Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oil Drilling News Supplement

I forgot to note in today's issue that Oil Drilling News will be taking a holiday/vacation break until January 3.
Here's one more article that was too good to pass up.
Louisiana - Battered Spouse or Stockholm Syndrome?
Our abusive relationship with Big Oil
Happy Holidays and see you in 2011!

Oil Drilling News


When An Environmental Accident Becomes A Crime (NPR)

Drilling review out of spending bill

"A plan approved by the Senate and House to continue federal spending until March does not contain a controversial provision tripling a 30-day mandatory federal review period for offshore oil and gas plans, likely the last chance the White House had to get such a mandate through Congress. 

Oil-state lawmakers in both parties fiercely opposed language to extend to 90 days the amount of time federal offshore drilling regulators can take to review these drilling plans - which include environmental analyses, oil spill response strategies and other aspects of a larger blueprint that need to be approved before a company requests an actual permit to drill."

Government report: Not much subsea oil, but tar mats from oil spill still near beaches

"One of the 2 "areas of concern" highlighted in the report involves the failure of federal officials and BP to find all of the tar mats buried in shallow areas along the Gulf Coast. Those tar mats could cause a re-oiling of some shorelines, according to the report. The report calls the lack of information about oil near shore a "sampling  gap." 

In recent weeks, new tar mats have been discovered off of Gulf Shores. The Press-Register also found a number around Pensacola during November. "

Gulf oil spill: Deep water cleanup still needed?

Oil-impact study may take 20 years


Offshore oil to offshore wind?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oil Drilling News


Another Nail in the Coffin of Offshore Drilling Safety Reform

"Earmarks were not the only government spending plans that died when Harry Reid pulled the Senate omnibus spending bill this week.  So, too, did fees and rule improvements that would have helped the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the revamped agency overseeing offshore drilling safety, fund increased inspections and reviews.  The omnibus bill contained $51 million of increased budget to fund inspections of offshore platforms and rigs, as well as increasing the statutory time limit for permit review from 30 to 90 days." 

BOEMRE Begins Work on First Geological and Geophysical Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Mid and South Atlantic 

Not enough oil left in offshore, deepwater Gulf to warrant additional cleanup, admiral says

"The report concluded that there was still a gap in sampling in near-shore areas evidenced by the continuing discovery of tar mats, and said a group of researchers is now targeting that problem. 

Scientists also are awaiting the results of more complex toxicity studies of water and sediment samples that will be the subject of an addendum to the report in early 2011, Zukunft said in a letter accompanying the report." 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Oil Drilling News


Federal Oil Spill Response Transitions to Regional Structure, Releases Scientific Report

Records Show Concerns About Another BP Rig

Documents Reveal Lack of Regulation, Mismanagement Prior to Oil Spill

Editorial: Drilling risk getting worse

"Was the catastrophic accident that spilled oil from the Deepwater Horizon across the Gulf of Mexico, and disrupted coastal economies in four states, an unprecedented exception to an industry-wide record for safety and competence? 

Not according to the Wall Street Journal. 

That newspaper's ongoing investigation of the spill and the oil industry indicates, instead, that only luck has prevented more such catastrophes. 

It also paints a picture of an industry still in denial about the true risks of offshore drilling — especially the deepwater resources now the primary target of offshore exploration — and how well it is managing those risks."

Also see the editorial cartoon on the same page.

Offshore safety requires continuous, comprehensive efforts, CSB told

Chevron To Pump $4 Billion Into Field

Some scientists skeptical about seafood safety after spill

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oil Drilling News


BP Actions Caused Worst U.S. Oil Spill, Lawsuit Says

A Guide To The Many Inquiries Into The BP Oil Spill (NPR)

Major Investors Urge Oil Spill Commission to Seek SEC-Required Disclosure of Offshore Drilling Risks

Sand Berms Captured Little Oil, Panel Finds

"Sand piles designed to block oil in the Gulf of Mexico from hitting the Louisiana coast captured a "minuscule" amount of petroleum at an "overwhelmingly expensive" cost, according to a report issued Thursday by the staff of a presidential panel investigating the BP PLC oil spill." 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OIl Drilling News


U.S. expected to file Gulf oil spill civil case

"The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday the Justice Department is expected to join the hundreds of civil lawsuits that have been filed as a result of the spill and will allege violations of environmental protection regulations, which could trigger penalties under such laws as the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act."

Aging Oil Rigs, Pipelines Expose Gulf to Accidents

Animal rehab centers still working after BP spill

"Since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, rescue officials say 2,079 birds, 456 sea turtles, some terrapins and two dolphins have been plucked from the oil. 

Another 2,263 birds, 18 turtles and four dolphins were found dead with oil on them. All are being dissected to tell whether it was the crude from the BP well that killed them."

'Gulf Spill' No.1 Twitter Trending Topic of the Year


Drifting in Static (National Geographic)
This article discusses the impacts on marine life from a variety of man-made sources, including Navy sonar, air guns used for seismic surveys, and shipping.  For more on the impacts from seismic surveys used for oil exploration see this Beachapedia article.


