Posts tagged oil.
In declaring the state of emergency, Peru’s environment ministry said tests in February and March found high levels of barium, lead, chrome and petroleum-related compounds at different points in the Pastaza valley.
Pluspetrol, the biggest oil and natural gas producer in Peru, has operated the oil fields since 2001. It took over from Occidental Petroleum, which began drilling in 1971, and, according to the government, had not cleaned up contamination either.
Several multimillion dollar fines have been levied against Pluspetrol in recent years. The company has appealed against all of the fines in the Peruvian courts…
Note, though that “The Peruvian government plans to auction a further 29 new oil and gas concessions this year.”
Moreno, the first Latina to lead the department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in November 2009.
Her tenure spanned one of the worst disasters in U.S. history, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010. Eleven men died in that firestorm.
The Justice Department extracted a record $1 billion civil penalty from Transocean, the rig owner, earlier this year. And a civil trial continues in New Orleans over other environmental damages.
“To date, we have already achieved significant resolutions for liability in the Gulf,” Moreno said in an exit interview with NPR. “We are focused on holding those responsible accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
The unit also successfully defended Obama administration regulations of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, winning a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year.
But veterans of the environmental unit worried it had lost some prestige by ceding ground in the massive Gulf oil spill case to the Justice Department’s criminal division, which led a federal task force and prosecuted giant BP and several individual employees in connection with the disaster.
Forget the Keystone XL. Canada is considering building a giant tar sands oil pipeline through the Arctic.
(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil confirmed on Wednesday that an oil spill occurred Tuesday on its Pegasus crude pipeline in Ripley County, Missouri - the same line that ruptured thousands of barrels of oil into an Arkansas neighborhood at the end of March.
An Exxon spokeswoman said a resident notified the company of oil staining on the surface near the pipeline on Tuesday. The cleanup of the one-barrel leak was near completion, she said.
The pipeline was already out of service following a spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, on March 29, Exxon said.
The United States has double the amount of oil and three times the amount of natural gas than previously thought stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday.
In announcing the new data in a conference call, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also said the administration will release within weeks draft rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, technology that has come under scrutiny for its environmental impact but that is essential to developing all of this energy.
“These world-class formations contain even more energy-resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” Jewell said in a statement.
This article is circulating among the anti-peak oil crowds. To me, the bigger story is about the left’s environmental heroine, Sally Jewell, who used to frack wells. As new head of the Dept. of Interior, she will (with Obama’s encouragement) - will - allow aggressive fracking on more public lands, possibly much more in our National Parks. To forgiving environmentalists, she’s Obama’s replacement for the DOI and former CEO of REI.
We’re looking into how changes in ocean currents (e.g., thermohaline circulation) could impact existing oil pipelines on the ocean floor. The concern is that untrenched (exposed) lines and subsea systems (see engineering image, above) are underprepared for future turbulence, among other things.
The above “pipelay” ships are designed for one task - to weld and deliver various sized pipes onto the ocean floor. Most pipelines are connected to a series of special drills and platforms (see second image above) and are located in shallow water. And many lines are buried under the seabed by special trench digger robots (funtrue!). But some lines are in very deep oceans, and currents could be messing with their stability due to shifting ocean currents.
As I was researching and answering reader mail (hello AK!), I got sidetracked to how some recent lines were originally designed and built. There are only a few specialized ships that handle the deepwater lines, so those are what I’m most interested in.
The first ship, above, is called the Solitaire. It’s massive. Built in 1998, and at 980 feet long(!), it’s among the largest pipelay ships on the planet! It’s also one of the most productive.
Here’s a video of how how Solitaire works! The first couple of minutes is an animated overview of the process. The next segment is live coverage of the inner workings. You can see workers, machines, and robots weld and piece the pipes together. The pipe is welded and ‘fed’ onto a spool that delivers the pipe onto the floor. It is amazing to see how flexible these pipes are. Really amazing stuff.
Do you want to read about these ships? If so, click here (careful, it is a huge, browser crushing PDF). It’s a poster describing 60 different pipely ships. It describes their owners, capacities, lay methods, and depths.
Yep, this is how I’m spending my Saturday night…
The number of deepwater semisubmersibles and drillships working in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico could rise to 52 in June 2014 and 54 in December 2014 if all of the deepwater rigs currently under contract remain so according to data from Rigzone’s RigLogix database.
Operators with rigs under firm contract in the U.S. Gulf in December 2014 will include BP plc, which will have six rigs, the most from any operator. Royal Dutch Shell plc will have five rigs under firm contract during that time. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is expected to have four rigs working, followed by Chevron Corp. and LLOG Exploration Co. LLC, with three rigs each under firm contract.
Exxon Mobil Corp., Petroleo Brasiliero S.A. (Petrobras), Plains Exploration & Production Company, and Statoil ASA each are expected to have two rigs under contract in the Gulf of Mexico in December 2014. At that time, BHP Billiton Ltd., Eni S.p.A, and Murphy Oil Corp. will each have one rig under firm contract.
Several of these drillers are foreign oil companies. And many of the permits were fast-tracked by the Obama administration.
