(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
History is full of “flashbulb moments” — when FLASH!
the course of History, changes instantly, on a dime,
as the result of some collective common experience.
This is not one of those tales.
Rather it’s another kind of story entirely,
when we all collectively sense something’s wrong,
but no one can really pin it down, to …
Exactly what the problem is.
Déjà vu [Deja vu] is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as though an event has already happened or has happened in the recent past), although the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain.
The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of “eeriness,” “strangeness,” “weirdness,” or what Sigmund Freud and other psychologists call “the uncanny.” The “previous” experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience has genuinely happened in the past.
Please enjoy some “uncanny”, background music,
while we review some of the Lessons, that recent History,
has to teach us …
Crosby & Nash – Deja Vu (1971)
Or perhaps the you would prefer the 1991 Remake with Acoustic Harmonies?
Deja Vu – Crosby, Stills & Nash
SO … kick back, relax, it’s the weekend.
And Please bear with me as I connect a few dots …
Questions and Answers on Dispersants [EPA FAQ]
EPA Response to BP Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
Questions and Answers on Dispersants
To date, how much dispersant has been used in the BP Oil Spill response? Is BP is running out of dispersants?
To date, approximately 600,000 gallons of dispersant has been used on the surface and approximately 55,000 gallons of dispersant has been used subsurface, at the source of the spill. There is no shortage of dispersants for use in response to the BP Oil Spill. For the latest information on the use and amount of dispersants used, go to
(Updated May 18th, 2010)
Have dispersants ever been used this much before?
While dispersants have been used in previous oil spills, this is the largest application of dispersants at an oil spill response in the United States. Since the spill occurred, EPA and its federal partners have closely monitored any potential impacts of the dispersant including air quality monitoring by both planes and through mobile and fixed locations. Air sampling is geared toward looking for significant increases in airborne (volatile) chemicals.
Thus far, preliminary results of EPA’s initial air monitoring efforts have not shown risks to human health from dispersants. We have also developed a plan to monitor the surface and subsea use of dispersants. That plan is evolving and we will continue to update the website. The plan is posted on this page.
Some History of Dispersant Use:
— In the US, dispersants have been applied to much smaller spills off the coast of Louisiana and Texas over the last 15 years.
— At the IXTOC-I Well Blowout near Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1979, between 1 million and 2.5 million gallons of mostly Corexit dispersant products were applied over a five-month period on the oil discharge.
— In Australia last year, 50,000 gallons of dispersants were used on the 9 million gallon West Atlas oil platform spill in the northern Timor Sea.
— In the United Kingdom, dispersants are considered the first line of defense because of high seas and rugged coastlines. In 1996, 118,000 gallons of dispersants were used on the 20 million gallon Sea Empress oil spill in Wales.
Montara oil spill [aka. Timor Sea — the 2009 deepwater well blowout, in Australia]
[The names have been changed, but the tale, is still strikingly similar …]
The Montara oil spill was a oil and gas leak and subsequent slick that took place in the Montara oil field in the Timor Sea, off the northern coast of Western Australia. It is considered one of Australia’s worst oil disasters. The slick was released from the West Atlas mobile rig which began leaking oil on August 21, 2009, and continued leaking until November 3, 2009, when the leak was stopped by pumping mud into the well. The West Atlas rig is owned by Seadrill, and operated by PTTEP Australasia, a subsidiary of PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) which is in turn a subsidiary of PTT, the Thai state-owned oil and gas company. The rig is located off the Kimberley coast, 250 km (160 mi) north of Truscott airbase, and 690 km (430 mi) west of Darwin. Sixty-nine workers were evacuated from the rig when oil and gas began leaking.
The Australian Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism estimated that the Montara oil leak could be as high as 2000 barrels/day, five times the 400 barrels/day estimated by PTTEP Australasia. After flying over the spill site, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert claimed the spill was far greater than had originally been reported. WWF-Australia also claimed that the spill was worse than originally expected.
The first four attempts to plug the oil leak by PTTEP failed, but the fifth attempt succeeded on November 3, 2009, when PTTEP pumped approximately 3,400 barrels of mud into a relief well to stop the leak
On November 1, 2009, the West Triton rig successfully drilled the relief well to intercept the leaking well. During operations to kill the leak by pumping heavy mud down the relief well, a fire broke out on the West Atlas oil rig. This was expected to delay further work on resolving the spill. All eight non-essential personnel were taken off the West Triton rig.
