Kategoriarkiv: Environmental impacts

Impact of the Deepwater Horizon well blowout on the economics of US Gulf fisheries

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 10.1139/f2011-171: Marine oil spills usually harm organisms at two interfaces: near the water surface and on shore. However, because of the depth of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon well blowout, deeper parts of the Gulf of Mexico are likely impacted. We estimate the potential negative economic effects of this blowout and oil spill on commercial and recreational fishing, as well as mariculture (marine aquaculture) in the US Gulf area, by computing potential losses throughout the fish value chain. We find that the spill could, in the next 7 years, result in (midpoint) present value losses of total revenues, total profits, wages, and economic impact of US$3.7, US$1.9, US$1.2, and US$8.7 billion, respectively. Commercial and recreational fisheries would likely suffer the most losses, with a respective estimated US$1.6 and US$1.9 billion of total revenue losses, US$0.8 and US$1.1 billion in total profit losses, and US$4.9 and US$3.5 billion of total economic losses. Continue

Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team Releases Final Report

BP bears brunt of blame for Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.

Guardian: A key US federal report has focused the blame for the worst offshore oil spill in US history on BP, but criticised its contractors sufficiently for the markets to push BP’s share price up. Amid a string of failures, BP’s “cost or time-saving decisions … were contributing causes of the blowout,” the report concluded.

(BOEMRE)/U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team (JIT):

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)/U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team (JIT) today released its final investigative report on the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon explosion, loss of life, and resulting oil spill.

The report is comprised of Volume I, covering the areas of investigation under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard; Volume II, covering the areas of the investigation under BOEMRE jurisdiction; and a supplement to Volume I – the Final Action Memo from Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp.

On Gulf Oil Spill’s Effects, Doing Science With a Deadline


The team working with Kenneth R. Feinberg, the administrator of the $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, needed an expert opinion on how much time would pass before the gulf and its shrimp, fish, crabs and oysters would fully recover from the oil damage. What’s more, they wanted it in two weeks.

Continue: NYT


An expert opinion of when the Gulf of Mexico will return to pre-spill harvest status following the BP Deepwater Horizon MC 252 oil spill


The Response - Restore the Gulf_1278579356098

First Study of Dispersants in Gulf Spill Suggests a Prolonged Deepwater Fate

woods hole

To combat last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were injected directly into the oil and gas flow coming out of the wellhead nearly one mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, as scientists begin to assess how well the strategy worked at breaking up oil droplets, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) chemist Elizabeth B. Kujawinski and her colleagues report that a major component of the dispersant itself was contained within an oil-gas-laden plume in the deep ocean and had still not degraded some three months after it was applied.

Continue: Woods Hole



Fate of Dispersants Associated with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Elizabeth B. Kujawinski, Melissa C. Kido Soule, David L. Valentine, Angela K. Boysen, Krista Longnecker, and Molly C. Redmond

Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP

DOI: 10.1021/es103838p

Publication Date (Web): January 26, 2011

NOAA: Deepwater Horizon Library

noaa deepwater liberary

As the nation’s experts on oceanic and atmospheric science and the lead science agency for oil spills, NOAA was on-scene at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill since the earliest moments of the crisis. Our satellites in space, planes in the air, ships and buoys on the water, gliders under the sea, and scientists on the ground provided mission-critical information to guide the emergency response and now the long-term restoration of the Gulf Coast. Much of that information is now centralized on this website.

New report highlights key reasons for BP well disaster


At the request of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Academy of Engineering/National Research Council (NAE/NRC) committee is examining the probable causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, fire, and oil spill in order to identify measures for preventing similar harm in the future. The study is organized under the auspices of the NAE and the NRC’s Transportation Research Board, through its Marine Board, and the Division on Earth and Life Studies, with assistance from the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Continue: NAE

Interim Report

The Amount and Fate of the Oil

The federal government‟s estimates of the amount of oil flowing into and later remaining in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the Macondo well explosion were the source of significant controversy, which undermined public confidence in the federal government‟s response to the spill. By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem.

Continue: National Commission on the Deepwater Oilspill

National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Hearing – Day One

C-SPAN Video Player - BP Technical Briefing_1279234942772

Members from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling will hold their third meeting since the April 20th Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. The Commission members will discuss relevant facts and circumstances concerning the root causes of the accident.


