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Gwen Noda

Around the World - 0 views

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    "Australian officials announced that part of a planned marine park will be set aside to help protect humpback whales; Mexico's legislature passed a strong, new climate change law"
Gwen Noda

Three Historic Blowouts - 0 views

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    Three Historic Blowouts

    1. Lauren Schenkman

    Figure
    Mexico 1979
    "CREDIT: NOAA"

    The decade from 1969 to 1979 witnessed three massive spills from offshore oil wells around the world. Here is how they compare in size and impact.

    IXTOC 1 The biggest well-related spill was triggered on 3 June 1979, when a lack of drilling mud allowed oil and gas to shoot up through the 3.6-km-deep IXTOC 1 exploratory well, about 80 km offshore in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The initial daily outflow of 30,000 barrels of oil was eventually reduced to 10,000 barrels. The well was finally capped more than 9 months later. Mexico's state-owned oil company, PEMEX, treated the approximately 3.5-million-barrel spill with dispersants. U.S. officials had a 2-month head start to reduce impacts to the Texas coastline.

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    North Sea 1977
    "CREDIT: WALLY FONG/AP PHOTO"

    Ekofisk The first major spill in the North Sea resulted in the release of 202,000 barrels of oil about 250 km off the coast of Norway. The 22 April 1977 blowout caused oil to gush from an open pipe 20 m above the sea surface. The well was capped after a week. Between 30% and 40% of the spill evaporated almost immediately. Rough waters broke up the slick before it reached shore.

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    Santa Barbara 1969
    "CREDIT: BETTMANN/CORBIS"

    Santa Barbara A blown well 1 km below the sea floor and 9 km off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, spewed out a total of 100,000 barrels of oil. The initial eruption occurred on 28 January 1969, and the well was capped by mud and cement on 7 February, but the pressure forced oil through sea floor fissures until December. The oil contaminated 65 km of coastline. At least 3700 birds are known to have died, and commercial fishing in the area was closed until April.
Gwen Noda

Will Deepwater Horizon Set a New Standard for Catastrophe? - 0 views

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    "Will Deepwater Horizon Set a New Standard for Catastrophe?

    1. Richard Kerr,
    2. Eli Kintisch and
    3. Erik Stokstad

    Summary

    The fiery destruction of an oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April may have triggered one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. The impact of the crisis, which began with the deaths of 11 workers and then simmered for several days before an expanding oil slick grabbed worldwide attention, promises to test the federal government's ability to protect habitat, wildlife, and the economic well-being of a four-state region on a scale never before imagined. "
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