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BP Oil Spill
Transcript of BP Oil Spill
At 9:56 a fire broke out after an explosion on the oil platform. Crew reported lights flickering and two vibrations. The crew said "After the first thud we knew something was wrong"
A BP internal investigation found a bubble of methane gas had escaped and risen up the drill column which caused the explosion and the subsequent wellhead blowout that caused the oil spill we know today
-Approximately 1,100 miles of shoreline exposed - 778 required deep cleaning.
-Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida.
-40,000 holes dug along coastline to extract oil brought ashore.
-2 million gallons of chemicals used.
-April 2014 - BP declares coastal cleanup of spill over.
-Coast guard - Still a long way to go
-Louisiana coast still sees oil wash ashore.
-Oil still appearing - tar balls found on Alabama coast from this spill
Who is British Petroleum
Before BP was associated with the oil drenched wild life and backlash for one of its platforms bursting and spilling millions of barrels worth of oil into the gulf of Mexico, its decade long campaign with the green and sun colored company logo was associated with an ecofriendly company, Beyond Petroleum
Impacts on Wildlife
-8,000 found injured or dead 6 months after spill
-Ulcers and internal bleeding
-Coral reefs miles from gulf killed
-Food chain became unbalanced
BP Oil Spill
-7,000 found (alive and dead)
-Oil mats feathers
-Bird loses buoyancy
-Oil contact irritates/damages skin and eyes
-Birds preening feathers
-Birds ingest oil while cleaning feathers, causes internal damage.
-About 100 found
-Mostly dolphins, a few whales
-Chemical burns, irritation, internal damage.
-Mammals surface to breathe - breathe in oil.
-Oil coats baleen, whales cannot filter feed.
-1,066 found initially.
-500/year found stranded since spill.
-Sea turtles mistake oil for food, directly ingest it.
-Oil burns mucous membranes, respiratory issues, organ issues, reproductive failure.
-Immediate exposure to oil at birth
-Rely on floating food, sargassum suffocated.
-Oil affects entire ecosystem for fish
-Eggs and larvae killed on contact
-Populations drastically decreased
-Fin erosion, enlarged livers, altered heart rates, etc.
Operations to Stop Oil Spills
Offshore oil spill prevention and response
- the study and practice of reducing the number of offshore incidents that release oil or hazardous substances into the environment and limiting the amount released during those incidents.
Aspects of Prevention
- Technological assessment of equipment and
procedures, and protocol for training
- Contingency plans for the avoidance, control,
and shutdown of offshore operations
- In the US, offshore oil spill prevention contingency plans
and emergency response plans are federally mandated requirements for all offshore oil facilities in US Federal waters.
- Regulatory functions are currently administered by the Minerals Management Service and were ordered on May 19, 2010.
Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement
- Established in 2011, October
- Has the authority to inspect, investigate, summon witnesses and produce evidence, levy penalties, cancel or suspend activities, and oversee safety, response, and removal preparedness
Hydrocarbon producing wells - designed and managed on the basis of the 'barriers' in place to maintain containment
- 'Dual Barrier' Philosophy - typically used whereby two independently verified barriers to the hydrocarbon reservoir and the environment are required at all times
Blowout Preventer - large, specialized valve or similar mechanical device, usually installed redundantly in stacks, used to seal, control and monitor oil and gas wells
Well Casings - Casing of offshore wells
is done with a set of nested steel pipes, cemented to the rock walls of the borehole (narrow shaft bore)
- Failure of either the casings or the cement can lead to injection of oil into groundwater layers
- Also contain a 'production liner' or 'production tubing' - another set of steel pipes inside the casing (filled with mud of a specific density to balance the presure inside the casing)
Organizations fighting to prevent future oil spills
Earthjustice - Filed lawsuits to 'force federal
agencies to do their jobs and stop being cozy with companies like BP, which was allowed to drill recklessly without an adequate plan t handle even a moderate oil spill, let alone on April 20.'
