Seabirds face “agonizing death” as Newfoundland offshore oil spill becomes impossible to clean

Seabirds face “agonizing death” as Newfoundland offshore oil spill becomes impossible to clean

SOURCE: The Energy Mix DATE: November 23, 2018 SNIP: Newfoundland and Labrador has no hope of cleaning up from its worst-ever oil spill, after stormy waters off the east coast broke up at least two ocean oil sheens to the point that 250,000 litres of toxic material can no longer be recovered. The spill “happened on Friday morning while Husky Energy’s SeaRose platform was preparing to restart production during a fierce storm that was, at the time, the most intense in the world,” The Canadian Press reports. By Monday and Tuesday, the oil was no longer visible on the ocean surface, and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) had shifted its attention to monitoring wildlife and investigating the incident. Husky said it had found 15 oiled seabirds so far, but biologists were watching out for a much heavier toll. “Absolutely, any regulatory agency would look at the track record of a company in a case like this, and this will certainly be no exception,” he told CBC. “In this case, the volume of the discharge is significant, and the history of the company, and the fact that it did happen during a severe weather occurrence.” But the Sierra Club Canada Foundation is already pointing to the spill as evidence that “this country is not prepared to handle a major oil spill and is lax in regulating its offshore industry,” iPolitics reports. “Husky is reporting they are unable to confirm the extent of the spill, never mind try and clean it up—a virtually impossible task in seven-metre seas,” said National Program Director Gretchen Fitzgerald. “The fact that they...
A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

SOURCE: Washington Post DATE: October 21, 2018 SNIP: An oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in U.S. history. Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004, when an oil-production platform owned by Taylor Energy sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. Many of the wells have not been capped, and federal officials estimate that the spill could continue through this century. With no fix in sight, the Taylor offshore spill is threatening to overtake BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster as the largest ever. On Sept. 15, 2004, when Hurricane Ivan unleashed 145 mph winds and waves that topped 70 feet as it roared into the Gulf. Deep underwater, the Category 4 storm shook loose tons of mud and buckled the platform.The avalanche sank the colossal structure and knocked it “170 meters down slope of its original location,” researcher Sarah Josephine Harrison wrote in a postmortem of the incident. More than 620 barrels of crude oil stacked on its deck came tumbling down with it. The sleeves that conducted oil from its wells were mangled and ripped away. A mixture of steel and leaking oil was buried in 150 feet of mud. As oil continues to spoil the Gulf, the Trump administration is proposing the largest expansion of leases for the oil and gas industry, with the potential to open nearly the entire outer continental shelf to offshore...
Experts Who Sold the Idea of Oil Exports Proven Very Wrong Very Fast

Experts Who Sold the Idea of Oil Exports Proven Very Wrong Very Fast

SOURCE: DeSmog Blog DATE: October 11, 2017 SNIP: As Bloomberg put it recently, today “crude oil gushes out of the U.S. like never before.” U.S. exports of crude oil just hit a new record: nearly two million barrels per day. And while at DeSmog we predicted that “lifting the oil export ban will result in large increases in fracking for oil in the U.S.,” most industry experts at the time were making very different claims. “It’s universally agreed in the short term that we won’t see a flood of ships leaving for foreign ports because the economics aren’t right,” Sandy Fielden, director of energy analytics at respected consulting firm RBN Energy, said in December 2015, just before the ban on crude oil export lifted. Fielden was explaining why lifting that ban wouldn’t result in a sizable and ongoing rush to export American crude. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) had its most optimistic prediction for U.S. oil exports reaching two million barrels per day by 2050. They were only off by three-plus...