Friday, September 16, 2005


Mopping up after the Chertoff Valdez

. I don't know that much about the oil business, but two things seem absolutely clear to me: (1) when you drill a well, you might want to include a cut-off valve, and (2) if you operate a refinery and a hurricane is on the way, you might want to keep your stock on hand relatively low. That does not seem to be what happened More than 500 specialists are working to clean up 44 oil spills ranging from several hundred gallons to nearly 4 million gallons, the US Coast Guard said in an assessment that goes far beyond initial reports of just two significant spills. ... The Coast Guard estimates more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled from industrial plants, storage depots and other facilities around southeast Louisiana. That is about two-thirds as much oil as spilled from the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989. Now, um... Who exactly in government would have been the person responsible for developing plans for preventing/mitigating oil spills, caused either by natural disasters or by an attack? There is some good news. It sounds as if the Coast Guard has accomplished a truly herculean task. Even though they began only after search and rescue wound down, Crews had recovered nearly 2 million gallons and had contained another 2.3 million gallons behind booms and other barriers, the Coast Guard said. One company accounts for half of the spill: Bass Enterprises Production Company (Cox Bay): About 3.78 million gallons discharged, of which 960,000 gallons were recovered, 2 million gallons were contained and 982,000 gallons evaporated. Bass Enterprises (Point a la Hache): About 461,000 gallons of oil discharged, of which half was contained and half evaporated. Shell (Pilot Town): About 1.05 million gallons discharged, of which about 718,000 gallons were recovered, 129,000 were contained and 105,000 gallons evaporated or dispersed. Some 87,000 gallons have not been contained. Chevron (Empire): About 991,000 gallons were released, of which 983,000 gallons were naturally dispersed or evaporated, 4,000 gallons were recovered and 3,600 gallons were contained. Murphy Oil Corporation (Meraux): About 819,000 gallons discharged, of which 305,000 were recovered, 196,000 gallons were contained and 312,000 gallons evaporated. Some 6,000 gallons were not recovered. A few more, but these were the main ones.
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