Tag Archives | Environtment

Oil Rig Explosion in Gulf of Mexico

I’m starting to think that oil and the Gulf are not a good combination. From USA Today:

An off-shore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded early Thursday, sending its crew of 13 scrambing into the water and creating a sheen of spilled oil.

The oil could be seen in a mile-long plume with a width of about 100 feet, Coast Guard Petty Officer Thomas Blue said. The slick was reported by the rig’s owner, Mariner Energy of Houston, and had not been confirmed by the Coast Guard, Blue said.

An oil industry vessel that was nearby plucked the crewmembers out of the water and brought them to a nearby platform, Blue said. Coast Guard helicopters were in the process of flying them to a hospital. One of the workers suffered a minor injury, Blue said.

The crew had donned brightly colored survival gear known as “Gumby suits” that helped them float and made them more visible.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Tiny Workers Helping To Clean Up Oil Spill

Photo from Heimholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI)

Photo from Heimholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI)

Not only are human workers trying to clean up BP’s oil spill, but bacteria workers are looking at the task as a feast. Alcanivorax bacterium can be found munching on bits of oil, a convenient taste palette to increase the clean up efforts. However, how will the increase of bacteria effect the remaining wildlife?  NY Times has the report:

Among the hidden stars of the gulf cleanup is an oil-hungry bacterium that Dr. Seuss could have named — Alcanivorax. It and fellow microbes are breaking down a significant amount of the oil that gushed into the environment from BP’s runaway well, scientists say. The microbial feasting is known as biodegradation.

On Wednesday, a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said early observations showed that the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill “is biodegrading quickly,” adding that scientists were working to measure how quickly and how much of the escaped oil the microbial hordes could consume.

Read the rest
Continue Reading