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University of Allahabad
Anju Devi Murya
What is an Oil Spill?
• An oil spills is the
release of a liquid
hydrocarbon into the
areas due to human
activity and is a form
• The term is usually applied to marine oil spills,
where oil is released into the ocean or coastal
waters, but spills may also occur on land.
• It may be due to released of crude oil from
tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and oil
wells as well as during the transport of the
refined petrolium product in vessels and
Some important Oil Spills:-
Torrey Canyon -
• By an error in ship
tonnes of crude oil.
kilometres of both
England and France.
Exxon Valdez - United States (March
• Eight of the eleven tanks damaged, releasing
41,000 tonnes of Alaska Northslope Crude Oil.
• Contaminated 1,900 kilometers of coast.
Kuroshima - United States
(November 26, 1997)
• A 368 foot seafood freighter broke away from its
anchorage during a severe storm and ran around
spilling 145 tonnes of oil. Contaminated
approximately 10 kilometres of shoreline of Summer
Bay on the Aleutian Island of Alaska.
How do oil spills occur?
• Oil Spills may happen for several reasons:-
1. When oil tankers have equipment faults
2. From nature and human activities on
3. Water Sports
4. Drilling works carried out in sea
What are the effects of oil spills?
• Effects on fauna in the sea
• Seabirds are strongly affected by oil spills.
• When they get covered in oil, the heavy oil
weights down the birds and is unable to fly.
• Eventually, the bird will die.
The second groups of animals affected
strongly are Killer Whales:-
• Oil affects the killer whales in two ways.
1. Firstly, it plugs up the blowholes of the killer
whales, and the killer whale will be unable to
2.Secondly, the Killer Whale may eat fish that
swam through the oil, or fish already poisoned
by the oil, and the killer whales too will get
poisoned by the oil, and will die.
Effects on plants in the sea
• Oil Spills also affect marine plants. The oil forms
a thick layer on the water surface, and this layer
blocks out light and prevents gaseous exchange.
Methods Of Cleaning
• High or low pressure hoses to
spray oil off beaches.
▫ Large sponges that collect
▫ Collects oil off the water.
• Controlled Burning
▫ Reduces amount of oil.
▫ Boats that removes the oil.
Ways of Preventing Oil Spills
▫ Coast Guard must know where
the tankers can drive.
• Inspect equipment more.
• Double Hulling
▫ 2 layers of watertight hull surface
▫ Prevent/reduces oil spills.
• Careful as possible when transporting.
Control of Oil spills
• Oil spills on land and at sea represents some of
the most dramatic examples of chemical
• Bacteria, that are especially effective in
degrading petroleum products can be selected
and applied to such spill.
• Pseudomonas, Desufovibria deslfuricans
are used in controlling of oil spills.
• Indigenous bacteria that can utilize “the spilled
oil are also stimulated into activity by the
additional nutrients. This is termed
• Some bacteria such as Sulfate reducing bacteria
which are anaerobic (can survive without
oxygen) can be used to clean up oil spills are
they are oil consuming bacteria.
• Bio-remediation accelerator is
another approach which entails
using chemicals to chemically
and physically bond the
hydrocarbon oil molecules.
• What this does is to cause the
oil molecules to aggregate and
float towards the surface of the
• Undetected hydrocarbon
molecules can be aggregated in
• Psedomonas that is able to consume all types
of hydrocarbons of the oil and petrol.
• This unique strain is called “Superbug”.
• This unique strain was created by Ananda
Impacts of a Major Oil Spill
• Destroys Marine Life
• Destabilizes Marine
• Degrades Shore
• Harms Economic
• Impacts Human Welfare
Spill Impact Recovery
The recovery of the marine
environment from the effects of a
spill is generally thought to be “a
return to the precise
conditions that preceded the
However, this is very unlikely to
happen. As such, the
measurement of spill recovery is
based on a comparison of
unoiled sites with oiled sites
of similar ecological
Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment
When a spill occurs, Canada utilizes the Shoreline Cleanup and
Assessment Team (SCAT) process adopted from Alaska to
determine when and how each individual shoreline will be cleaned
based on geomorphological, ecological and archaeological factors.
• Principles of Microbiology by Ronald M.
• Microbiology an Introduction by Torta
• Microbiology- sixth edition by John M.
Prescott, John P. Harley, Donald A. Klen.
• WWW. Google Com.
• What is Oil Spills?
• How do oil spills occur?
• What are effects on fauna in the sea?
• What are effects on flora in the sea?
• How do control of oil Spills?
• What is Bioremediation?
• What is Superbug?