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INFO- the Oil dissaster in the gulf of Mexico

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INFO- the Oil dissaster in the gulf of Mexico

Members: 7
Latest Activity: Nov 29, 2010

FAQ: "The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill" for complete beginners

What?
A massive and ongoing oil spill in the ocean of the gulf of Mexico*. One of the largest Oil spills in History.

When?
Still in process! The oil is still leaking! The spill started on the 20th April with a big explosion on the "Deepwater Horizon" Oil Rig* that was busy driling a underwater Oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why?
The oil companies use massive structures which are based offshore deep in sea called Oil Platforms or Oil Riggs. these structures are used to drill oil from the bottom of the sea. An explosion on the Rig caused a leek from the oil drilling into the sea around.

Where?
The spill started in the Gulf of Mexico, some 65 Km of the shores of Louisiana USA. The Oil is continuing to flow and is currently moving with the currents east towards the shores of western Florida.
Due to the worm water Current known as the Gulf Stream which originates in the Gulf of Mexico and the unique geographical structure of a closed Basin, the Gulf of Mexico is home to many marine species, Corals, fish and mammals.

Who?
The BP* Oil and Gas company was the owner of the Oil Rig which started the leek and took full responsibility for the leek.
BP, The British owned oil company, are head of the efforts to stop the leek and are helped by the US military, the US coastal guard and many organizations and state offices in the US.

How big?
The spill is still ongoing! the leak flows at a estimated rate of between 790,000 liter oil per day to a shocking number of 4 million liters oil per day.
The area of the spill is as big as 10,000 Km and growing. To understand how big take a look at http://www.ifitwasmyhome.com/.

What ist the ecological damge?
The damage is huge, the spill is considered as one of the biggest ecological disasters in history. The oil leek effects the animals who can not live with this contanmation. Up to the 10th June were found a shocking number of 1131 dead birds, 331 dead sea turtles and 31 dead Dolphins. Dolphins and sea turtles are very sensive to oil. the oil, which floats on the water, prevents them to go up to breath correctly. The presence of the oil in the sea will effect the amount of oxygen in the water and it would possibly take the Ecosystem years and maybe even decades before the eco system can recover..

Who will be effectid?
Beside the Ecosystem that will be terribly damaged by the leak, also the Tourism and Fishing industries will be severely effected. The estimated costs of damages for the Fishing industry is 2.5 Billion USD and 3 Billion USD for the Tourism industry due to cancellation and Beaches that could not be used. These two industries are a main employer for the people around the Gulf of Mexico who earn their living thanks to the rich marine life of the Gulfs seas.

What is done to Stop it?
BP and many originations are trying to stop and control the spill, along side with many efforts to clean the sea up and maintain the oil to reach nature reserves.
So far all of BP´s efforts to seal the leak have failed. The cleaning up operation is in process.

What can I do??
Learn more (coming up the oil spill A-Z), Talk to people help and spread the word,
and well lets think together what can we do...

* more info comeing up...The Gulf of Mexico Oli Spill A-Z for the advanced nature activist


sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill#cite_note-73
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Mexico
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_platform
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/01/us/20100501-oil-spill-tracker.html
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-05/bp-oil-leak-may-soar-12-fold-if-dome-cap-plan-fails-update2-.html,
http://www.bp.com/bodycopyarticle.do?categoryId=1&contentId=7052055&nicam=GRCorp_Deep_Water_Horizon%20&nisrc=Google&nigrp=Brand&niadv=&nipkw=bp
http://www.ifitwasmyhome.com/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36800673/ns/us_news-environment/
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Gulf_of_Mexico_large_marine_ecosystem
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/caught_in_the_oil.html, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2010/05/newshour-oil-widget-2-including-spillcam.html

Discussion Forum

The Perfect Spill: Averting the Next Deepwater Horizon

Started by Mika Huettner Jun 17, 2010. 0 Replies

A very interesting scientific article about the costs of the oil spill: See this new article in Solutions by Robert Costanza, David Batker, John W.Day, Jr., Rusty Feagin, M. Luisa Martinez, and Joe…Continue

