BP is once again making headlines in the Gulf of Mexico, this time due to oil seeping from the abandoned containment dome used to help stop the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.For those of us living on the Gulf coast, the disaster isn’t over! It’s just not making headlines much anymore!
Posts tagged oil spill.
(Photo: Schalk Van Zuydam / AP)
Approximately 55 African penguins that were found covered in oil were being cleaned by staff from the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds on Wednesday. The penguins, which were found on Robben Island near Cape Town, South Africa, will be released into the wild after cleaning. The oil leaked from the Turkish stricken bulk carrier Seli One, according to the Associated Press.
Oil spill originally reported by fishermen.
ExxonMobil’s Nigeria unit said it was investigating an oil spill near its facility off the country’s southeast coast, which local fishermen said had covered the waters where they fish with a toxic film.
Mobil Producing Nigeria, a joint venture between ExxonMobil and the state oil firm, said on Wednesday that relevant government agencies had been notified of the spill.
“Mobil Producing Nigeria … confirms that oiling from an unknown source has been sighted along the shoreline near Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State,” spokesman Nigel Cookey-Gam said.
“An emergency response team was immediately dispatched to the shoreline, and samples of the substance were collected for fingerprinting to determine its source, which remains unknown.”
Sam Ayadi, a fisherman in Ibeno, said by telephone that no one had been able to go fishing since the spill was first noticed on Sunday.
“The fishermen are still off the waters due to the spill. We cannot return yet. We are waiting for Mobil to open to discussions with us about what happened,” he said.
Oil spills are common in Africa’s top energy producer. Stretches of the Niger Delta, a fragile wetlands environment, are coated in crude. Thousands of barrels are spilled every year, and lax enforcement means there are few penalties.
The companies say the majority of spills are from armed oil thieves hacking into or blowing up pipelines to steal crude, an activity they estimate saps nearly a fifth of Nigeria’s output.
A landmark U.N. report in August last year slammed the government and multinational oil companies, particularly leading operator Royal Dutch Shell for 50 years of oil pollution that has devastated the Ogoniland region.
The government and oil majors have pledged to clean up the region and other parts of the delta, but residents say they have seen very little action.
More at Reuters
Daniel Beltra is a passionate environmental photographer based in Seattle, Washington who spent two months documenting the devastation wrecked by the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill from an airplane. Visually arresting, powerful and compelling, his images reveal the destructive effect of mankind on his environment, and use the transformative power of art to initiate and encourage change.
“The fragile state of our ecosystems is a continuous thread throughout my work. It is in nature’s beauty and complexity that I find my inspiration. My photographs show the vast scale of transformation our world is under from man-made stresses. To capture this, I have found it is often best to work from the air, which more easily allows for the juxtaposition of nature with the destruction wrought by unsustainable development. Aerial photography gives a unique perspective emphasizing that the Earth and its resources are finite. By taking viewers to remote locations where man and nature are at odds, I hope to instill a deeper appreciation for the precarious balance we are imposing on the planet.”
There’s been a dramatic decline in microscopic life on BP’s oiled beaches. “It went from a very diverse mix of species to being dominated by a few predators and opportunists,” says lead author Holly Bik, a postdoc at the University of California Davis.
BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may be related to the eyeless shrimp, clawless crabs and other deformed animals now found in the Gulf, reported Al Jazeera. Fishers and marine biologists believe tremendous amounts of highly toxic chemicals may have had a negative effect on creatures that are constantly bathed in them, contrary to what BP asserts.
Al Jazeera quoted numerous fisherman who had pulled warped crustaceans from the waters where nearly 5 million barrels of oils spewed forth after the 2010 explosion that cost 11 mens’ lives on the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
- “I’ve seen the brown shrimp catch drop by two-thirds, and so far the white shrimp have been wiped out,” Keath Ladner, a seafood processor in Hancock County, Mississippi told Al Jazeera. “The shrimp are immune compromised. We are finding shrimp with tumors on their heads, and are seeing this everyday.”
