Environment 101: Tackling The Largest Oil Spill

Oil Spill Deepwater Horizon Environment Nature

Photo caption: Sunlight illuminated the lingering oil spill off the Mississippi Delta on May 24, 2010. The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image the same day. Image source: Wikipedia

In case, you have been busy with other matters

BP’s COO Doug Suttles has announced that operation Top Kill, a plan involving the pumping of heavy mud, concrete, and junk into its gushing oil well 5,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico, has failed.

The next step, the New York Times reports, is a “lower marine riser package cap,” in which workers plan to saw off the riser and put a device on top to capture the oil. So far, the leak has resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Experts say anywhere from 504,000 to 4.2 million gallons a day are escaping from the well that ruptured after Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon platform (leased by BP) exploded on April 20.

Recently, scientists have discovered that a massive amount of the oil has not risen to the surface and could be lurking 1,000 feet or more under the surface of the gulf.

One plume is an estimated 22 miles long. PBS has a running estimate, based on several evaluations of the flow rate (BP has not acknowledged a definitive figure).

(Source: Fast Company)

Fireboat Fire Deepwater Horizon Environment

Image source: Britannica

504,000 to 4.2 million gallons a day or an estimated 180 million gallons leaked todate or 681 million litres (1 gallon = 3.78541178 litres). That is enough to cover a full tank for 17 million cars (rough estimate).

Meanwhile, we are having the same problem over here:-

The Department of Environment estimates that 16km of shoreline have been polluted by the oil spill from the collision of two vessels in the Singapore Strait.

DOE director-general Datuk Rosnani Ibarahim said clean-up efforts were in progress and over 18,911 litres of oil had been collected so far.

(Source: The Star)

More oil spill means a shortage of supply to end consumers and that seriously affects the oil price.

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