On November 3, 2009, the fifth attempt to stop the oil leak succeeded. Approximately 3,400 barrels of heavy mud were pumped down the relief well which intercepted the leaking well on November 1, 2009. PTTEP continued to pump a mixture of light mud and brine into the relief to maintain a stable condition. Since the leak had been killed, the main fire on the rig had also extinguished. Some material on the topside of the West Atlas rig remained on fire but had extinguished by November 3, 2009 as the fuel source burnt out.
Expert comment on West Atlas oil spill [aka. Timor Sea]
The effects of the West Atlas oil spill could be catastrophic for marine ecosystems, according to RMIT University expert, Professor John Buckeridge.
WebCite, August 24, 2009
Even though it is a lightweight crude oil spilling from the platform, 250km from the Kimberley coast, it can still have toxic effects on birds, marine invertebrates, coral and marine algae.
Timor Sea Oil Spill
Speech – Spokesperson Rachel Siewert [Australian Greens Senator]
Wednesday 16th September 2009, 12:00am
… Right from the start there was a lack of information and a lack of adequate updates to the community. We were told that the spill was a certain size. At one stage it was 30 metres by 15 kilometres. The next update was slightly bigger. There were days when the community was not updated as to the size of this spill. In fact, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA, did not update their website until the day after I flew up and said, ‘No, in fact the spill is much bigger than had been first notified to the public.’ AMSA updated their website about the size of the spill and then 24 hours later they updated it again and the spill had suddenly doubled.
There is no adequate provision of information about how much oil is actually spilling into the marine environment. There was not, for at least two weeks, any adequate provision of information about the amount of oil that was leaking into the environment. Based on the company’s own figures in terms of what they expected to be producing from this well field-this well is actually not an exploration well; it is a well nearing production, a capped production well-the expected flow rates from those wells and similar wells was 3,000 to 9,000 barrels per day. The estimate that we were using was 3,000 barrels of oil produced per day. The company has now finally come out and said that they think it is about 400 barrels a day. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no data on which to base that 400 barrels per day figure. It bears no relationship to any information that they have put on their website. There is nothing in their production materials that says that that is a likely figure to be flowing from this well.
Of course, we do not know what has caused the accident-whether there has been a crack in the well head or whether in fact, as some people have suggested to me, the concrete that lines the well may be leaking.
When the leak occurred we also had representatives of the federal government saying on national television the first weekend after it happened: ‘You don’t need to worry. This is relatively small. It’s not going to impact on marine environment.’ Of course, it is. The main body of the spill is now covering 25 by 70 nautical miles. I say ‘main body’ of the spill, because oil is also a sheen in the marine environment for a considerable way south, east and west of what is termed the main body of the slick. If you look at the satellite photos that are available on SkyTruth, it shows that the spill and the sheen are in fact much bigger than that.
There are significant issues around the environmental impacts of this spill-both the oil and the dispersant. The fact is that as soon as this spill occurred, the oil was obviously going to have a detrimental impact on the marine environment, as were the dispersants. Dispersants are not biologically inert. In fact, they can have an adverse impact on the environment. We are particularly concerned about the impact that the dispersants will have on the marine species, bearing in mind that listed in the company’s own environment plan are 12 endangered and threatened species. Five species of marine turtles use the area, including some that are endangered and threatened, including the flatback green turtle and the loggerhead turtle. And obviously humpback whales use the area extensively. Fishers have reported the detrimental impact of both the dispersants and the oil on marine species. They have seen sick turtles and in fact have collected a dead sea snake.
The issue here is that dispersant may be having a detrimental impact on the marine environment but we do not know, because at this stage there is no monitoring going on. There is no monitoring of the impacts that the dispersal of the oil is having on the marine environment. There is no monitoring of whether in fact the dispersant is staying in the first five or 10 metres of the water column, which is what the authorities believe is happening. At the moment, I understand that there is still no agreement on long-term monitoring. At this stage, there is not a clear understanding of whether the company is prepared for long-term monitoring of the impact of the oil and the dispersant on the marine environment.
