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Archive for the ‘ExxonMobil’ Category

4m liters of crude spill into French nature reserve

Posted by feww on August 8, 2009

There’s an irony behind every oil spill!

A fractured pipeline spills 4million liters of crude oil into French nature reserve

Four million liters of crude oil [4,000 cubic meters, or 25,160 barrels, weighing approximately 3,500 metric tons] has spewed from a fractured pipeline into a nature reserve adjacent to the Camargue national park, in southern France.

oil pipe leak france
More than 2 hectares [5 acres] of Coussouls de Crau nature reserve is covered in crude oil. The reserve which is close to the town of Saint-Martin-de-Crau, in the south of France, was created in 2001 and is home to tens of thousands of birds. Photo: AFP (dated August 8, 2009). Image may be subject to copyright.

Owned by the usual gang of big polluters including France’s Total, U.S. giant ExxonMobil and Britain’s BP, the  pipeline was operated by the Societe du Pipeline Sud-Europeen (SPSE), which supplies oil refineries and a petrochemical plants in France, Germany and Switzerland.

The 40-year-old fractured underground pipe was a meter wide and buried 80 cm under the ground.

“This is a real ecological disaster,” junior environmental minister Chantal Jouanno told reporters after visiting the area in the far south of France. Reuters reported.

She held the pipeline operator, SPSE  responsible for the disaster, and added:  “We will have to draw the consequences for all the pipelines in France.”

oil spill location map
Crude spill location map: Coussouls de Crau nature reserve, near the town of Saint-Martin-de-Crau, in  south of France. Map: Google. Original map may be subject to copyright.

The leak which occurred at about 8.30 am (06:30 UCT) has reportedly covered more than 2 hectares of the Coussouls de Crau nature reserve close to the town of Saint-Martin-de-Crau,  south of France.

“The site lies at the entrance to the Camargue park, a vast expanse of plains and marshland, famous for its wild horses and bulls, that [borders] the Mediterranean Sea.” Reuters reported.

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Posted in BP, ExxonMobil, Saint-Martin-de-Crau, SPSE, Total | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

Exxon Mobile Court Orders Only Fraction of Damages

Posted by msrb on June 16, 2009

Federal Appeals Court Waters Down Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Damages 10 to 1

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Exxon Mobil Corp to pay litigants just over $500 million (plus interest), only a fraction of the original punitive damages stemming from Exxon Valdez disaster.


The Exxon Valdez, three days after the vessel ran aground on Bligh Reef. Photo: NOAA

A jury in 1996 had awarded total punitive damages of $5billion to  Alaska natives, business owners and other litigants against the 1989 Exxon Valdez massive oil spill off Alaska.

“The opinion issued on Monday by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set the punitive damages figure, and determined the date from which the interest would run, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the maximum ratio of punitive to compensatory damages is 1:1 under maritime law.” Reuters reported.


A few days after the vessel grounded, a storm pushed large volumes of  oil onto the rocky shores and beaches of Prince William Sound, Alaska. Pooled oil from the Exxon Valdez sits between rocks on the shore. Photo: NOAA

To add insult to injury, the court decided each party should bear its own attorney fees and court costs. This means the lions’ share of the money would go to the lawyers.

ExxonValdez Disaster
Grounded.  Photo courtesy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Exxon Valdez oil supertanker struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound (March 24, 1989), spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil in what was the largest environmental disasters in the US history. Only about a quarter of 26 monitored species have recovered to pre-spill numbers.

Interestingly the order regarding costs was a split decision by the judges. They want the litigants believe that there is at least  minority of judges which are more understanding.

The Exxon Valdez supertanker disaster, which contaminated about 1,250 miles of Alaska’s coastline, is considered the worst oil spill in the US history, with a clean-up price tag of about $2.5 billion.

Exxon Valdez spill map
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Area.  Image Source: Ecotrust

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Posted in Alaska's coastline, ExxonMobil, John D. Rockefeller, marine ecosystems, Standard Oil | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »