Presentation on theme: "5.3.1Analyze the risk associated with offshore oil production The offshore oil industry accounts for 29% of reported oil releases/spills. P. 192 1.Oil."— Presentation transcript:
5.3.1Analyze the risk associated with offshore oil production The offshore oil industry accounts for 29% of reported oil releases/spills. P. 192 1.Oil spill transferring oil to tanker 2.Oil spill from drill rig problems 3.Oil spill from tanker Other oil risks at sea 1.Drill mud p. 192 2.Ships bilge cleaning (Port aux Basques & south coast of NF) 3.Others?
*5.3.2Project possible actions needed to avert an environmental disaster in the off-shore This topic needs to be investigated in context, such as in a case study. However some general ideas about preventing environmental disasters include: 1.Government regulations requiring oil companies to have oil clean up materials/systems/people and plans to handle the worst possible spill. 2.Mock disaster held by company, government and other agencies involved to practice. (not unlike a fire drill) 3.High fines and penalties for companies that do cause environmental disasters. This might make companies more careful in the long run. 4.Research departments continually investigating newer, safer oil production equipment & techniques. 5.Others?????????/
Case Study Exxon Valdez oil disaster P. 193-195 Prince William Sound
Question #16Valdez oil spill due to physical environment? There is no way one can argue that the Exxon Valdez oil spill was due to the physical conditions of Prince William Sound. The spill was caused by human error. When the captain took the bridge late at night he set a course due south to avoid the ice to the west. He also instructed two crew members to change course when they reached Busby island to return the ship to the normal shipping lanes. The ships crew failed to change course as they were instructed to do. The tanker consequently ran aground on Bligh reef and oil began to pour out at a rate of 750,000 L per minute. The captain did not inform the US coast guard until 20 minutes after the collision. The response team took 12 hours to collect equipment and reach the Exxon Valdez. While it probably true that if it were not for the presence of ice and darkness the spill would not have occurred there can be no doubt that that a fatal combination of bad decisions and poor preparation caused the spill. Stance Facts Summary
Question #17Why human attempts unsuccessful ? Poor response time & weather conditions seem to be the 2 biggest reasons why the human response to reduce the impact was unsuccessful. We did try to contain the spill but it took too long. It took the response team 12 hours to reach the site which allowed a lot of oil to escape and spread over a very large area. Furthermore the US & Alaskan governments could not coordinate their efforts which further wasted valuable response time. High winds further complicated the clean-up by spreading the oil further than if the seas were calm. If response teams had reached the site faster, if governments could have agreed where to concentrate efforts, and if the wind had not been as harsh this tragic spill might have been far LESS tragic. Stance Facts Summary
Question #18Lessons form EXXON ? There seem to be three big lessons we can learn from the Exxon experience. 1.Human extraction of resources in sensitive areas can be damaging to the environment 2.No effort, no matter how well coordinated can return an environment to its original condition. 3.Not only do environmental disasters disrupt the environment they also disrupt human activity.
Question #18Government policy for prevention ? If I was the environment minister I would consider the following policy changes which could reduce the chances of an oil spill. 1.Set very high fines for companies that do violate the environment. Companies understand “the bottom line” and if the threat of heavy fines are there then they will be more likely to be more diligent about following environmental regulations. 2.Require oil tankers to use technical equipment that would help reduce the risk of running aground. Sensors that would sound alarms if the ship was heading toward a reef, ice or another ship would be one such piece of technology. 3.I would require any company producing and distributing oil in our waters to have an emergency response team that is well positioned, well equipped and well trained. 4.I would establish an “oilbudsman” with a similar role to the ombudsman available to consumers. He would be the watch dog for oil companies and field complaints about environmental transgressions. 5.Others???????