Researchers debate dispersant oil spill remedy

The use of dispersants to clean up oil in the Gulf of Mexico is examined

Oil industry maintains that dispersants should be part of routine response to deep-water blowouts.

No aspect of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was more controversial than the decision to pump massive doses of chemical dispersant into the oil gushing from 1,500 metres down (see ‘Deep cleaning’). Advocates said that the mixture of solvents and detergent would separate the deep oil plume into finer droplets, speeding its breakdown. Critics feared damage to deep-water ecosystems.

This week, researchers at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, are assessing the outcome — and sometimes drawing markedly different conclusions from the scant data. Industry scientists argue that the nearly three million litres of subsea dispersant worked as expected and caused minimal ecological damage. Dispersant, they say, should be a standard option for fighting future sea-floor blowouts. But other researchers say that applying dispersants at depth has not yet been proved to be effective, let alone safe. Read more

USS Guardian fuel extraction underway to prevent oil spill in reef

PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan – The critical process of fuel extraction to prevent an oil spill in reef from the grounded USS Guardian in Tubbataha Reef is now underway and may be expected to be completed within 48 hours, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.

However, the full extent of the damage to the UNESCO-declared marine wildife preserve won’t be known until the ship is removed by the end of January.

PCG Spokesperson Cmdr. Armand Balilo told GMA News Online that, as of Thursday morning, US Navy salvage personnel have already begun draining the Guardian of its fuel. Read more

Crash and oil spill involving semi-tanker

Oil spill from a tanker crash on Clear Creek Canyon in Colorado

Crash and oil spill closes Clear Creek Canyon for hours; back open now

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – Four people were rushed to St. Anthony hospital early Wednesday morning after a chain reaction crash involving a semi hauling asphalt oil.

U.S. 6 through Clear Creek Canyon was closed in both directions between Golden and Highway 119 for several hours, but reopened at 3 p.m. Read more

Corexit proves deadly to Gulf’s fragile coral reefs

Reef threatened by CorexitIn a PLOS One scientific paper published Jan. 9, scientists have proven a link between detrimental effects of both oil and dispersants such as Corexit on corals in the Gulf of Mexico.

The demonstrated effects of pollution by DWH crude oil and the dispersant Corexit® 9500 on P. astreoides and M. faveolata planulae strongly suggest that the use of dispersants to mitigate oil spills in the vicinity of coral reefs should be avoided.

It’s been over two years since the BP oil spill, and since then scientists such as Dr. Charles Fisher of Penn State, Dr. Samantha Joye of University of Georgia and Dr. Ron Tjeerdema of UC Davis have worked tirelessly to better understand the full impact of the environmental catastrophe. Read more

BP oil spill settlement payments exceed $1B mark

BP oil spill settlement: Flames shoot up from the Deepwater Horizon in 2010. AP file photo

Flames shoot up from the Deepwater Horizon in 2010. AP file photo

Businesses and individuals who claim the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico cost them money have been paid more than $1 billion through the company’s class-action settlement with a team of private plaintiffs’ attorneys, court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau said.

The $1 billion that Juneau’s team has paid is for claims that were filed after the settlement was announced last year. They also paid an additional $404 million for claims that Juneau inherited after replacing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility led by Kenneth Feinberg. Read more

DE-OIL-IT automated delivery into an effluent pit

In the oil field, an effluent pit is a manmade collection pit/hole in the earth/ground. It is designed to collect all oil contaminated discharges from a designated facility. This effluent pit can vary in size, shape and depth depending on the amount of effluent discharges generated by a company/facility. The effluent pit is fitted with a dogleg in the pit. These effluent pits act as a control measure for effluent discharges/oily waste water that enters the pit. The pit acts as a control medium where the oily effluent discharge settles and where the oil and water separate. Water being denser of the two fluids will settle at the bottom of the pit and the skim of oil in the effluent will remain at the top. When the levels of the pit reach a certain height the water at the bottom of the pit will go though the dogleg and are released into the environment. Sometimes these water discharges may have an oily sheen and during rain falls there is no settling time, and as a result, the oily effluent gets into the environment. This where DE-OIL-IT comes in.

Trinidad Tank and Fuel effluent pit time release Remediation System

Far left: Trinidad Tank and Fuel effluent pit time release Remediation System; Middle: When DE-OIL-IT was added to the first primary effluent pit; Right: After only 1 minute, DE-OIL-IT goes to work on the toxic oil.

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DE-OIL-IT gets government approval for ocean oil spills and toxic soil cleaning

The government of Trinidad and Tobago approves the use of DE-OIL-IT on oil spills and remediationOn December 5, 2012, DE-OIL-IT was approved by the Government Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs of Trinidad for use in the petroleum industry. After undergoing lengthy, thorough and rigorous testing, the government approved DE-OIL-IT for use in oil spills both on water and on land. DE-OIL-IT can also be used for preventative measures such as cleaning bilges.

DE-OIL-IT is an environmentally safe industrial strength degreaser and general-purpose cleaner. It is a non-toxic, nonflammable, non-corrosive system of surfactant and oil solubilizers, which dissolve grease and grime. The surface-active agents in DE-OIL-IT penetrate oil, grease, and grime and cause it to disperse into a colloidal suspension allowing natural biodegrading to occur. Read more

DE-OIL-IT Biodegradable Degreaser

DE-OIL-IT biodegradable degreaser

DE-OIL-IT biodegradable degreaser

DE-OIL-IT is featured in an unsolicited write up in

I know that a biodegradable degreaser, even one with as neat of a name as De-Oil-It, might not sound all that exciting to you but to me it’s as cool as Miles Davis. You see, my alter ego is an environmental scientist. For the past five years I have worked on one project and one project alone, Advanced Anaerobic Bioremediation or AAB. I know it sounds like something, but for the most part I drive a forklift and sometimes take samples. What we do is work with naturally occurring bacteria, on an Air Base, which will remain nameless, to breakdown chlorinated engine degreasers. The degreasers were used in the engine shops and motor pools to clean those pesky hard to reach spots. Unfortunately, like most places that these carcinogenic chlorinated solvents were used, they were mishandled and large amounts leached into the ground. These solvents, TCE and PCE, rank number 2 and 3 on a list of the most common groundwater contaminants at contamination sites, very comforting isn’t it? So when I hear tale of a degreaser that is biodegradable and doesn’t cause a list of serious problems in and of itself, I get excited. Read more