- Currently working through the court system to stall Shell Oil's plans to drill in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in the Arctic
To prevent oil spills in general
- Inspect for deterioration, leaks and decay in equipment
- Check pipes, supply lines and oil tanks in homes
for any signs of corrosion
Companies & Industries
- Technology improvement
- High pressure wells can be problematic because
it seals off the space between the casing and the bore hole, leaving one blind to leaks that go around the casing pipe
- the long string gives gas more time to enter into the well
- Preferred alternative is a 'liner' design in which drillers install and then cement in place a short string casing in the lower area of the well before casing the rest of the well.
Companies & Industries
- Fixed the failed blowout preventer - make it stronger
- Oil industries need to not worry about cheaper options
- Bring BOP's to the surface
- BOP below the surface can be backed up by a second
one on the drill rig that would be accessible for more
regular inspection and testing
- This allows the BOP to handle extreme pressures
The Effect on Oil Prices
BP Oil Company, which at the time was the largest corporation and a major business in the UK world, was under intense media, popular, and political pressure after the April 20th disaster.
BP stocks rose slightly on the news that the initial US $ 20 billion compensation fund had been agreed. Following this, BP stocks plumite 40 percent since the explosion.
The decline of almost $75 Billion from their market value left them amongst the weakest oil companies in the world.
Despite spilling more than 18 times more oil tan the Exxon Valdez did, Oil and gas prices barely budged due to a sluggish economy in the United States along with a long demand for oil and gas. Although 174 million gallons of oil spilled, it was over a long period of time and was only about 9 days worth of oil for the U.S.
Because the location of the oil spill was in the Gulf, this effected gulf facing states since they are highly populated near the water and hold a thriving tourism industry which is a significant job creator
When an oil spill occurs not only are those direct areas where the oil has landed affected by the problem, but the reputations of each place affected. although much of the coast never saw oil wash up on the shore, the public saw this as a major issue and didn't visit regardless.
The spill had negative affects on peoples plans to visit Louisiana. 26 % of people that had planned trips either postponed their trips or canceled them
perceptions of what actually happened caused people to cancel swamp tours, hiking, and boating activities when they were not actually affected by the spill
By June 3rd, of the hotels surveyed, 60% had experienced cancellations, and during this time 40 % of hotels had experienced difficulty booking future events.
Decline in Tourism
The oil spill impacted 7.3 million businesses through out Alabama, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana which affected the $5.2 billion sales volume.
After the decrease in tourism, an estimated 25% did not re-open in the following year, due to the decline in business.
- two reefs 22km east found
- greater detriment than first anticipated
- indicator species
- contributors to economy
- US annual $364 mil gross revenue
- nearly $1 bil gross revenue in Hawaii
Impacts on Human Life
What We Eat
On April 20th , a catastrophic failure resulted in an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform. This resulted in its sinking and spilling roughly 4.9 million barrels of oil into the gulf of Mexico and the subsequent clean up.
- shrimp/shellfish are stationary (vs mobile fish) & more vulnerable
- 3% of national seafood consumptions
- 75% domestic shrimp output
- 2008 -- nearly 1.3 billion lbs of finfish and shellfish harvested in the Gulf
Approximately 68,000 square miles of ocean were impacted from the spill. In early June, oil had begin to wash up on 125 miles of coast along Mississippi, Florida and Alabama.
- Mutated fish and shrimp
- Gulf seafood industry received $2 billion for economic loss of the $7.8 billion to affected individuals and businesses
- Semi-volatile and made of petroleum hydrocarbons and volatile chemicals
- headaches, dizziness, nausea
- BP did not provide adequate protective equipment
- 40% of adults within 10 mi of coast experienced direct exposure to the spill or clean-up effort. Within this group, nearly 40% reported physical symptoms of skin irritations & respiratory problems
-Over 1/3 of parents report their children have either physical symptoms or mental health distress
- Medical settlements for those with respiratory problems or skin conditions
• 1 in 5 households report income drop and 8% report job loss. These losses were most likely to hit those who were already economically vulnerable: households with incomes under $25,000 a year.
• Over a quarter, 26.6%, of coastal residents claimed they might have to move from the Gulf coast.
• More than 70% of parents report children spending less time swimming, boating and playing in the sand.
• Slightly over half of all coastal residents felt that BP’s response was “poor,” and 41.3% said that the President’s response to the oil spill was poor.