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Archive for the ‘oil slick’ Category

The Frustrated Polar Bear

Posted by feww on April 30, 2010

Image of the day:

“Darn, Just When I Was Getting Ready to Move to The Gulf Coast …”

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Serial No 1,646. 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 Energy and Climate Bill, environment, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill, Gulf of Mexio, offshore Drilling, oil disaster, oil slick | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

    Timor Sea Oil Slick: Growing Australian Disaster

    Posted by feww on September 23, 2009

    UPDATE: Australia Oil Well on Fire

    Timor Sea: Terra Satellite Images (MODIS)

    Background Information:

    Oil Slick in the Timor Sea (Earth Observatory)


    What was probably a sheen of oil calmed the waters of the Timor Sea and darkened the mirror-like reflection of the Sun when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on September 17, 2009. The top image shows the wider area, with part of Western Australia at lower right. The colorful water near the shore is probably a mixture of sediment and phytoplankton. The bottom image is a close up of the area outlined in white.

    The oil was leaking from a well that was damaged during drilling on August 21. According to news reports, chemicals that help the oil disperse are being dropped on the slick from airplanes. The light-colored streaks may be some combination of oil and dispersant.

    Twice-daily images of the Timor Sea are available from the MODIS Rapid Response Team Website. Note that the slick will not be visible in every image; viewing conditions have to be perfect for a thin sheen of oil or droplets to be visible in photo-like satellite imagery. (See a previous image in this event for an explanation.)

    NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data obtained from the Goddard Land Processes data archives (LAADS). Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.

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    Posted in AMSA, australian oil spill, Kimberley coast, leaking oil rig, Montara development, Montara Well Head Platform, offshore oil wells, offshore Australian oil well, oil slick, SeaDrill Ltd, Sunda Trench | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    How Much Oil Pollution Is Too Much?

    Posted by feww on September 7, 2009

    Major Disaster in Timor Sea

    Image of the Day: “The Water is an Orangy Color”

    Will the Australian oil spill grow to an even bigger disaster  than Exxon Valdez?

    water from Timor sea dispersal area
    “The water is an ‘orangy’ color, the birds have gone and marine life is sick and dying.” —Commercial Fisherman, George Hamilton, who visited the dispersal area in Timor sea. Image is a frame grab from a video broadcast by ABCNews (Australia).  Image may be subject to copyright.

    The oil spill will continue for many weeks, possibly months before the leak can be stopped.

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    Posted in australian oil spill, Kimberley coast, leak at the West Atlas oil rig., leaking oil rig, Montara development, Montara Well Head Platform, offshore oil wells, offshore Australian oil well, oil slick, Sunda Trench, West Atlas oil rig | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Finnish Oil Spill Threatens Baltic Coast

    Posted by feww on March 30, 2009

    Naantali Oil Spill Spoils Åland Islands

    Oil from Sunday’s spill near Naantali, south-western Finland, has drifted as far as the Åland Islands. Officials suspect that it leaked from one or more ships. Image: YLE Uutisgrafiikka. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Location Map. Image credit: For licensing details click here.

    A long slick of light fuel oil extending for more than 100km has been detected off southwestern Finland in the Baltic archipelago, according to officials.

    It’s believed that ship traffic was the likely source of the spill because of the  slick’s location which in shipping lanes stretching from the port of Naantali to the Åland Islands.

    “The oil is in the ice, but it has not hit shore yet,” Reijo Salminen, a local fire brigade chief, said.

    he added that the oil sightings began in Naantali and ran parallel to a shipping lane to Ledsund, located south of the Åland Islands,  local media reported.

    “The oil that found its way into the sea is either fuel oil or diesel oil. It floats on the surface and evaporates quickly, therefore not contaminating sites as badly as heavy oil does,” he added.

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    Posted in Baltic Coast, Finland, oil slick, oil spill | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »