raise the $75-million cap on oil companies’ legal liability for economic damages to $10 billion, retroactively.

“Just minutes before, in front of the same bank of television cameras outside Nelson’s office in the Hart Senate office building, Hayward had said, ‘BP is taking very seriously its responsibility. … All legitimate claims will be paid.'” NYT reported.

Oil Companies, the Big oil, are the most powerful entities in the world. They carry more megatonage than the entire US and European nuclear arsenal put together. They are also “bomb-proof.” As was the case with Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, they tell the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of government what outcome they are seeking, and that become law. [We stand to be corrected-Fire Earth Moderators.]

Readers will recall that the oil lobby easily persuaded the Legislator to nix the legal requirement for an acoustic device that, in all probability, could have activated the blowup preventer and that is required by law in other countries.

Exxon is the largest multinational corporation in the world, BP is the 4th largest corporation and the third big oil:

  1. ExxonMobil (US)
  2. Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands/UK)
  3. BP (UK)
  4. Chevron Corporation (US)
  5. ConocoPhillips (US)
  6. Total S.A. (France)

How bad will the spill be tomorrow?

Cumulative Oil Spill Trajectory Map. Click image to enlarge.

Trajectory Forecast

Mississippi Canyon 252 – Estimate for: 1800 CDT, Friday, 5/07/10
Date Prepared: 2100 CDT, Tuesday, 5/04/10  –  NOAA/NOS/OR&R

This forecast is based on the NWS spot forecast from Tuesday, May 4 PM. Currents were obtained from the NOAA Gulf of Mexico, Texas A&M/TGLO, and NAVO/NRL models and HFR measurements. The model was initialized from SLAR data obtained during a Transport Canada overflight Tuesday AM and afternoon overflight observations. The leading edge may contain tarballs that are not readily observable from the imagery (hence not included in the model initialization).

MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of a portion of the oil slick
on May 4, 2010. The oil might drift into the path of the Loop Current, which carries warm water from the Yucatán Peninsula across the Gulf of Mexico and toward Florida. The current had the potential to spread oil to the shores to Mississippi, Alabama, the east coast of Florida, and the Florida Keys. Meanwhile, the Pentagon approved the deployment of as many as 17,500 National Guard soldiers to assist with cleanup efforts, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, well operators considered drilling a relief well—a diagonal well intersecting the original that could be filled with mud or concrete to block the oil. Image and caption: NASA [Caption edited by Fire-Earth.]

A platform is surrounded by the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead at the mouth of the Mississippi river May 5, 2010.  Credit: REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace/Handout.

A platform is surrounded by the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead at the mouth of the Mississippi river May 5, 2010.  Credit: REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace/Handout

How did this one die, the oil spill? No, she died from dispersant poisoning!

A dead fish is seen on the side of a road in Venice, Louisiana May 3, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in Exxon Valdez, exxon valdez oil spill, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill, gulf oil spill site, satellite photo oil spill | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Breaking News: Oil Leak 25,000 Bpd

Posted by feww on May 2, 2010

9 million barrels already leaked: Expert

On April 30 Fire-Earth Forecast:

The catastrophe could escalate even further and enter a new nightmarish dimension if the damaged underwater well were to develop a major rupture, resulting in the entire content of the well, a humongous amount of crude oil, spilled into the Gulf.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has determined that deteriorating conditions on the sea bed may result in an even greater flow of 50,000 barrels a day, which would result in America’s worst ecological disaster ever.

Professor Ian MacDonald, an ocean specialist at Florida State University, believes that the leak from the ruptured well has already spewed 9m gallons of heavy crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

NOTE: The Exxon Valdez oil spill, which occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, is thought to be one of the worst human-caused environmental disasters ever. The tanker spilled about 10.8 million gallons (about 41 million litres) of crude oil into the water, covering an arae of about 3,400 sq km (1,300) square miles with its load of Prudhoe Bay crude.

The effects of the spill is still felt today, some 21 years later. there is a marked reduction in the population of various marine animals, including sea otters, pink salmon, ducks and many others.

Oil Slick Near Mississippi Delta

The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico lingered near the Mississippi Delta on May 1, 2010. MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image the same day. The oil slick appears as a tangle of dull gray on the ocean surface, made visible to the satellite sensor by the Sun’s reflection on the ocean surface. Most of the oil slick occurs southeast of the Mississippi Delta. Image and caption: NASA  [Caption Edited for brevity by Fire-Earth] – Download large image (2 MB, JPEG)

On April 29 Fire-earth also forecast:

The leak in the Gulf of Mexico could exceed the Exxon Valdez crude spill in less than 30 days, if not stemmed.


The Gulf of Mexico nightmare enters a new phase—the first stage in the collapse of the Gulf states may have begun.

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    Serial No 1,658. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

    Posted in Exxon Valdez, Exxon Valdez Disaster, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill, Gulf of Mexio | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

    Native Groups Nix Enbridge Pipeline

    Posted by feww on March 24, 2010

    Native groups won’t allow Enbridge pipeline

    Native groups on Canada’s Pacific Coast say they’ll  block Enbridge Inc’s proposed Northern Gateway project to carry oil sands crude from northern Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia, for export.

    “The proposed 1,170-kilometre Northern Gateway line is to carry crude oil from Alberta tar sands to Kitimat B.C. where it would be loaded onto tankers and shipped to refineries along the Pacific Rim, poses a perilous threat to the environment and the very existence of aboriginal ways of life, said Art Sterritt, Coastal First Nations executive director.” The Province reported.

    The Exxon Valdez, three days after the vessel ran aground on Bligh Reef. The Exxon Valdez spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, United States, on March 24, 1989. Some 41 million liters of Prudhoe Bay crude oil were spilled into the sea destroying a habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals, and seabirds.  Photo: NOAA

    “Some people are saying (the pipeline) is a done deal. It’s not,” Art Sterritt, executive director of the Coastal First Nations, a coalition of native Indian communities in the area, often called the Great Bear Rainforest.

    “Enbridge completely ignores the fact that the larger part of the pipeline is going through the traditional territories of B.C.’s First Nations. You see them here today in opposition.”

    The First Nations alliance, representing 28 entities, have formally opposed the Northern Gateway project declaring oil tankers carrying Alberta sands crude will be blockaded. The groups are ready for a legal and political fight.

    “Aboriginal leaders said their opposition to the project was strong enough for them to continue the fight, even if Enbridge gets government and court permission to build it—including blockading tankers.” Reuters reported.

    “We are prepared to put boats across the channel,” Gerald Amos, a director of the coalition and a native leader from the Kitimat area, told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver.

    The announcement came on the 21st anniversary of the Exxon Valdez tanker’s disastrous oil spill in Prince William Sound Alaska.

    “And the Vancouver announcement was accompanied by national newspaper ads comparing the two events.” Reuters said.

    Steve Wuori, vice-president of liquids pipelines for Enbridge Inc, Canada’s second-largest pipeline company, told the Reuters at Canadian Oil Sands Summit in Calgary that he was “chagrined” by the comparison to the Exxon Valdez disaster.

    “It’s disappointing to see the dialogue over what is an important infrastructure project under stringent environmental standards and engineering practices reduced to a recounting of a 21-year-old incident,” Wuori said.

    Enbridge digging the earth for one of their pipelines. Photo: Enbridge  Northern gateway website. Image may be subject to copyright.

    The Northern Gateway Pipeline Project

    Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Project consists of two separate sets of pipelines, according to  Enbridge  Northern Gateway website .

    The West Line will transport petroleum from near Edmonton to Kitimat, a distance of about 1,170 km, in 36 inches in a giant 915mm (36 inch) diameter pipe carrying an average of 2.1 million liters (525,000 barrels) of petroleum per day.

    The East Line will transport condensate from Kitimat to near Edmonton in a large 510mm pipeline of 193,000 barrels of condensate per day. The condensate is needed to thin bitumen (heavy petroleum products) for pipeline transport.

    Enbridge Northern Gateway project proposed double pipelines map. Photo: Enbridge  Northern gateway website. Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

    At least 125 groups, businesses, environmental organizations and prominent Canadians oppose the Northern Gateway project.

    News Links:

    Posted in Coastal First Nations, Enbridge pipeline, Exxon Valdez, oil pollution, oil spill | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Shell Leaks in Shabby Style!

    Posted by feww on July 29, 2009

    Gulf of Mexico Turning into Oil Tailings Pond

    The Gulf of Mexico has more utility value as a sewage dump than as body of water for marine life to thrive!