In 1980, Lake Peigneu, Louisiana disappeared into an underground vortex of doom. Actually, the accident was due to a math error, which resulted in one of the strangest oil drilling and salt mining accidents in U.S. history.
The Diamond Salt company had a huge salt mining operation under the lake. Meanwhile, Texaco Oil was drilling for oil from shallow platforms, which were built on the lake. Texaco roughnecks set a new drill a few hundred feet down, through the lake, through the lake bed, and into the earth. The drill bit hit one of the salt mine shafts, and the above disaster happened.
Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, it does. The entire lake was sucked into the mine. The drill hole was originally 14 inches, but the force of the water expanded it to hundreds of feet across. At one point, a reverse water fall of 150 feet was formed because the Gulf of Mexico drained backwards (north!) into the lake. Watch the event unfold disaster on top of disaster. It is incredible. Via BoingBoing.
Nearly 75% of Americans and 68% of Canadians indicated they “support” or “somewhat support” the project, which would carry heavy crude from the Alberta oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast for refining, according to the poll conducted by Ottawa-based Nanos Research.
The poll also asked participants—1,007 Americans and 1,013 Canadians—which was more important: reducing greenhouse-gas emissions or having North America free from oil imports? Both a majority of Americans and Canadians, 63% and 55%, respectively, suggested reducing reliance on oil imports trumped environmental policy.
“Energy security, particularly in the U.S., is driving views on energy issues,” said Nik Nanos, president of Nanos Research.
Environmentalists argue that development of the Alberta oil sands for the crude that Keystone would carry will increase emissions of greenhouse gases.
The Nanos poll contacted Americans between March 28 and April 7, and Canadians between April 6 and April 9.
The Obama administration is, for a second time, reviewing TransCanada’s application to build Keystone after rejecting the project in 2012. Keystone faces stiff opposition in the U.S. from environmental groups and key Democratic policy makers.
Nanos Research conducted the poll and they’re pretty legit. Via WSJ.
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday criticized the State Department’s environmental impact review of the Keystone XLpipeline, saying there was not enough evidence to back up key conclusions on gas emissions, safety and alternative routes.
In a letter to top State Department officials, the agency said it had “environmental objections” to their review, which concluded the pipeline would have minimal impact on the environment. The analysis could complicate efforts to win approval for the controversial $7-billion project.
A State Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If approved, Keystone XL would carry crude oil along a 1,700-mile route from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
It will be approved. Nearly half of the line is already built, the land from Canada to Texas is already secured, Sec. State John Kerry signaled his support, and redstate politicians are salivating for a knockout punch to the environmental movement.
RI Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (whom I interviewed back in 2005) predicts the approval will be wrapped in green packaging. He thinks Keystone approval will be surrounded by “a whole formidable array of environmental and anti-carbon measures that can not just offset the harm that they do by approving [Keystone] … but actually turn the whole package into a very strong, anti-carbon pollution suite of strategies.”
On April 12, 2013, Sally Jewell was sworn in as the 51st Secretary of the Interior.
In nominating Jewell, President Obama said, “She is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. She is committed to building our nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country. She knows the link between conservation and good jobs. She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand.”
As Secretary of the Interior, Jewell leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees. Interior serves as steward for approximately 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands; oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.
Prior to her confirmation, Jewell served in the private sector, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Recreation Equipment, Inc. (REI).
Five-year-old news site honored for exposé of Michigan oil spill
On Monday, InsideClimate News, a five-year-old investigative news outlet that is based in Brooklyn, but doesn’t even have an office, won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for its coverage of the most costly onshore oil spill in US history.
InsideClimate’s series, which began last June under the banner, “The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of,” revealed the inept response of industry and government to the 2010 oil spill in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, which dumped a million gallons of bitumen, a thick, dirty oil from Canada’s tar sands region that has to be thinned with chemicals in order to flow through oil pipelines.
It was not the first time that a Web-native newsroom founded within the last 10 years had won a Pulitzer Prize. There was ProPublica in 2010 and The Huffington Post in 2012, but they were born Goliaths in a land of Davids, and never before had such small startup won so quickly. As The Associated Press’s Deepthi Hajela noted:In a sign of a rapidly changing media world, a relatively unknown New York-based online nonprofit news site joined some of the country’s most well-known media outlets in claiming a Pulitzer Prize, the highest honor in journalism.
The lack of national recognition belied InsideClimate News’s stature within the science and environmental community, however, where it has earned a tremendous amount of respect since its launch in 2007.
Canadian govt demands community members fill out a 10-page questionnaire and submit their CV in order to seek permission to comment on oil pipeline ›
Clever tactic by captured politicians.
“The new rules are undemocratic. They attempt to restrict the public’s participation in these hearings and prevent a real dialogue about the environmental impacts of the Line 9 pipeline project,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. “Canadians should not have to apply for permission to have their voices heard on projects that carry serious risks to their communities.”
Under the new rules, any Ontario resident who lives along the 639-km pipeline route who wants to send in a letter about their concerns must first apply to the NEB for permission to send in a letter. As of today, the public will have just two weeks to fill out a 10-page form which asks for a resume and references.“Since when does someone’s resume determine if they have the right to be concerned about what’s happening in their home community?”