Science Watch: Special Topic of Oil Spills

Oil Spills - ScienceWatch.com - Thomson Reuters_1285335021561

The recent devastation to the Gulf of Mexico caused by the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and subsequent spill of close to 5 million barrels of crude oil has caught the world’s attention. This is the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, though it is hardly an isolated incident.

The features of this Special Topic outlined above represent distinct slices of citation data. By approaching citation data from multiple angles, we can observe trends and anomalies across categories—leading to more rich and nuanced stories behind the data.

Continue: Science Watch, Thomson Reuters

Magnitude of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Leak


Now, in the first independent, peer-reviewed paper on the leak’s volume, scientists have affirmed heightened estimates of what is now acknowledged as the largest marine oil accident ever.

The new study divides the flow rate into two periods: April 22 to June 3, when oil spurted from a jagged break in the riser; and after June 3, when the riser was cut, and oil temporarily spewed into the ocean unimpeded




Magnitude of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Leak

Timothy J. Crone and Maya Tolstoy

Published Online September 23, 2010

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1195840

Oil From the BP Spill Found at Bottom of Gulf

UGA Gulf Oil Blog - Deepwater Horizon, Gulf of Mexico, Oil Spill Research_1284545829059

Dr. Samantha Joye has returned to the Gulf of Mexico on the Research Vessel Oceanus (see the Gulf Oil Blog). The science party consists of microbiologists, isotope geochemists, chemical ecologists, physical oceanographers, geologists, and biogeochemists from the University of Georgia (UGA), Georgia Institute of Technology (GATech), Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), the University of Maryland, and the University of Southern Mississippi.

On September 5th, at a site about 16 nautical miles from the wellhead, we dropped the multicorer into a valley. When the instrument returned from the bottom, it contained something we had not seen before: a layer of flocculent, sedimented oil that was cm’s thick.

Continue: University og Georgia, Gulf Oil Blog

In the News: abc worldnews

Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Oil Plume Studied in Great Depths


A University of Oklahoma technology — GeoChip — played a critical role in an intensive study of the dispersed oil plume that formed at a depth between 3,600 and 4,000 feet some 10 miles from BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.



isme microbilogical

GeoChip: a comprehensive microarray for investigating biogeochemical, ecological and environmental processes

Zhili He1,2, Terry J Gentry2,3, Christopher W Schadt2, Liyou Wu1,2, Jost Liebich2,5, Song C Chong2, Zhijian Huang2,6, Weimin Wu4, Baohua Gu2, Phil Jardine2, Craig Criddle4 and Jizhong Zhou1,2

The ISME Journal (2007) 1, 67–77; doi:10.1038/ismej.2007.2

Study shows deepwater oil plume in Gulf degraded by microbes

Berkeley lab us

In the aftermath of the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, a dispersed oil plume was formed at a depth between 3,600 and 4,000 feet and extending some 10 miles out from the wellhead. An intensive study by scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found that microbial activity, spearheaded by a new and unclassified species, degrades oil much faster than anticipated. This degradation appears to take place without a significant level of oxygen depletion.




Published Online August 24, 2010

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1195979

Deep-Sea Oil Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-Degrading Bacteria

Terry C. Hazen,1,* Eric A. Dubinsky,1 Todd Z. DeSantis,1 Gary L. Andersen,1 Yvette M. Piceno,1 Navjeet Singh,1 Janet K. Jansson,1 Alexander Probst,1 Sharon E. Borglin,1 Julian L. Fortney,1 William T. Stringfellow,1,3 Markus Bill,1 Mark S. Conrad,1 Lauren M. Tom,1 Krystle L. Chavarria,1 Thana R. Alusi,1 Regina Lamendella,1 Dominique C. Joyner,1 Chelsea Spier,3 Jacob Baelum,1 Manfred Auer,1 Marcin L. Zemla,1 Romy Chakraborty,1 Eric L. Sonnenthal,1 Patrik D’haeseleer,4 Hoi-Ying N. Holman,1 Shariff Osman,1 Zhenmei Lu,2 Joy D. Van Nostrand,2 Ye Deng,2 Jizhong Zhou,1,2 Olivia U. Mason1

The biological effects and expected fate of the vast amount of oil in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon blowout are unknown due to the depth and magnitude of this event. Here, we report that the dispersed hydrocarbon plume stimulated deep-sea indigenous {gamma}-proteobacteria that are closely related to known petroleum-degraders.


