BP oil spill


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Presentation by Ed Overton on BP Oil Spill damage

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BP oil spill

  1. 1. Oil Spill Overview and Recommendations for Moving Forward<br />Deepwater Horizon Oil<br />Edward B. Overton, Ph.D.<br />Professor Emeritus<br />Dept of Environmental Sciences<br />School of Coast and Environment<br />Louisiana State University<br />Baton Rouge LA 70803<br />Exxon Valdez Oil<br />
  2. 2. Deepwater Horizon Spill<br />
  3. 3. Overview of the Spill<br />Began April 20, 2010 with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico<br />Capped on July 15, 2010<br />Estimates of 35,000-60,000 barrels of crude oil flowed from the well per day, covering 2,500 square miles<br />>5M barrels of oil spilled – Largest spill in history<br />>1M barrels of dispersant used at depth and on the surface<br />Impact to people, environment, economy, and geology<br />
  4. 4.
  5. 5. 7721 miles<br />of coastline in Louisiana<br />
  6. 6. On Shore Oil<br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Offshore Oil<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Thick, skimable, dispersible oil<br />
  11. 11. Oil after dispersant application<br />
  12. 12.
  13. 13. Source oil<br /><ul><li>oil at depth
  14. 14. oil on surface
  15. 15. dispersed oil at depth
  16. 16. dispersed oil on surface</li></ul>Weathered oils<br /><ul><li>dissolved and modified oils at depth
  17. 17. dispersed weathered oils on surface
  18. 18. dispersed dissolved and modified oil at depth
  19. 19. dispersed weathered oil on surface</li></ul>Dispersed<br />Impacts<br /><ul><li>Ecological
  20. 20. Geological
  21. 21. Economic
  22. 22. Sociological</li></ul>Source<br />
  23. 23. The Effects of Weathering on Spilled Oil<br />Days<br />Weeks<br />Months<br />Surface Oil Weathering<br />Sticky<br />Floating<br />Sinking?<br />Gunky<br />Floating<br />Sinking<br />Toxic & Sticky<br />Floating<br />Tarball Nuisance<br />Loss of Light Ends<br /> Saturates and Aromatics<br /> Degraded<br />Asphaltene<br /> Residue <br />
  24. 24. Oxidation-replace H with more electronegative element<br />Reduction- replace electronegative element with H<br />Slow<br />chlorocarbons<br />O2<br />+ microorganisms<br />HYDROCARBONS<br />“e” donor<br />fast<br />CO2<br />CH4<br />Oxidized form<br />Reduced form<br />aerobic<br />anaerobic<br />no O2 very very slow<br />HYDROCARBONS<br />Chlorocarbons<br />“e” acceptor<br />Fast (relatively!)<br />
  25. 25. Three Scenarioswhat’s going to happen?<br />Best Case<br />No further leaks with little or no permanent effect to the environment and food chain<br />Nature cleans environment with limited human intervention <br />Worst Case could encompass one or more of the following: <br />Further substantial leakage<br />Long term changes to food chain<br />Toxicity and oxygen depletion<br />Most Likely Outcome<br />Gulf spill follows the scenario set by the Valdez spill (gradual return 3-5 yrs)<br />Variables:<br />Environmental (temperature and weather) conditions<br />Greater use of dispersants and ISB<br />Depth of spill and dispersant use at depth<br />Danger of over-remediation <br />
  26. 26. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill<br />Recovery<br />
  27. 27. Oil Weathering<br />Exxon Valdez<br />oil weathering<br />sticky<br />Toxic & sticky<br />Tarball nuisance<br />
  28. 28. Chemical Contamination<br />Most of the oiled mussels were as clean as unoiled mussels by 1992-93 (3-4 years)<br />
  29. 29. Valdez/Ixtoc1 and other oil spills lessons learned: <br /><ul><li>Most but not all environmental indicators return to normal in 3-5 annual cycles.
  30. 30. Oil Spills are acute events, not a chronic events</li></ul>Oil Removal Options: 3 tools in Toolbox:<br /><ul><li>Chemical
  31. 31. Mechanical
  32. 32. In-situ burning</li></li></ul><li>ISB<br />
  33. 33. Areal Dispersant Application<br />
  34. 34. Near shore skimmers<br />
  35. 35. A Whale<br />Ocean Skimmer?<br />
  36. 36. Deeboom<br />Jack Wood, Trustee<br />The Wood Family Trust<br />21859 Angeli Place<br />Grass Valley, CA 95949<br />530-320-7200 (Cell)<br />
  37. 37. What do you do with this?<br />Gulf Shores/Orange Beach<br />July 17, 2010<br />
  38. 38. Sand Berms<br />
  39. 39. Human Health Exposures<br /><ul><li>Toxicity of semivolatiles?
  40. 40. Routes of exposure
  41. 41. Consumption of seafood?</li></li></ul><li>Some Future Recommendations<br /><ul><li>Develop transparent information management criteria/protocols in the age of Google
  42. 42. Understand ecology and impacts of releases at-depth
  43. 43. Catalogue and contact area experts in marine and coastal ecology, oceanography
  44. 44. Evaluate the tradeoff for offshore verses near-shore impacts
  45. 45. Evaluate the efficacy of offshore cleanup options
  46. 46. Have in place a public cleanup technology review and evaluation system</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Develop a catalog of oil weathering properties for all production zones
  47. 47. Understand the chemistry of various oils and their weathered products
  48. 48. Develop remote sensing for accurate detection of spreading oil patches
  49. 49. Develop contamination free at depth sampling and monitoring capability
  50. 50. Develop human health exposure risk for response and cleanup workers
  51. 51. Develop an understanding of impact on seafood and duration of seafood impacts
  52. 52. Develop rapid response seafood impact detection capability</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Develop capability for 24 hour cleanup operations
  53. 53. Develop cleanup skimming technology for offshore, near-shore and on-shore
  54. 54. Develop response technology use paradigms (skimming, dispersing, ISB)
  55. 55. Develop dispersing efficacy and impacts criteria
  56. 56. Understand impacts of dispersant use at depth and on the surface
  57. 57. Re-examine and re-engineer the safety features for well shutdown
  58. 58. Examine and evaluate Incident Command Structure
  59. 59. Keep incident response technical/scientific based, not political</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion:<br /><ul><li>Hope containment holds, relief wells provide final plugging
  60. 60. Remove as much residual oil as possible off the surface
  61. 61. Support natural recovery processes
  62. 62. Use portion of royalty income to partially response needs
  63. 63. Talk the talk, walk the walk as far as environmental health and safety is concerned
  64. 64. Develop a sensible energy policy for the US</li>