- Tracy Kuhns and her husband Mike Roberts, commercial fishers from Barataria, Louisiana, found eyeless shrimp and: “We are also finding eyeless crabs, crabs with their shells soft instead of hard, full grown crabs that are one-fifth their normal size, clawless crabs, and crabs with shells that don’t have their usual spikes … they look like they’ve been burned off by chemicals.”
- “We also seeing eyeless fish, and fish lacking even eye-sockets, and fish with lesions, fish without covers over their gills, and others with large pink masses hanging off their eyes and gills,” Darla Rooks, a lifelong fisherperson from Port Sulfur, Louisiana said.
An international team of scientists has demonstrated the first soap that responds to magnets. This means the soap and the materials that it dissolves can be removed easily by applying a magnetic field.
Details of the new soap, which contains iron atoms, are reported in the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. It is similar to ordinary soap, but the atoms of iron help form tiny particles that are easily removed magnetically.
Experts say that with further development, it could find applications in cleaning up oil spills and waste water.
Needs Old Spice Guy in lab coat.
“Look up, now look at me. Now this soap is iron.”
Shell Reveals That Chief Executive’s Pay Doubled In 2011 As It Admits To 207 Oil Spills In 2011
Shell chief executive Peter Voser earned more than £10m last year in pay and bonuses at a time of near-record oil prices and in a year when the firm was responsible for 207 oil spills – considerably more than the year before.
The remuneration, made up of salary, bonuses and long-term incentive schemes, was more than double the figure for 2010 but the company said it was justified by Shell’s strong operating and share-price performance. The oil firm reported global annual earnings of $28.6bn (£18bn) in 2011 – or more than £2m an hour – a 54% increase on the previous year.
Voser’s pay was revealed in the company’s annual report less than 24 hours after directors were criticised by British MPs for alleged complacency over safety plans for future drilling in the Arctic.
Shell said in its report that the number of “operational spills over 100 kilograms” increased to 207 during 2011 from 195 in 2010, but it admitted the figure for last year could still grow. The group is still investigating a further four spills in Nigeria that it admits “may result in adjustments to the 2011 data”. A similar adjustment was made to the 2010 number.
Among the confirmed spills last year was a leak from a pipeline connected to the Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea, plus one off the Bonga field in Nigeria. The company said that it regretted both incidents, but had taken “prompt and comprehensive response actions”.
Shell admitted that environmental problems it was still grappling with included 23 square kilometres of “ponds” containing toxic metals caused by the mining of tar sands at Athabasca in Alberta, Canada. It said it was still working with local authorities on what to do about the discovery of fresh water from a local aquifer in the bottom of one pond at the Muskeg River Mine, Athabasca.
TransCanada has claimed that Keystone XL will
be the “safest pipeline in the U.S.” However, since
the initial Keystone 1 pipeline began operation in
June 2010, at least 35 spills have occurred in the
U.S. and Canada. In its first year, the U.S. section
of Keystone 1 had a spill frequency 100 times
greater than TransCanada forecast. In June 2011,
federal pipeline safety regulators determined
Keystone 1 was a hazard to public safety and
issued TransCanada a Corrective Action Order.
Largest oil spill in the mid-west.
Far from DC, Michigan Residents Fight Their Own Tar Sands Pipeline Battles
As TransCanada announced it would begin building the southern leg of its Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas—setting the stage for a new Congressional battle over the transnational pipeline—Michigan residents are worried about a massive tar sands oil spill that persists in their backyards.
That’s because thousands of people along the Kalamazoo River are still dealing with a record tar sands oil pipeline accident that closed 40 miles of their river, with no end in sight. Residents say it forced people to move, hurt their businesses and continues to threaten their health. Some say they will never let their kids swim in the river again. And they worry that future pipeline company plans to expand tar sands oil operations in the area may endanger their lives even more. Read more.