Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Groups sue to block Arctic offshore drilling
"More than a dozen Alaska Native and environmental organizations sued Thursday to block offshore oil drilling in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's north coast. The 13 groups filed the legal challenge to federal approval in August of Shell Oil's exploration drilling plan with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Earthjustice attorney Holly Harris said in a news teleconference that allowing Shell to drill when it has no credible plan to clean up an Arctic Ocean oil spill is insulting and irresponsible."

Arctic Shell Game: No Spill Plan, No Problem - Feds Say Just Drill
Broad coalition challenges federal approval of Shell Oil's plan to drill in the Beaufort Sea
"Earthjustice, on behalf of the Native Village of Point Hope, Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Greenpeace, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Oceana, Pacific Environment, REDOIL, Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society initiated litigation in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement's (BOEMRE) decision to allow oil drilling in the Beaufort Sea."


Lawmakers warn oil company to abandon Cuban drilling plans
"A bipartisan group of 34 House members is pressuring Spanish oil giant Repsol to abandon its plans to drill in deep waters off Cuba's northern coast, warning that the company could face liability in U.S. courts. Their letter to Repsol — which warns that its plans will "provide direct financial benefit to the Castro dictatorship" — joins existing concerns about the environmental risk of spills in the waters 60 miles from Florida's coast."


A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables

  • "The authors' plan calls for 3.8 million large wind turbines, 90,000 solar plants, and numerous geothermal, tidal and rooftop photovoltaic installations worldwide.
  • The cost of generating and transmitting power would be less than the projected cost per kilowatt-hour for fossil-fuel and nuclear power.
  • Shortages of a few specialty materials, along with lack of political will, loom as the greatest obstacles."

  • Why Oil and Gas Companies Should Embrace Offshore Wind: Their Skills Could Lower Costs Sharply

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Feds order Transocean to investigate oil floating above well responsible for Deepwater Horizon spill
    Note that Transocean immediately started pointing their finger at BP.

    Transocean Rig May Be Source of Oil Sheen: U.S.


    Editorial: Offshore drilling still bad idea
    "Apparently the state learned nothing from the devastation inflicted by the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year. It must have forgotten that as recently as July, some 491 miles of coastline in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were still contaminated. Drilling companies cannot provide assurances that such a disaster can be prevented along the Outer Banks. North Carolina's coastline faces enough threats without adding the possibility of environmental catastrophe. The Outer Banks are disappearing due to erosion and natural movement, and Hurricane Irene was only the latest in a long line of damaging storms to carve inlets through barrier islands. The state spends significantly on conservation and preservation efforts to protect wildlife along the coast, work that would be wrecked by a massive oil spill offshore." 

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Alarming New Study Documents BP Oil's Impact on Gulf Ecosystem

    "The study finds that oil exposure has altered the killifish's cellular function in ways that are known to be predictive of developmental abnormalities, decreased hatching success, and decreased embryo and larval survival."

    Oil Still Threatens a Cajun Paradise

    "But now, more than a year after the well was plugged, Hahn has not escaped the oil. And neither has his coastal wetland home. He sees oil almost every time he goes out on his boat, he says. It floats on the surface and moves with the wind, spreading its tentacles to birds and fish and anything else that touches its toxic trail across the sea."


    Taylor Energy / 23051 Site - Yesterday's Oil Slick (Skytruth)
    "...the former platform 23051 site that has been leaking since 2004.  The apparent slick is about 20 miles long and covers about 115 square kilometers. Assuming an average thickness of 1 micron (1/1000th of a millimeter), that's 30,705 gallons of oil." 


    BP looks to get back into deep-water drilling in Gulf of Mexico

    "Last week, BP filed its first deep-water exploration plan for the gulf since the spill, proposing to drill four wells 5,800 feet below the ocean's surface, the Times-Picayune's Richard Thompson reported. Federal regulators have until Oct. 21 to consider the plan."


    Who's afraid of Daniel Yergin?

    "The next oil crunch is sure to come soon and it can't help but get the public's attention. Then, the question is, will truth or demagoguery win the day — will people fall for "drill baby drill" or will they be ready to demand that society start getting off of oil and, ultimately, start powering down from high tech globalization?"


