Tag Archives | gulf of mexico

Louisiana Oil: From The Kingfish To Deepwater Horizon

The collapse of Deepwater HorizonThis is not just another article about Deepwater Horizon, but rather a short history lesson.  For instance, have  you, or do you…

…ever wonder where the New Deal came from and why?

…know who drew up the borders of Iran, and why?

…ever wonder why Huey P. Long is universally portrayed as a mere laughable Southern caricature, though he was a hero to the common people of Louisiana until his death?

…know which oil company is responsible for more oil spills than any other?

…ever met a real live Cajun?  (aahyee!)

…know very much at all about Louisiana?

Well, make some popcorn and sit back, here is a full length documentary.  Unlike the History lessons in school, you will not be asked to memorize any names, dates or places, nor will you be bored and watching the clock for the end of the period.

Note: The first five minutes told enough history – of which most Americans today are completely unaware – that I knew where this was going to end up.  It should be added though, that when Churchill drew a circle around the huge sea of oil that British engineers had discovered, and named it Iran, he made sure to include all the neighboring warring factions he could.  Many have been critical of him for this, saying it was a stupid thing to do, but in doing so he ensured instability in the region for the next 100 years to come.  He also referred to Iran as the British Empire’s refueling station for the next war.  This was shortly after World War I.… Read the rest

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OM NOM NOM! Oil-Loving Bacteria Help With Deepwater Horizon Clean-Up

Picture: Artist's Conception, Oil-Eating bacteria (PD)

Via LiveScience:

Scientists studying the after-effects of 2010′s Deepwater Horizon oil spill report that naturally-occurring bacteria have devoured 200,000 tons of the oil and natural gas that settled into the ocean floor in the days after the disaster. Before you get too excited, though, remember that this is less than ten percent of the total amount that was spilled into the gulf. Still, every little bit helps, even if it seems the oil-loving microbes seem to have lost their appetite:

Researcher John Kessler, of the University of Rochester, said the hydrocarbon-eating bacteria removed the majority of the oil and gas trapped in underwater layers more than a half-mile below the surface. But the bacteria’s appetite seemed to die down five months after the April 2010 explosion that set off the environmental disaster, Kessler and his team found.

Read more at LiveScience.

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Mutant Fish From The BP Oil Spill

blinkyTwo years later, scientists say they have never seen anything like the creatures swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Al Jazeera reports:

“I’ve never seen this,” he said, a statement Al Jazeera heard from every scientist, fisherman, and seafood processor we spoke with about the seafood deformities. Given that the Gulf of Mexico provides more than 40 per cent of all the seafood caught in the continental US, this phenomenon does not bode well for the region, or the country.

“The dispersants used in BP’s draconian experiment contain solvents, such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol. Solvents dissolve oil, grease, and rubber,” Dr Riki Ott, a toxicologist, marine biologist and Exxon Valdez survivor told Al Jazeera. “It should be no surprise that solvents are also notoriously toxic to people, something the medical community has long known”.

The dispersants are known to be mutagenic, a disturbing fact that could be evidenced in the seafood deformities.

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BP Atlantis Platform Faces ‘Present and Imminent Danger’ According to Whistleblower

Atlantis PlatformVia Common Dreams:
A whistleblower who has a standing lawsuit against BP has argued this week that the company's Atlantis Project, located 150 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, faces "present and imminent danger." The whistleblower, Kenneth Abbott, is a former BP contractor on the Atlantis. His lawsuit says that BP failed to keep required records of the safety systems for the Atlantis. Back in 2010, Food & Water Watch, which joined Abbott's lawsuit, warned that the massive Deepwater Horizon oil disaster foreshadowed another Gulf of Mexico disaster caused by BP's Atlantis platform. At that time, Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, said, “We have evidence that Atlantis is unsafe and is in danger of creating an even worse spill than the one caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion.”
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And So It Begins: Mysterious Illnesses Appearing Along the Gulf Coast

Map of the northern Gulf of Mexico showing the nearly 4,000 active oil and gas platforms.. Source: NOAA

Map of the northern Gulf of Mexico showing the nearly 4,000 active oil and gas platforms.. Source: NOAA

Dahr Jamail reports for Al Jazeera:

Injected with at least 4.9 million barrels of oil during the BP oil disaster of last summer, the Gulf has suffered the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons of widely banned toxic dispersants, which according to chemist Bob Naman, create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil. And dispersed, weathered oil continues to flow ashore daily.

Naman, who works at the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has been carrying out studies to search for the chemical markers of the dispersants BP used to both sink and break up its oil.

According to Naman, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from this toxic mix are making people sick. PAHs contain compounds that have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.

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BP May Drill In Same Undersea Oil Pocket Again

Really?! What about learning from our mistakes? What about waiting to see if the plug actually holds? How about cleaning up the mess before making a new one? RawStory reports:

BP PLC said Friday it might someday drill again into the same lucrative undersea pocket of oil that spilled millions of gallons of crude, wrecked livelihoods and fouled beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.

“There’s lots of oil and gas here,” Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said at a news briefing. “We’re going to have to think about what to do with that at some point.”

The vast oil reservoir beneath the blown well is still believed to hold nearly $4 billion worth of crude. With the company and its partners facing tens of billions of dollars in liabilities, the incentive to exploit the wells and the reservoir could grow.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government’s point man on the spill, said he had no information on BP’s future plans.

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BP Says They’ve Stopped The Oil

Don’t get too excited now, this is only a test. The well has been temporarily sealed, successfully stopping the flow of oil. This provisional solution will allow tests to be conducted to determine the details of BP’s next plan to redirect and capture the oil. BBC covers:

It is the first time the flow has stopped since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig on 20 April.

The well has been sealed with a cap as part of a test of its integrity that could last up to 48 hours.

BP executive Kent Wells said the oil had been stopped at 14:25 local time (1925 GMT) and he was “excited” by the progress.

“It is very good to see no oil go into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Mr Wells.

But BP is stressing that even if no oil escapes for 48 hours, that will not mean the flow of oil and gas has been stopped permanently.

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