    Let’s face it, to the “Real World people” the Gulf of Mexico has more utility value as a sewage dump than as body of water for  marine life to thrive. Where else could you bury your oil pipelines, or let the agricultural runoffs flow to, if the Gulf wasn’t there?

    Shell and the U.S. Coast Guard are working to contain a few thousand barrels of crude oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico from its 50cm diameter pipeline,which is buried about 20m under water.

    Shell reportedly discovered the leak Saturday on its Eugene Island oil pipeline, some 50 km off the coast of Louisiana (about 100km southwest of Houma, Louisiana).

    “The pipeline has been shut down, halting daily supplies of 100,000 barrels a day of Eugene Island oil. The Eugene Island line also was carrying new oil from Chevron’s Tahiti platform which began flowing in May.” Reuters reported.

    “The oil spill was among the largest in recent years in U.S. waters, officials said. Helicopters and airplanes that flew over the spill viewed a 16-by-3-mile “rainbow-like” oil sheen, Coast Guard Petty Officer Tom Atkeson said.”

    Saturday’s oil spill is compared to a November 2007 bunker fuel spill into the San Francisco Bay that contaminated the local beaches and drew sharp protests from the locals and environmentalists.

    “Shell had no estimate on repairs or a target date for restart of the 20-inch diameter pipeline, but people knowledgeable about operations said fixing it in 60-foot-deep water could take a day if the problem is small to weeks if it is big. Restart requires government approval.” The report said

    “At this time, we cannot forecast when restart will occur. Our top priorities during the response and restart phases are safety and the environment,” a company spokesman said.

    Shell owns a large stake in the pipeline as its operator, with other majors stakeholders being ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips and Marathon.

    Axis of Pollution: ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron , ConocoPhillips, Marathon …

    Late Print:

    As if to prove us right, the U.S. District Court in Washington has just said “it will allow the U.S. Interior Department to move forward with oil and natural gas leasing plans for the Gulf of Mexico that were drawn up by the Bush administration.”

    The court said, “leasing plans for the Gulf could continue, as could drilling off Alaska, but the department would have to conduct a review of the environmental risks before approving significant energy development activities.” Reuters reported.

    “Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he was pleased [jumping with joy] with the court’s decision and will go forward with a Gulf of Mexico lease sale planned for August 19.”

    Salazar said:

    President Obama has made clear that a comprehensive energy plan that reduces America’s dependence on foreign oil must include domestic production, and the Court’s ruling allows us to move forward in a balanced way.

    The American Petroleum Institute, which sued to allow drilling in the Gulf to continue, said:

    The court made the right decision by allowing the continued production of oil and natural gas from Gulf of Mexico,” . “The nation’s energy security depends upon these resources.

    Meanwhile, Caroline Cannon, president of a native Alaskan village who sued to block Bush administration’s five-year (2007 to 2012) offshore oil and gas drilling  plan, said:

    This drilling plan and the associated seismic testing, increases in vessel traffic, proposed large onshore and offshore infrastructure projects, and projections of oil spills in our unindustrialized homelands is extremely stressful.

    But who said anyone was going to buy that truth stuff?

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    Posted in Axis of pollution, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Valdez, ExxonMobil, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill, Marathon, San Francisco Bay | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Suncor lives to pollute another day!

    Posted by feww on April 3, 2009

    Suncor slapped with ‘parking ticket fine’

    A Canadian court ordered  Suncor Energy Inc and its contractor to pay C$1 million ($800k) in fines on Thursday for environmental violations at the company’s northern Alberta oil sands operations, Reuters reported.

    [Where’s the justice in this world? McDonald’s no doubt wants to know. The company was fined $2.9 million for second and third degree burns sustained by a woman who spilled hot coffee on herself.]

    “Suncor, Canada’s No. 2 oil sands producer, will pay C$675,000 for failing to install pollution control equipment at its Firebag steam-driven oil sands operation near Fort McMurray, Alberta, and then keeping that information from provincial environmental authorities.” Said the report.

    The violations occurred during 2006 and 2007 when deadly hydrogen sulfide [suicide gas] was released into the atmosphere, according to the Alberta environment ministry.

    “The company had committed to installing the equipment in its application to develop the Firebag project, where steam is pumped into the ground to loosen up tar-like bitumen, allowing it to be pumped to the surface in wells.” Reuters said.