    Sweden's West Coast Hit by Oil Spill (Surfrider Europe)

    "The southwest coast of Sweden has been hit by the worst oil spill in years. According to coast guard officials the magnitude of the oil spill is still not evident, the cleanup operation that began last Thursday could continue for weeks and the decontamination of the effected beaches even longer."


    U.S. backs loan for Iowa bioethanol plant

    "Washington is supporting one of the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants with $105 million in loan guarantees, the energy secretary said."

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    BP Gulf of Mexico Drilling Plan Criticized by Environmentalists, Lawmakers

    "BP last week filed its first permit application for new drilling since the Macondo well spilled almost 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf over three months last year. Two of its rigs have started work near the Atlantis platform and the company has plans for its three other contracted rigs in the region, according to people with knowledge of the plans who declined to be identified because they hinge on gaining regulators' approval." 


    More Science Needed to Protect U.S. Arctic Ocean (Pew Environment Group)
    ""If we are to avoid irreparable harm to an ecosystem found nowhere else in U.S. waters, we need to develop a comprehensive research and monitoring plan and set aside significant areas for protection," said Marilyn Heiman, director of Pew's U.S. Arctic Program."
    Also see:


    China Clamps Down on Offshore Drilling After Disastrous Spill

    "After what China calls a distastrous oil spill off its coast, the country is quickly enacting tough "zero-risk" environmental standards that oil companies say are almost impossible to reach."
    Maybe China is learning the hard way.  What have we learned?

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Surfrider Foundation Jointly Sues EPA for Lack of Study on Oil Dispersants


    A Tiny Alaska Village Stares Down Big Oil


    The military?s historic embrace of smart energy
    "...for a comprehensive account of what the Pentagon is up to, the place to go is this new report from the Pew Project on National Security, Energy & Climate: "From Barracks to the Battlefield: Clean Energy Innovation and America's Armed Forces." It's an overview of what each branch of the service is doing, what kind of technologies they are using, where they're using them, and what kind of effect all this might have on energy innovation."
    Visit for Surfrider's perspective on offshore drilling and the ongoing disaster in the Gulf.

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    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    BP oil not degrading on Gulf floor, study says

    In Pictures: BP oil spill damage continues

    New Gulf Oil Spill Raises Questions
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    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    President Obama calls for ending $41 Billion in Big Oil Subsidies (Environment America)


    Coast Guard Responds to Reports of Crude Oil in Bayou Dupont
    "The platform and associated wellheads are classified as orphaned by LDNR with the last owner of record listed as Cedyco Corp. Under authority provided by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Coast Guard issued an administrative order to Cedyco to secure the source of the discharge and to conduct clean-up operations."

    Also see: Coast Guard: Oil Still Leaking In Barataria Bay
    UPDATE 3: Coast Guard responds to reports of crude oil in Bayou Dupont


    Tar balls on shore prove BP oil not degrading as quickly as expected, study says
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    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Will the Latest Gulf of Mexico Spill Report Prompt Any Legislative Action?
    "But now, with an already-crowded fall legislative calendar and an election year looming, political will to advance spill-response legislation appears to have waned. Indeed, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), the chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee who previously led the charge to pass comprehensive oil spill-response legislation, in his reaction to the report praised the Interior Department for making a series of offshore drilling safety reforms, but his only charge for Congress is to beef up funding for BOEMRE. "

    Administration: Republican plan for offshore oversight could slow down permitting


    Coast Guard: Spill in Bayou Dupont under control
    Just another leak from one of the thousands of abandoned wellheads in the Gulf


    Drilling off Keys to begin by December
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    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Final Oil-Spill Report Chastises BP, Others

    Report: BP ultimately responsible in Gulf spill

    Report cites decisions, multiple causes for Macondo well blowout, oil spill

    Gulf oil spill: BP gets most blame in government report

    Bingaman on the Joint Investigation Report

    Report Provides Strong Arguments for Banning New Drilling and Investing in Clean Energy (Oceana)


    Oil Drilling Rebounds in Gulf After Spill

    "Drilling has returned to near-normal levels in the Gulf. There are 23 rigs currently drilling wells in water deeper than 3,000 feet, according to federal statistics. That is the same number as two years ago."
    That's funny, the right wing keeps talking about a 'permitorium '. 