Scientists Map and Confirm Origin of Large, Underwater Hydrocarbon Plume in Gulf

News Release - WHOI Scientists Map and Confirm Origin of Large, Underwater Hydrocarbon Plume in Gulf - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution_1282296198348

The 1.2-mile-wide, 650-foot-high plume of trapped hydrocarbons provides at least a partial answer to recent questions asking where all the oil has gone as surface slicks shrink and disappear. “These results indicate that efforts to book keep where the oil went must now include this plume” in the Gulf, said Christopher Reddy, a WHOI marine geochemist and oil spill expert and one of the authors of the study, which appears in the Aug. 19 issue of the journal Science.

“In June, we observed the plume migrating slowly [at about 0.17 miles per hour] southwest of the source of the blowout,” said Camilli. The researchers began tracking it about three miles from the well head and out to about 22 miles (35 kilometers) until the approach of Hurricane Alex forced them away from the study area.




Report Paints New Picture of Gulf Oil

As millions of barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico this summer from a blown-out BP well, the media painted a portrait of dark, massive plumes billowing into the sea. Meanwhile, a recent U.S. government report has stated that microbes are breaking down the oil quickly. Neither picture is correct, at least in the case of a plume described in the first peer-reviewed publication of oil-spill observations.



Tracking Hydrocarbon Plume Transport and Biodegradation at Deepwater Horizon

Richard Camilli, Christopher M. Reddy, Dana R. Yoerger, Benjamin A. S. Van Mooy, Michael V. Jakuba, James C. Kinsey, Cameron P. McIntyre, Sean P. Sylva, James V. Maloney

Published Online August 19, 2010

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1195223

Federal Science Report Details Fate of Oil from BP Spill


The vast majority of the oil from the BP oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead or dispersed much of which is in the process of being degraded. A significant amount of this is the direct result of the robust federal response efforts.

A third (33 percent) of the total amount of oil released in the Deepwater Horizon/BP spill was captured or mitigated by the Unified Command recovery operations, including burning, skimming, chemical dispersion and direct recovery from the wellhead, according to a federal science report released today.

deepwater oil fate noaa

Continue: NOAA

Modelling the potential threats from Gulf Oil Spill to U.S. coastlines

Deepwater potential impact

Deepwater Horizon: Statistical Modeling


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has used computer models to estimate the potential threats to U.S. coastlines that might result if oil spilling from the Deepwater Horizon site continues until a relief well successfully stops the flow. Although it is impossible to predict precisely where surface oil will go in the coming months, it is possible to analyze where surface oil is most likely to go by (a) using historical wind and ocean current records; and (b) accounting for both natural processes of “weathering” and human intervention to recover and remove the oil. This Web page will be updated as more information becomes available.

Continue:  NOAA

noaa bp oil deepwater response

Deepwater potential impact

New official US website for the Gulf Oil Spill

The Response - Restore the Gulf_1278579356098

RestoretheGulf.gov is the official federal portal for the Deepwater BP oil spill response and recovery. This site provides the public with information on the response, current operations, news and updates, how to file a claim and obtain other assistance, and links to federal, state and local partners.

Restore the Gulf.gov

Map and data

geoplatform - gulf response_1276540066222 deepwater

geoplatform gulf oil spill deepwater


Subsea monitoring in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead


The report contains analysis of samples taken by the R/V Brooks McCall, a research vessel conducting water sampling from half a mile to nine miles of the wellhead. These data have been used on an ongoing basis to help guide the Government’s decisions about the continued use of subsea dispersant.

The report concludes that decreased oil droplet size in deep waters is consistent with chemically-dispersed oil. The report also shows that dissolved oxygen levels remained above immediate levels of concern, although there is a need to monitor dissolved oxygen levels over time.

The report also confirms the existence of a previously discovered cloud of diffuse oil at depths of 3,300 to 4,600 feet near the wellhead. Preliminary findings indicate that total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations at these depths are in concentrations of about 1-2 parts per million (ppm). Between that depth and the surface mix layer, which is defined as 450 feet below the surface, concentrations fell to levels that were not readily discernable from background levels. The tests detection limit is about 0.8 ppm. Analysis also shows that this cloud is most concentrated near the source of the leak and decreases with distance from the wellhead. Beyond six miles from the wellhead, concentrations of this cloud drop to levels that are not detectable.