Tags: Next, Deepwater, Horizon, the, Averting

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Comment by Ray Schrire on July 6, 2010 at 1:06pm
BP Greenwash and other problems
Well you know, its quite amazing to see whats going on in my part of the world. With the developments of communication and the growth of accessibility to information more and more people, in my side of the world, are becoming aware of green matters. But some times i have to wonder, is this a new green world? Or am I just living in the same old world only with a new green suit?
More and bigger companies have understood that today it is good for businesses to be good for the environment. But to be good for environment means to change the way we live, the way a company operates: to think about tomorrow, to use less, not to try to maximize profits but instead to maximize quality. These very basic concepts of being green don't always go well with the simple philosophy from meany companies- “we want more, and we don't care how needs to pay, as long its not us”. a sad, ironical example for this “greenwash” (using green marketing to create the feeling that a company is green also when they are not green after all) was now with BP, the company responsible for the Oil Spill in Mexico. BP have in 2000 decided they want to be seen greener, not be greener, just to be seen, they renewed the logo, made it green and even changed their name to make us belive they are indeed interested in green energy. But with the logo came no new way. Same irresponsible search for oil, still over usage of resources and still a non Eco friendly behavior. The new greenwash trend means that we, the good guys, need to be very carful to check clearly, who is our friend and who not, who does really care from the environment and who only cares of more clients.
Comment by Caren Herbstritt on June 30, 2010 at 2:51pm
wow!
Impressive information you gathered here Ray!

and wow, what a desaster. Unbelievable that the hole is still not fixed yet, I can hardly believe how ignorant mankind kan be!
how can they possibly engage in such a naturally sensitive region without having the slightes idea of what to do in case things go wrong. and at some point, most often do things do go wrong!
Comment by Ray Schrire on June 18, 2010 at 7:59am
Comment by Ray Schrire on June 15, 2010 at 3:39pm
The Oil Spill A-Z- for the advanced reader.

April 20th
The day of the explosion which started the Oil leak. On the morning of the 20th April BP hat celebrated seven Years without any injury, and was planning to move the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon to a different location after a successful drilling of a oil well. At 9:45 en explosion was heard on the rig that caused a fire. The fire kills 11 workers and injurers 17 and after 2 days the rig sinks. The extent of the leak is not yet known.

BP
The British company that is in charge of Deepwater Horizon oil rig which started the leak from the first place. BP is one of the worlds biggest energy companies, their history is rooted deep in the beginning of the industrial explosion from oil in the middle east with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company back in the beginning of the 20th century.
BP had in 2006 a income of 274 Billion USD, with a net-profit of 22 Billion USD.

Clean up
Beside the efforts to Stop the Leak, there is also an effort to clean what that has already spilt. The techniques which are being implemented at this time are Containment Booms- a floating barrier in aim to trap the oil in one place to prevent it to continue spreading; A controlled burning of the Oil at a estimated amount of 1000 Barrels of oil a day (en estimated 5% from the spill per day), and non chemical treatments of the water.
Their is an ongoing debate about the protection of the beaches with sand sacs

1 Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig
Deepwater Horizon is the name of the oil rig which with its explosion started the leak from its deepwater oil dig. With the explosion in April 20th 11 workers were killed and 17 others were injured. The Deepwater Horizon was built in South Korea and was a dynamic ultra-deep drilling rig. In Sep 2009 the rig had made the record of the deepest Oil well in History with a 10,685 deep well. Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22th after the explosion caused a fire that could not be controlled.

Ecosystem
Due to tropical climate and that the gulf is partially isolated from the Atlantic Ocean the Marine Ecosystem is characterized by a reach and diverse marine life of fish, corals and mammals. This ecosystem is suffering in the last years tremendously due to pollution, overexploitation, and environmental change.

Fishing
Fishing is a major industry around the Gulf of Mexico, mainly in the US and Cuba. Due to the oil-leak a closure on commercial fishing has been issued on 17, 659 Sqkm. The closure is revised all the time and the areas closed to fishing are increasing. So far the estimated lose for the fishing industry is 2.5 billion $.

Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is considered as a body of water due to its relative closure from the Atlantic ocean. It is build like a big basin and is surrounded by the US (northern America) Mexico (central America) and the island of Cuba. The gulf basin is approximately 1.6 million Sqkm, with almost half of the basin being shallow waters. The first European to reach the gulf was Amerigo Vespucci in 1497.

History of oil- spills
In history there were some really big oil - spills. With the largest one being in the USA in 1910 when 378,840,000 US gallons of oil where spilt in California. Not all of the oil -spills are in sea, only those that origin in a underwater well or from a broken oil tanker, a big ship used to transfer oil. The spill in the Gulf of Mexico is regarded as the 4th largest oil- spill in history. On board the Oil Rig which started the leak, Deepwater Horizon, were in between 2000-2010 18 times relative small leaks that where considered as “normal” spills that occur on a Oil Rig.

Income
Many people in the Tourist and Fishing industries will lose their income. BP, the company in charge of the spill, have had last year a net income of 16,000,000,000 $(and change).

June 15,
Up to today, 15 June, the oil- spill is still not yet totally under controll and oil is continuing to flow to the Sea.