    Radar Satellite Images of BP / Deepwater Horizon Spill Area, September 11 and 14 (Skytruth)
    "...we're not yet seeing a trend that would support the idea that oil is working its way up from the Macondo reservoir and turbocharging the existing natural seeps in the area, or forming new sites of chronic leakage.  But we don't have enough imagery yet to say for certain it isn't happening.  All we can do is keep looking, and compare what we're seeing now with images of this area from before the BP / Deepwater Horizon spill began last April.  We're working now on getting those historical images so we can establish that pre-spill baseline."

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team Releases Final Report
    "In Volume II, the JIT details evidence developed during the investigation and concludes that BP, Transocean and Halliburton's conduct in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster violated a number of federal offshore safety regulations under BOEMRE's jurisdiction."

    New evidence cites more BP oil spill mistakes
    "At issue: BP petrophysicist Galina Skripnikova in a closed-door deposition two months ago told attorneys involved in the oil spill litigation that there appeared to be a zone of gas more than 300 feet above where BP told its contractors and regulators with the then-Minerals Management Service the shallowest zone was located."

    Gulf Restoration Bill – A No Brainer for Congress?

    Clean Up of TS Lee Tar Balls Begins

    University of Mississippi leads team to study Gulf oil spill

    "Ole Miss is the lead university in a 14-member consortium awarded $20 million over three years to study "Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf.""

    Hydrocarbons At Gulf Spill Surface

    "Valentine, Reddy, and others, however, are concerned that these results may engender a false sense of safety for workers. Naphthalene and other large aromatic hydrocarbons in oil have not been well studied above the surface at the spill site. These compounds don't readily dissolve in water, but they still are volatile and could have posed a risk to workers at the surface."

    Big Oil steps up the battle for deep water drilling

    "Now, with BP clearly believing that public outcry over Deepwater Horizon has faded, the plans are back on the agenda. A few days ago the company launched a public consultation on this environmental statement (pdf) for its proposed North Uist well. 

    Disturbingly, in its statement, BP takes a leaf out of Cairn's book, claiming that some fish will just swim out of the way of any spill. The company also admits that a deep water blow out at North Uist could release 75,000 barrels of oil a day - worse that Deepwater Horizon's 55,000. Finally, BP claims that fitting the new cap to plug a deep water blow out will take between 10 and 35 days, and it gives no details at all about how long it would take to drill a relief well."

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Offshore drilling chief takes aim at industry critics

    "In a speech before the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Bromwich said the critics are making "politically motivated" charges that are "simply not true." 

    The nation's top offshore energy regulator today hit back against oil and gas industry critics who say the government has been moving too slowly in permitting new coastal drilling projects."

    DOI, BOEMRE propose more offshore safety regulations
    "... the new proposals would establish additional job safety requirements, guidelines for reporting unsafe work conditions, procedures to allow any employee to implement a stop-work action when witnessing dangerous activity, ultimate work safety and decision-making authority on an offshore facility, an employee participation program, and a requirement that safety audits be conducted by third parties."


    Mystery surrounds what some say could be another gulf oil spill

    "Progress Florida's — a site initially set up after last year's disaster — has been reporting extensively on the new oil. 

    Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo says the denials by BP are "eerily reminiscent of the early stages of the first BP oil gusher disaster.""


    Cuban Offshore Drilling Plans Raise U.S. Concerns

    "The U.S. group says long-running American trade sanctions stand in the way of proper spill preparation and a coordinated cleanup if something goes wrong on the wells that are just 60 miles from the Florida Keys. 

    Offshore oil drilling is banned along the Florida coastline. But the Cuban operation will be so close to U.S. shores that ocean currents could carry a spill through the Florida Keys, and foul beaches along the Atlantic Coast."

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Platform 23051 Site - Still Leaking, Magically! (Skytruth)
    "And by the way, we're seeing a lot more than 5 gallons in the ongoing spill - 24/7/365 since September 2004 - from this hurricane-damaged cluster of wells.  The MODIS /Aqua satellite image below, taken on September 10, shows a slick originating at the 23051 site that extends almost 35 miles."

