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Ocean in the News: Oil Spills By Kelly Peak MEA 200H October 10, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Ocean in the News: Oil Spills By Kelly Peak MEA 200H October 10, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ocean in the News: Oil Spills By Kelly Peak MEA 200H October 10, 2005

2 Article from; Sept. 19 th 2005 Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina and a few days before Hurricane Rita Only now are the Coast Guard and other agencies able to tackle environmental problems since the search and rescue effort is winding down Spills range from several hundred gallons to the largest of nearly 4 million gallons 44 Oil Spills found in southeast Louisiana

3 Extent of Spills and Recovery More than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled from industrial plants, storage depots and other facilities 2/3 as much oil as spilled from the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989 nearly 2 million gallons have been recovered and another 2.3 million gallons contained None of the leaks sent oil directly into the Mississippi River (protected by levees)

4 But numbers are only estimates And its too early to tell how effective the cleanup will be Two significant cases: one in Meraux and another in Venice Meraux Spill (just outside New Orleans on the Mississippi River): oil mixed with floodwaters and sediment to submerge hundreds of homes Already two class action lawsuits filed against the company responsible– Murphy Oil Concerns and Significant Cases

5 Satellite Image of Katrina Oil Spills Katrina-caused slick in Breton Sound, La.

6 Classification of Spills Largest known spills are along the Mississippi River south of New Orleans Major Spills: over 100,000 gallons = 5 locations Medium Spills: 10,000 to 100,000 gallons = 4 locations Offshore Oil No reports of offshore spills in Gulf of Mexico Though leaks could spring when the thousands of oil platforms and hundreds of miles of pipeline are restarted And this is all before Hurricane Rita….

7 Report by the American Petroleum Institute

8 APIs Impacts on Oil & Gas Operations from Katrina and Rita * The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) which services tankers delivering oil imports

9 Hurricane Impacts on Gulf of Mexico Production

10 Facts about Oil Spills… How much oil enters the ocean? Estimated at 0.25% of world oil production or about 6 million tons per year How much oil enters the oceans with oil spills? Spills account for only 5% of oil entering oceans During the last decade, more than one billion gallons of oil spilled worldwide

11 Are tanker accidents the major source of marine oil pollution? No, only about 10-15% of oil into oceans Breakdown of sources: Natural Seeps in seabed fissures and eroding sedimentary rocks- 46% Discharges from consumption of oils (ships and land- based sources including storage facilities, refineries, terminals and filing stations)- 37% Accidental spills from ships- 12% Offshore Extraction of oil (platforms, pipelines, etc.)- 3%

12 What happens to oil spills in sea water?

13 Clean up Methods… Booms: floating barriers to oil Skimmers: boats that skim spilled oil from the water surface Sorbents: big sponges used to absorb oil Chemical dispersants and biological agents: break down the oil into its chemical constituents In-situ burning: method of burning freshly spilled oil while its floating on the water

14 Chemical Dispersants Boom Skimmer In In-Situ Burning

15 Take Home Points More than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled as a result of Hurricane Katrina alone (2/3 the oil spilled with Exxon Valdez Tanker) Largest spills along Mississippi River south of New Orleans; technically no offshore spills (only leaks) Globally, oil spills account for only 5% of oil entering the ocean; tanker accidents only a small percentage Many clean up methods available– booms, skimmers, chemical dispersants, etc.

16 References Article: Louisiana Oil Rig Photo: legged_reefs.htm legged_reefs.htm Image of Hurricane Katrina: Exxon Valdez Photo: Louisiana oil spill photos: and API Slides on Katrina & Rita:http://api- Facts about Oil Spills: and Clean up methods and photos: kimmer.asp; kimmer.asphttp://www.vs-

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