Kevin Costner
The American movie star is involved in the efforts fo cleaning the gulf. Costner after seeing the damages caused by a oil spill in Alaska in 1989 with the Exxon -Valdez, was determent to help these sort of situations. A Company he owns manufactures machines which differentiate water from oil, and 32 from these machines are in use now by BP.

Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Missipi
Are the states that are in the greatest danger from the disaster. The oil will definitely affect the shores of these states in the US. All 4 states where granted money from the BP oil company and are undertaking severe efforts to minimize the effect of the Spill on their beaches.

Marine Mammals
Mammals that live in the sea, like Dolphins or Manatees for example, must come up for breathing. During this process thy are extremely vulnerable from the oil, which floats on the surface of the water. The oil sticks to their skin, prevents them from proper breathing, and swimming and therefore makes them vulnerable for attacks of predators.

National Wildlife Refuges
The Delta and the Breton National Wildlife Refuges are close to the area of the spill and therefore were damaged. Dead animals were found in sight.

Oil
Oil is a toxic, flammable liquid that occurs naturally in specific places under the ground of the Earth. This liquid through a process of refinery is processed in to petrol (like the type we use in our Cars), plastic and many other uses. Oil is one of the biggest industries in the world because it is so widely consumed and needed and because it is relevantly difficult to find and extract from the ground. The main areas with Oil in the World are around the Persian Gulf, Russia, USA, West Africa and Central America.

President Barack Obama
Barack Obama, The President of the US, was most concerned by the spill. He visited the site of the spill 4 times and began a federal investigation and a commission to recommend new safety regulations.

Quantity of Oil
During the time between the 22.4 till today there were a variety of different numbers regarding the passe of the oil- spill. At the beginning BP had estimated it to be a small spill with a number of 6,800,000 Gallons of oil a day. Today the low estimates made by the independent experts as well as the government and BP are around 840,000,000 Gallons per day.

Rig or Platform
Commonly known as Oil Rig, an Oil Platforms is a vast construction that is used to dig and extract Oil and Gas from the sea bed. This big constructions are mainly built in Singapore and are from variant types, some built steady in the ocean floor and some floating and held with huge anchors to the bottom of the sea. Oil rigs usually hold place for the machinery and staff that is needed to drill and extract the oil and is one of the most hazardous and polluting working environments. In former times the oil riggs were known as one of the major causes for oil polluters in sea, but due to new laws, safety regulations and government control this number has tremendously reduced

Stop the Leak efforts
So far all of BP´s attempts to seal the well have failed. They where 2 attempts to place a huge dome over the well and collect all the oil with pipes, this techniques were not successful in so deep waters. The other 3 systems that BP have tried have failed to prove any effective results. BP is in preparations for a new system to cap the well and preventing more oil to release in the ocean.

Tourism
Tourism along the coast of the gulf, mainly in Florida is a major industry that will suffer severely due to the oil spill. The tourists, which come for the sun and beaches of the gulf will not find the “Paradise Coast” any more due to the oil pollution. Estimated loss are at 3 Billion USD

Underwater Oil Well
An underwater Oil Well is like any source of oil under the surface of the earth, where it is digged to reach the oil that is normally “trapped” between two different layers of rock. Many of the oil sources are in sea and digging them means digging in the depth of sea. The well that was digged by Deepwater Horizon, the oil rig which started the leak, was at the depth of approximately 1500 m.

Valdez, Exxon oil spill
Was the last oil- spill in the USA. The oil tanker Exxon Valdez sailed in 1989 over land in Alaska what caused a terrible oil- spill. This oil- spill got famous due to the terrible ecological damage in the waters of Alaska. This disaster helped to bring the dangerous of oil to the media. This terrible disaster is smaller in more then 75% from the current oil spill.

What can we do?
The Million Dollar question, or yet better the 840 million gallon per day question.

X Years
X (unknown) is the number of Years that will pass before the Biosystem could reappear it self. Estimates are between a few years to a few decades.

Zone
The zone that is effected now is around 10,000 Sqkm. The shores of south- east US are badly heart. If the winds and currents will change (likely now with the hurricane season) and the oil will reach the Gulf Stream, it may even affect the waters of northern Europe.

Sources;
Various articles of Wikipedia: Barack Obama, BP, Petroleum, Oil well, Oil platform, Deepwater Horizon, Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico, Oil Spill, Dolphins, time line of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Various news sites: MSNBC, The New York Times, The Big Picture, PBS Newshour, ABC News, Bloomberg Businessweek
Comment by Mika Huettner on June 14, 2010 at 11:53am
I found an interesting article at Mongabay: http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0608-hance_wildlife_oil.html
Comment by Mika Huettner on June 14, 2010 at 11:38am
Does anyone has information, how much oil is already spilled in the ocean?
 

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