Scientists to begin yearlong study of oil spill's impact on Gulf


Legislation introduced to permanently protect Canada's Pacific North Coast from oil spills


Three lawmakers to join environmental group in West Palm Beach news conference to oppose offshore drilling


Louisiana oil refineries' accident record needs improvement, report says

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oil Drilling News


BOEMRE Director Makes Case for Regulatory Reform at Oil and Gas Law Conference

U.S. issues new guidance for offshore drilling

Senate: Extend review time for offshore drilling

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oil Drilling News


Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Panel Examines Tardy Efforts To Shut Down BP Rig

Editorial: They Haven't Learned

"Given the disastrous oil spill in the central gulf, and industry's inability to clean it up, one might have expected a little self-knowledge. Not from this crowd, which continues to lobby for more risky drilling instead of focusing all its energy on improving its capacity to prevent and respond to future blowouts. [...] The industry and its well-paid allies say that delaying drilling will increase America's dependence on foreign oil. That ignores a simple truth: A nation using one-quarter of the world's oil while controlling only 3 percent of the world's known reserves cannot drill its way to independence. The estimated 7.5 billion barrels the eastern gulf and Atlantic coast are thought to contain are just about what this country consumes in a year." 

Interior attempts to clarify new offshore drilling rules


Surfrider Foundation Emerald Coast Chapter Water Testing Info Center

"On June 10, the Emerald Coast Chapter was one of the first local volunteer organizations to begin a Gulf Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program in response to the minimal efforts made by state and federal agencies to monitor against the dangers of the offshore oil drilling spill.  Local surfers and swimmers have suffered from burning eyes and mouths, blistering noses and have developed acid-type rashes since the spill. They want to know what is in the water that might be causing these symptoms. 

These samples are analyzed for the presence of several different hydrocarbons that are most likely to be found at Florida's beaches this far away from the original spill site given the amount of time that has passed since the spill. The samples are also being tested for propylene glycol and 2-butoxyethanol, which are common ingredients of chemical dispersants, such as those used to break up the BP oil spill in the Gulf.  We have also performed some follow-up testing for Corexit specific chemicals."


Real estate agents receive $1.14M in oil funds

"Real estate professionals began reporting lost income soon after oil hit the coast from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion on April 20. 

Mississippi got $1.5 million, while Alabama and Florida got $15 million and $16 million respectively. "


Offshore Drilling Cartoon


More Danger of Oil Spills in the Future? Reckless Behavior in the North Sea

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oil Drilling News


The Oil Industry Is Back for More

"Clearly, the oil and gas industry believes it can wield its tremendous influence in Congress to overturn needed precautions put in place by our federal authorities.  And given the Senate's complete failure to pass any legislation responding to an oil disaster that killed 11 workers, injured 17 more, and led to a loss of livelihood for hundreds, if not thousands of families who depend on the now-poisoned Gulf waters, it is easy to understand why the industry feels so emboldened. 

Already, key reforms to address the regulatory lapses that led to the Gulf tragedy, that previously had broad support, are now held out as too burdensome on the industry.  On Tuesday, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) sent a letter opposing a provision added to an appropriations bill that would give the Interior Department more time to review drilling permits for exploratory wells – the exact type of well that blew in the Gulf. "

New Study: Clean Beaches Worth $32.8 billion annually in Eastern Gulf
"As debate re-emerges over oil drilling in Florida's state-waters, a new study finds that Florida's Gulf Coast generates $32.8 billion dollars annually in coastal tourism and fishing business revenue and provides 335,581 jobs. 
Yesterday, Environment Florida and the Sierra Club released the new report, "Too Much at Stake," joined by tourism and fishing businesses that rely on pristine beaches and clean oceans. The report finds that the tremendous economic and biological value of clean beaches far outweighs the value of oil and gas off the eastern Gulf."


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oil Drilling News


Strong Evidence Emerges of BP Oil on Seafloor

"The new findings, from scientists at the University of South Florida and from a broad government effort, mark the latest indication that environmental damage from the blowout of a BP PLC well could be significant where it's hardest to find: deep under the Gulf's surface. [...] The material appears in spots across several thousand square miles of seafloor, they said. In many of those spots, they said, worms and other marine life that crawl along the sediment appear dead, though many organisms that can swim appear healthy. How the death of organisms in the sediment might affect the broader Gulf ecology is something scientists are studying."

Far Offshore, a Rash of Close Calls
Not just in the Gulf, not just BP.

Slow offshore drilling? Bravo, Obama


St. Pete Beach summit to discuss oil drilling ban

Oil Drilling News


Drilling reviews draw Senate fire

Drilling Permits Aren't Being Slowed, Regulator Says

Report Finds Oil-Drilling Inspectors in Disarray

Overhaul of Oil Industry Urged

Halliburton Worker on Smoke Break Missed BP Well Data

Group urges quick action on coast

"Coastal advocates are urging the president to push a bill in coming days that would deliver billions of dollars in BP oil-spill fines to Gulf Coast restoration work."

Submarine Dive Finds Oil, Dead Sea Life at Bottom of Gulf of Mexico (ABC News video report)


Oil mat cleanup under way in Orange Beach

"City officials were checking out a mat of oily material found this week on the sea floor just off the beach in about 3 feet of water. 

A BP PLC test crew found the substance just east of the Cotton Bayou public beach access, Phillip West, city coastal resource manager, said today. 

The mat was about 600 feet wide and very narrow, Tim Tucker, Orange Beach public works director, said. Tucker said BP crews removed about 8,000 pounds of material today and would be back at work on Saturday."


Coastal-Oil-Drilling Ban: Protect Florida Waters

"If opening more areas of the eastern gulf and Atlantic would, as proponents assert, help push the United States toward energy independence, then the benefits might outweigh the risks. It is just no so. These areas hold significant reserves, but they would produce a minuscule amount of fuel in comparison with U.S. demand. 

The Energy Information Administration estimates the United States has less than 3 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. The nation uses 25 percent of the world's oil. 

As the Obama administration finally concluded, in the absence of meaningful energy and conservation legislation, the off-limits supplies in the eastern gulf and near Atlantic are meaningless -- except for the risks that tapping them would create."