We know that the dispersant affects plankton, for example. An effective monitoring should have been put in place a couple of weeks ago so that we can measure the short-, medium- and long-term effects. We need to assess the abundance of species in the area, the health of those species and the impacts that both the oil and the dispersant are having on the larvae of the various species that are spawning at the moment. We also need to assess the impacts on the megafauna that are traditionally associated with that area, such as the humpback, the turtle species and the sea snake species.
I am deeply concerned that the review that the government is putting in place will be a very narrow review and will only look at resource management and whether the regulatory process was effective. Assessing that regulatory process is obviously very important. But is our national oil response plan up to date? Does it need reviewing? Was it implemented effectively. AMSA claim that within four hours of the spill occurring they were notified and had made phone calls within 15 minutes. In the media, it was very strongly reported that planes were not going to be onsite until more than 24 hours later. It is all very well to make phone calls within 15 minutes, but you need to get planes in place and take action. You can be as informed as much as you like, but if you are not actually taking action then that is a significant issue.
It is important that we have a review of whether the regulatory procedures in place were adequate. But we also need to make sure that we essentially do a 360 degree review of all the aspects to do with this spill. What were the environmental impacts? Have we responded quickly enough? Could other things have been done or put in place? How effective were the responses? It is all very well to look at the regulated responses under the Offshore Petroleum Act and whether they were adequate, but we also need to look at whether the marine plan was adequate? The responses could have been to the letter of the marine plan, but the response plan might not have been adequate, so we need to review that.
Game over. … No Soup for you!
But wait, there’s more from Ms. Greenie …
NW Australian Oil Spill – Senator Rachel Siewert returns from the site
and my commentary on all this ?
Northern Lite – I Don’t Remember
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
This famous statement has produced many paraphrases and variants:
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.
Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.
BTW, here’s a little tip for you all, for all your trouble, and patience … reading my long boring diatribes:
SkyTruth.org BP / Gulf Oil Spill – Deeper Into Loop Current (??)
May 21, 2010 (It’s a good site, according to Rachel S. anyways)
Like I was saying, “I feel like we’ve been here before”,
especially with all those heart-wrenching nitemares of the Exxon Valdez
(back from my ‘formative years’) … still haunting our world.
When will the madness stop, and the sanity begin?
Oh well … anyone see my car keys? … I don’t remember … I gotta go!
FYI: BP Public “Data” website
BP Reiterates Oil Spill Response Transparency
The FINANCIAL Sunday, May 23, 2010
I’ve spent a few hours, scouring that site,
not much “hard data” there, that I could find.
Even though, BP “was required”
to put such “downloadable” data there,
which was to meet specific “metadata standards”.
Below is a link to a letter from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to BP CEO Tony Hayward.
Dear Dr. Hayward
If anyone finds such “tabular, delimited-text” data
on that new BP Public disclosure Web site,
please let me know.
Have a nice day!
this diary is now playing,
on another blog, near you …
I learned a couple of days ago some very interesting NEWS! It seems that Kevin Costner has been working on a development for some 15 years now, along with about 15 scientists, all paid for out of his own funds. It’s exciting!
“Costner has invested 15 years and about $24 million in a novel way of sifting oil spills that he began working on while making his own maritime film, “Waterworld,” released in 1995.
Two decades later, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard plan to test six of his massive, stainless steel centrifugal oil separators next week. Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser welcomed the effort, even as he and Louisiana officials blasted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for delays in approving an emergency plan to build sand “islands” to protect the bayous of his parish. . . . .” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers holding things up? Reminds one of “Katrina.”
“The machines are essentially like big vacuum cleaners, which sit on barges and suck up oily water and spin it around at high speed,” Houghtaling said. “On one side, it spits out pure oil, which can be recovered. The other side spits out 99% pure water.”
If all goes according to plan, he said, “We could have as many as 26 machines dispatched throughout the gulf. Our largest machine is 112 inches high, weighs 2 ½ tons and cleans 210,000 gallons a day of oily water. We are hoping to have 10 machines that size out there – meaning we could potentially clean 2 million gallons of oil water a day.”
Here’s the link (there are many more) Oil Vacuum.
This is such an exciting, revolutionary prospect — why ARE WE NOT HEARING ABOUT IT?
P.S. Can’t you just imagine why it’s getting held up?