More:  NOAA: Joint Analysis Group Reports

Report: NOAA

35,000 – 60,000 barrels per day

Updated Estimate of Oil Flows from BP’s Well

Washington – Based on updated information and scientific assessments, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Chair of the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) Dr. Marcia McNutt (Director of the U.S. Geological Survey) today announced an improved estimate of how much oil is flowing from the leaking BP well.

Secretary Chu, Secretary Salazar, and Dr. McNutt convened a group of federal and independent scientists on Monday to discuss new analyses and data points obtained over the weekend to produce updated flow rate estimates. Working together, U.S. government and independent scientists estimate that the most likely flow rate of oil today is between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day. The improved estimate is based on more and better data that is now available and that helps increase the scientific confidence in the accuracy of the estimate.

At the direction of the federal government, BP is implementing multiple strategies to significantly expand the leak containment capabilities at the sea floor even beyond the upper level of today’s improved estimate. The Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) cap that is currently in place can capture up to 18,000 barrels of oil per day. At the direction of the federal government, BP is deploying today a second containment option, called the Q4000, which could expand total leak containment capacity to 20,000-28,000 barrels per day. Overall, the leak containment strategy that BP was required to develop projects containment capacity expanding to 40,000-53,000 barrels per day by the end of June and 60,000-80,000 barrels per day by mid-July.

Deepwater Horizon Response_1273573041600

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response

Federal Agencies Introduce Online Mapping Tool to Track Gulf Response


Today, NOAA launches a new federal Web site meant to answer those questions with clarity and transparency — a one-stop shop for detailed near-real-time information about the response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. The Web site incorporates data from the various agencies that are working together to tackle the spill.

Originally designed for responders, who make operational decisions, to the oil spill disaster, http://www.GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse integrates the latest data on the oil spill’s trajectory, fishery closed areas, wildlife and place-based Gulf Coast resources — such as pinpointed locations of oiled shoreline and daily position of research ships — into one customizable interactive map.

GeoPlatform - Gulf Response_1276540066222 deepwater

Undersøisk robot skal afsløre omfanget af BP’s olieudslip



iRobot - Gulf Oil Spill Response_1276166578885

The iRobot Response Effort

On May 21th, we launched an iRobot Seaglider to monitor the area just a few miles away from the Gulf oil spill. The Seaglider is configured with sensors that report a wide variety of data, including the level of dissolved oxygen in the water as well as the presence of oil all the way down to 1000 meters. We also assisted the US Navy with the rapid integration of additional sensors on two of the Seagliders in their fleet, which are also capturing and monitoring samples far below the water’s surface in the Gulf of Mexico now.


iRobot - Gulf Oil Spill Response_1276166620629 1

Gulf: NOAA Confirmes Initial Analysis of Subsurface Oil


NOAA’s independent analysis of water samples provided from the May 22-28 research mission of the University of South Florida’s R/V Weatherbird II confirmed the presence of very low concentrations of sub-surface oil and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) at sampling depths ranging from 50 meters to 1,400 meters.

More:  http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100608_weatherbird.html

Gulf: A three-dimensional view of the response

deepwater response graphic 070610

A three-dimensional view of the response and the four different areas of operations: in the subsea area near the well; on the surface above the well; within 50 miles of the coast; and on the shoreline. “We’re no longer dealing with a large, monolithic spill,” Allen said. “We’re dealing with an aggregation of hundreds or thousands of patches of oil that are going a lot of different directions. And we’ve had to adapt and we need to adapt to be able to meet that threat.”

deepwater response graphic 070610


Coast Guard: Up to 462,000 gallons of oil collected daily

white house deepwater small

At this morning’s White House press briefing, Coast Guard Chief Adm. Thad Allen said the cap on the oil well is now collecting up to 462,000 gallons of oil a day. He also said clean-up plans will utilize small vessels to capture individual patches of oil now floating around the Gulf.

Yesterday, Allen told CNN’s “State of the Union” that no one should be “pleased” about containment efforts until after engineers can install a planned relief well that completely blocks the leakage in the broken pipeline. The relief well will not be in place until sometime in August.

Thad Allen deepwater


Bottom Kill

white house deepwater small

National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen:

As I’ve said on several occasions, though, the long-term solution to this is going to be drilling the relief wells, which, again, are targeted at early August. There are two relief wells in progress right now: Development Driller Three is down between 7,000 and 8,000 below the sea floor; Development Driller Two is down around 3,000.

Those will continue. The second one is a risk mitigater, as we move towards what will be the final solution, which will be the relief wells. And following the intersection of the well bore with those relief wells, they will put heavy mud down there to suppress the pressure of the oil coming up from the reservoir, put a cement plug in and effectively do what I would call a bottom kill, as opposed to the top kill, which was not successful a couple of weeks ago.

More:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/press-briefing-press-secretary-robert-gibbs-and-national-incident-commander-admiral

BP Decisions Set Stage for Disaster

deep trouble

A Wall Street Journal investigation provides the most complete account so far of the fateful decisions that preceded the blast. BP made choices over the course of the project that rendered this well more vulnerable to the blowout, which unleashed a spew of crude oil that engineers are struggling to stanch.

wall street

Continue:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704026204575266560930780190.html

See: The Wall Street Journal, Interactive Graphics on the Oil Spill

Stop oil and gas exploration now, says IUCN

IUCN - Home_1257325672577 red list international union for conservation nature

Following the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) calls for a global moratorium on oil and gas exploitation in ecologically sensitive areas, including deepwater ocean sites and polar areas.

In a statement from the ruling body of the world’s oldest and largest conservation organization, IUCN says that the rising demand for energy is leading us into more difficult environments, increasing the risk of costly accidents with a price that is too high both for human livelihoods and the natural systems which support them.

Continue: http://cms.iucn.org/?uNewsID=5420

BP cap captures ‘10,000 barrels’ a day in US Gulf

deepwater pelican

A containment cap on a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is now funnelling off 10,000 barrels of oil a day, BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward says.

The amount has risen since Saturday, and implies more than half the estimated 12,000 to 19,000 barrels leaking each day is now being captured.


Continue:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10248409.stm

Ocean currents likely to carry oil along Atlantic coast

deepwater ocean current simulation

BOULDER—A detailed computer modeling study released today indicates that oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico might soon extend along thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast and open ocean as early as this summer. The modeling results are captured in a series of dramatic animations produced by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and collaborators.

This animation shows one scenario of how oil released at the location of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico may move in the upper 65 feet of the ocean. This is not a forecast, but rather, it illustrates a likely dispersal pathway of the oil for roughly four months following the spill. It assumes oil spilling continuously from April 20 to June 20. The colors represent a dilution factor ranging from red (most concentrated) to beige (most diluted). The dilution factor does not attempt to estimate the actual barrels of oil at any spot; rather, it depicts how much of the total oil from the source that will be carried elsewhere by ocean currents. For example, areas showing a dilution factor of 0.01 would have one-hundredth the concentration of oil present at the spill site.

The animation is based on a computer model simulation, using a virtual dye, that assumes weather and current conditions similar to those that occur in a typical year. It is one of a set of six scenarios released today that simulate possible pathways the oil might take under a variety of oceanic conditions. Each of the six scenarios shows the same overall movement of oil through the Gulf to the Atlantic and up the East Coast. However, the timing and fine-scale details differ, depending on the details of the ocean currents in the Gulf.

Ocean currents likely to carry oil along Atlantic coast - UCAR_1275683415076


Florida coast suffers first impact from oil spill

Tar balls and sticky oil sheen washed ashore on a northwest Florida beach on Friday, the first apparent impact on the tourism-dependent state from the Gulf of Mexico.

Continue:  http://www.funwebsites.org/rss_news.php?id=46807&n=1&nDoLib=33&ac39=hokjfxp&z=1&s=http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/science/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100604/ts_nm/us_oil_spill_florida&a=Science%20News&a2=&r=

NOAA Expands Fishing Closed Area in Gulf of Mexico

closure-20100528-small deepwater fishing

May 25, 2010

Fishery Closure Boundary as of May 28, 2010. Closure area may be updated daily as necessary.

NOAA has extended the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico to include a large area of oil sheen patches crossing the eastern edge of the current boundary, as well as an area currently outside the southern boundary which a small portion of the sheen is moving toward. Closing fishing in these areas is a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers.


The video BP does not want you to see – The one you must!

greenhouse neutral foundation logo

ABC News went underwater in the Gulf with Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, and he described what he saw as “one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen underwater.”

Check out what BP does not want you to see. And please share this widely — every American should see what’s happening under the surface in the Gulf.

Video: http://greenhouseneutralfoundation.org/articles/2010/05/27/the-video-bp-does-not-want-you-to-see-the-one-you-must/