    NORTH CAROLINA (and all states considering new offshore oil drilling)

    Voices From The Gulf (Video)
    "A brief and important message to the state of North Carolina [and to Virginia, Florida, Alaska and many other states] from the gulf coast of Louisiana about the realities of allowing big gas and oil companies to drill and develop in your communities."


    U.S. scrambling to meet offshore drilling date

    "The Obama administration has less than 10 months to finish assembling its plan for selling offshore drilling leases over the next five years, and some oil industry leaders are worried the government is barely on track to meet a July 1 deadline for issuing the document."


    Japanese Breakthrough Will Make Wind Power Cheaper than Nuclear

    "Some major wind projects are already projecting costs significantly lower than coal power -- $80 per MWh for wind versus $90 per MWh for coal -- and that is without government subsidies using today's wind turbine technology."

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Offshore drilling agency about to split in two

    "A new Office of Natural Resources Revenue - responsible for collecting royalties for energy produced on the outer continental shelf - was established within the Interior Department last October. And on Oct. 1, Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement officially will be carved into two agencies: the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management."


    Tropical Storm Lee surge reveals tar mats on Fourchon Beach

    "Surge from Tropical Storm Lee uncovered numerous tar mats, dozens of tar balls and abandoned strings of oil snare pom-poms along a stretch of Fourchon Beach [LA] owned by the Wisner Donation Trust, according to the property's manager. "The beach got hit hard by surge, as it always does," said Cathy Norman, secretary-treasurer and land manager for the trust. "With all the sand removed, many things were uncovered, including these huge tar mat areas.  "In some locations, the mats fell apart and tar balls blew up the beach and into the back marsh," Norman said. "The surge also uncovered oil snare and pieces of equipment that got buried during the BP oil spill response, including all these stakes that were used to hang the snare in the water to catch oil.""

    "BP contractors were scooping tar balls off Alabama Gulf Coast beaches on Wednesday after similar reports. The material will be tested to determine whether it is from the BP Macondo well that erupted in the Gulf of Mexico last year."

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Oil Industry Report Outlines How to Create Temporary Jobs While Permanently Destroying the Climate

    "Oil production has soared under Obama.  But Big Oil and its allies in Congress say Obama "has hardly missed any opportunity to block, impede, delay, hinder or obstruct American energy production." "


    Gulf Overflight and Radar Image (August 30) Now in Google Earth (Skytruth)


    Creating Jobs by Harnessing Our Renewable Resources

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Chevron CEO says supercommittee should boost oil drilling


    WHOI-Led Study Sharpens Picture of How Much Oil and Gas Flowed in Deepwater Horizon Spill
    "In a detailed assessment of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, researchers led by a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have determined that the blown-out Macondo well spewed oil at a rate of about 57,000 barrels a day, totaling nearly 5 million barrels of oil released from the well between April 20 and July 15, 2010, when the leak was capped. In addition, the well released some 100 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas."

    BP Looks To Ramp Up Gulf Of Mexico Activity


    Tar Balls On Alabama Beaches To Be Tested|main5|dl1|sec3_lnk2|93168


    Scott seems to support Everglades drilling ? but quickly backs off,0,2242055.story
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    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Oil Drilling News


    Hastings pushes supercommittee to expand oil drilling

    "The Florida Everglades is a treasured natural resource that provides drinking water and other ecological benefits to much of South Florida. The state of Florida and the federal government have spent hundreds of millions of dollars restoring the Everglades—much of that at the direction of GOP Governors Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist. In 2002, the administration of President George W. Bush bought back oil and gas drilling rights in the Everglades for $120 million. 

    Bachmann apparently does not realize that oil drilling in the Everglades has been studied and that there is broad bi-partisan consensus that it would be foolhardy—very little oil, very high ecological risk."

    "Bachmann's drill-the-Everglades brain splat is just one in a long string of whacky, ill-informed and irresponsible comments Bachmann has made about energy and the environment. She recently claimed that if she were president, gasoline would fall below $2 per gallon. Either she is planning on instigating a massive economic depression, or she is totally ignorant of how the global oil market works. With only 2 percent or so of the world's proven oil reserves, U.S. production simply cannot impact the price of oil that much."


    Offshore drilling would destroy way of life

    Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause 'uncontrollable' natural disaster


    Florida Gov. Scott backs Everglades oil drilling