    Suncor and one of its contractors, Compass Group Canada Ltd, were also found guilty for yet another violation by a Fort McMurray court, which fined the two a total of  C$400,000 for releasing wastewater into the Athabasca River from 2005 and 2007.

    “The subcontractor pleaded guilty to falsifying information and mismanaging the facility.” [That’s what the fall guys are for!]

    “The ministry said Suncor and Compass were unaware of the falsification [that’s the stuff friendly ministries are made of,] but Suncor was fined C$175,000 for failing to supervise Compass and Compass was fined C$225,000 for failing to report the subcontractor’s violations.”

    The payment compares with the Exxon Valdez fine, admittedly a bigger disaster than the Suncor legacy,  which even after it was slashed, still stood at $500million [Exxon claimed to have spent $3.4 billion to compensate victims, clean up the spill, and pay settlements and fines.]

    Is that because of the fundamental differences that exist between the US and Canadian courts?
    (Forex rate: $1=$1.25 Canadian)

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    Posted in Alberta environment ministry, Compass Group Canada Ltd, Exxon Valdez, hydrogen sulfide, suicide gas | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Bering Sea Drilling

    Posted by feww on April 9, 2008

    Government seeks comment on possible Bering Sea drilling

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service on Tuesday announced it is launching an environmental review of possible offshore oil and gas drilling in the salmon-rich area of Bristol Bay, where energy exploration was temporarily banned following the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

    The area is also home to the world’s biggest sockeye salmon runs and a plethora of marine life, including some of the last known eastern Pacific right whales, a critically endangered species. Full report

    Satellite image of the Yukon Delta and Bering Sea. This is how the Big Oil and media would like you to see the area: Alien, Icy, lifeless!

    The Yukon Delta (Center) and Bering Sea (Left) image taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite March 8, 2004. (REUTERS/MODIS Rapid Responce Team/NASA-GSFC RCS)

    Teeming with Life: Closeups of Yukon Delta and Bering Sea

    “Rock Sandpipers drop from the air and into a roost along the shores of the Bering Sea, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Shorebirds form roosts as the tide rises. Once the tide drops and foraging sites are once again exposed, the roost disperses.” (Photo Credit: USGS, Alaska Science Center)

    They can gain protection from aerial predators by forming large flocks, but they don’t stand a chance against the Big Oil!

    “A flock of Dunlin wheels past at Egegik Bay, Alaska. These small shorebirds gain protection from aerial predators by forming large flocks.” (Photo Credit: USGS, Alaska Science Center)

    “Recently hatched Rock Sandpiper chicks, St. Matthew Island, Alaska. Most shorebird chicks exit the nest quickly after hatch and begin to feed themselves, relying on parents for frequent brooding. Their coloration allows them to blend into their tundra surroundings, escaping the detection of predators.” (Photo Credit: USGS, Alaska Science Center)

    The Pribilof Islands provide breeding grounds for more than two-thirds of the world’s northern fur seals. (Image and caption courtesy of USGS).

    The Pribilof Islands are in the Bering Sea, approximately 770 mi west-southwest of Anchorage and 250 mi north of the Aleutian Islands. Approximately 3 million seabirds nest on the islands, and nearly 1 million northern fur seals—about 70 percent of the world’s northern-fur-seal population—migrate there each year to breed. Other animals on the islands include arctic foxes and herds of reindeer. (Photo courtsey of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration; caption courtesy of USGS.)

    Common Murres at breeding sites on Bogoslof Island in 1999. Murres (including Thick-billed Murres) are excellent subjects for studies of food stress: They are numerous, relatively easy to capture and breed widely throughout the Bering Sea. Both species have declined markedly at some colonies in the Bering Sea since the 1970’s. (Photos and captions courtesy of ABSC USGS).

    Black-legged and Red-legged Kittiwake breeding colony on Bogoslof Island. The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is monitoring breeding success and chick growth rates at nest sites on Bogoslof and the Pribilof islands. (Photo and caption courtesy of ABSC USGS).

    The sea otter is the keystone species for the nearshore marine environment. Sea otter populations are in decline both in California and Alaska, and the California population is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. (Photo and caption courtesy of USGS, Santa Cruz Field Station).

    Posted in Bristol Bay, Endangered Species, energy, environment, Exxon Valdez, Pacific, politics, Shell, whales | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »