Posts tagged ‘Oil’

Coast Guard to burn Gulf oil slick

Authorities will start burning some of the thickest oil in a massive slick from a rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard said.

Fire-resistant containment booms will be used to corral some of the oil on surface, which will then be ignited, Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner said. It was unclear how large an area will be set on fire or how far from shore the first fire would be set.

Crews have been unable to stop thousands of barrels of oil from fouling Gulf waters since the April 20 explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead, and the cause of the blast has not been determined.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry earlier said the controlled burns would be done during the day far from shore. Crews would make sure marine life and people were protected and that work on other oil rigs would not be interrupted.

Ed Overton, a professor emeritus of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, questioned the method of getting rid of the oil slick.

“It can be effective in calm water, not much wind, in a protected area,” he said. “When you’re out in the middle of the ocean, with wave actions and currents pushing you around, it’s not easy.”

He had another concern: The oil samples from the spill he’s looked at shows it to be a sticky substance similar to roofing tar.

“I’m not super optimistic. This is tarry crude that lies down in the water,” he said. “But it’s something that has got to be tried.”

For full article click HERE


April 28, 2010 at 9:30 AM Leave a comment

Obama to reverse ban on oil exploration off East Coast

President Barack Obama is to announce on Wednesday a plan to permit exploration for oil and natural gas off the coast of Virginia as a way to create jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Obama, who wants Congress to move a stalled climate change bill, has sought to reach out to Republicans by signaling he is open to allowing offshore drilling, providing coastlines are protected.

Joined by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Obama is to detail an updated plan for offshore oil and natural gas drilling in remarks at a military base in nearby Maryland.
For more than 20 years, drilling was banned in most offshore areas of the United States outside the Gulf of Mexico because of concerns that spills could harm the environment.

The administration has been weighing the pros and cons of offshore drilling since it took office and put the brakes on a Bush-era proposal which called for drilling along the East Coast and off the coast of California.

An administration official said, as part of the new plan, Interior will conduct the first new offshore oil and gas sale in the Atlantic Ocean in over two decades as part of a lease sale 50 miles off the coast of Virginia.

Seismic exploration in the south Atlantic and mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf of the United States will determine the quantity and location of potential oil and gas resources to support energy planning.

The Bush plan had called for leases to be offered in November 2011, but it was not immediately clear whether the Obama administration would stick to that schedule.

A senior Interior official said in January that drilling off Virginia’s coast would be delayed past the original 2011 leasing date.

The proposed Virginia lease area, located about 50 miles from shore, may hold 130 million barrels of oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, based on Interior Department estimates.

Article continues HERE

March 31, 2010 at 8:40 AM Leave a comment

The Plastic Waste Problem

Plastics Have Revolutionized Our World

Today, plastic touches every aspect of our daily lives in some way. It keeps the foods we eat fresh, the medicines we take secure, and the homes we live in safe. As a result of our dependence on plastic, consumption is increasing at a rapid pace. In fact, the global culture of consumerism relies upon plastic for its very existence. The overall plastic market is growing at a rate of more than 7% per year. In 2005, over 230 million metric tons (over 500 billion pounds) of plastic was produced  globally.

What Do We Do With All This Plastic Afgter Its Useful Life?

There are currently four major options for the disposal of waste plastic:
recycling, landfill, incineration, and dumping. We have come to the sobering realization that all four methods are fraught with severe drawbacks and limitations. Current disposal methods no longer fit our needs. Incineration, landfill, and dumping present harmful environmental impacts and recycling has proven to be both expensive and inefficient. We are running out of options and the world needs a new solution.

Extracting Oil for Plastics

In 2008, more than 85 million barrels of crude oil were extracted daily worldwide. After extraction, refineries process crude oil into different refined petroleum products including liquefied petroleum gas, gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, distillate fuel oil, jet fuel, lubricants, petrochemical feedstock, petroleum coke, and asphalt. Plastic production uses 8% of the world’s oil production, with 4% used as feedstock and 4% providing the energy required for plastic production.

Since plastic is a derivative of petroleum, plastic possesses a commensurately high level of stored energy content. The energy density of polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), and polypropylene (PP) is comparable to that of gasoline and is approximately 51% higher than that of coal. Unfortunately, this high level of energy literally “goes to waste” when plastic waste products are discarded. In 2007 the United States produced 58 million tons of plastic, from which 48 million tons of plastic waste entered the nation’s waste stream.

November 18, 2009 at 12:52 PM Leave a comment

University of San Francisco: unplugged

USFUNPLUGGED is brought to you by the Environmental Safety Community Outreach Liaison’s of USF. Here to educate, assist and encourage, we want you to get involved with the GREEN movement taking place on campus!

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