On Thursday, about 275,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil spilled at the Gulf Coast Asphalt Company's facility on the Mobile River. An unknown amount of oil flowed into the Mobile River, according to Coast Guard officials (blog.al.com 9/1/2011)
Black Sea Spill
After spilling an estimated 1,300 barrels of oil into the North Sea off Scotland, the oil leak from the Shell-operated Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea has been stopped. But, wait . . . it appears there were two leaks!
A relief valve close to the faulty pipeline at Shell's Gannet Alpha oil platform in the North Sea appears to be the source of a secondary leak that is adding to the worst oil spill in UK waters in a decade (Guardian.co.uk 22 August 2011)The oil slick from the spill is one-half square kilometer and changes from day to day. According to a Shell spokesperson:
The high winds and waves over the weekend have led to a substantial reduction in the size of the oil sheen as can be seen from the current levels on the water. We continue to expect that the oil sheen will disperse naturally due to wave action and that it will not reach the shore (Shell.com 15/08/2011).
BP Gulf Leak Revisited
This suggestion that what we cannot see will not hurt us is the same mindset as BP on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. They sprayed tons of dispersants to break the oil down, hoping the spill would not reach the beach. It did. Several beaches in several states were effected and continue to be effected by the oil and the dispersants in the water and on the beaches.
Two oil dispersant products used heavily by BP during the Gulf of Mexico oil leak are COREXIT 9500 and 9527, both produced by Nalco/Exxon. Five of the 57 ingredients in dispersants approved by the EPA for use on oil spills have been linked to cancer (AlterNet, 8/29/2011).
I would feel negligent if I did not warn you to stay off the beaches and out of the water in the Gulf. People have been reporting rashes and other symptoms that may be caused by the oil, methane or dispersants unleashed in the Gulf in 2010.
According to Dr. Michael Robichaux, a physician in Raceland, Louisiana, Gulf residents continue to suffer health effects related to the disaster clean-up :
. . . the main problems at this time are a loss of memory, seizure type problems, severe abdominal pain, fatigue, irritability and other neurological and endocrine manifestations (AlterNet, 8/29/2011).
After the BP spill, large underwater plumes in the Gulf of Mexico were detected and ignored. Now, it looks like the plumes are dispersing and the oil is surfacing.
(Video from blog.al.com)
In July, a spill at the BP Lisburne field, part of Greater Prudhoe Bay Unit, leaked 2,100 to 4,200 gallons of methanol and oily water onto the tundra. This spill affected about 2,040 square feet of wet and aquatic tundra in Alaska (REUTERS, Jul 18, 2011).
Russia and USA to Cooperate on Drilling in Arctic
Now, the USA and Russia are cooperating about how to drill in the Arctic. See Exxon, Rosneft tie up in Russian Arctic (REUTERS, Aug 31, 2011).
Things have never seemed as dire for the environment. I am physically ill at what the oil companies have done to our oceans, gulfs, estuaries, beaches and their inhabitants.The destruction of these critical habitats will signal the extinction of many species of flora and fauna. I hope humans are not included in this event.