• 40,000-plus barrels per day pouring into Gulf

    Since the 20 April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon well, BP has insisted that the amount of oil being spilled into the gulf was no more than 5,000 barrels a day; U.S. government scientists yesterday corrected the company’s assertions, saying that amount is at least 40,000 barrels, if not more; the 1989 Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound; there are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil, so 40,000 barrels mean 1,680,000 gallons; this means that since 20 April, the BP well has released oil into the Gulf at a rate of one Exxon Valdez every 6.5 days; in other words, between 20 April and 3 June, when the well’s riser was cut, a quantity of oil equal to seven Exxon Valdez has been spilled into the Gulf

  • BP's oil spill depleting oxygen in Gulf, decimating Gulf's abundant sea life

    The magnitude of the BP oil spill disaster becomes clearer; scientists confirm the massive oil spill spread more than forty nautical miles from the disaster site and at a depth of 3,300 feet; scientists have said that in addition to being nearly impossible to clean up, the oil plumes could deplete oxygen in the Gulf, decimating its abundant sea life

  • Green decontaminants to breaking down chemical weapons

    New products developed non-toxically to decontaminate nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. The formulas are based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products

  • Purdue University membrane technology could help cleanup oil spills

    Purdue University researchers developed a new type of membrane which may be used to clean up oil spills such as BP’s massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico; the technology could be used for a variety of other applications, including water purification and industrial uses

  • 2010 hurricane season unusually active

    As if the on-going oil spill were not enough, people who live near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic should brace themselves for an unusually active hurricane season this year (the hurricane seasons lasts from 1 June to 30 November); FSU researchers say there will be an average of seventeen named storms with ten of those storms developing into hurricanes in the Atlantic this season; the historical seasonal average is eleven tropical storms with six of them becoming hurricanes

  • Gulf oil spill prompts procedure reassessment in U.K.

    The United Kingdom has created a new body — the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG) — tasked with learning the lessons of the Gulf oil spill and applying them to the U.K. off-shore drilling sector

  • Worst-case scenario now appears likely

    The failure of the top kill technology on Friday to cap the gusher for more than a few hours led both BP and the administration to say that the wellhead will continue to release oil and gas into the Gulf until sometime in late August; this means a spill of between 30,000,000 and 40,000,000 gallons (Exxon Valdez released 10.8 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound); Now officials and scientists are worrying that the environmental disaster could be compounded by a natural one. the hurricane season starts today and runs through November, and forecasters expect one of the most turbulent seasons ever

  • BP changes tack on oil spill yet again

    After five different approaches to cap the gusher failed, BP will be trying a sixth method: lower a containment cap over the well to pipe the leaking oil to a drill ship on the surface; so far, approximately 30,000 claims have been submitted and more than 15,000 payments have already been made, totaling some $40 million. BP has received more than 110,000 calls to its help lines to date

  • BP's top kill effort stops oil flow

    BP, using a top kill device, last night managed to stop the flow of gas and oil from the wellhead into the Gulf; commander of U.S. Coast Guard says the company managed to “stabilize the wellhead”

  • New educational page for scientific information on topics related to 2010 oil spill

    University of Miami launches educational Web page for scientific information on topics related to the 2010 Oil Spill; designed for use by teachers, students, and general audiences, the site focuses on the ocean environment

  • Faulty cement plug may have caused oil rig explosion

    As part of the oil drilling process, a cement plug is placed at the bottom of the well in order temporarily to shut it off prior to pumping the oil out; while the cement is drying, mud is loaded into the top of the well to prevent a gas surge; before removing the mud, pressure tests are carried out to ensure the plug is holding; James Dupree, a senior BP official, has claimed that the results of the tests on the Gulf of Mexico plug, carried out on 20 April, were inconclusive — yet the mud was removed

  • Katrina, Rita cleaned up polluted, lead-laden New Orleans soil

    It appears that hurricanes Katrina and Rita, with all the devastation they have caused, made one beneficial contribution to the future of New Orleans: decades of Louisiana-type corruption and collusion between the oil industry and the state government have caused the city’s soil to be heavily polluted, laden with lead, arsenic, and other poisonous substances; the sediments washed into the city by the hurricanes have blanketed the polluted soil, resulting in a dramatic drop in the presence of lead and arsenic in the city’s soil — and in the blood stream of children in the city

  • Deep-water oil spills do most of the damage deep down

    Oil spills like the one in the Gulf do most of their damage in the deep; the oil visible on the surface accounts for only 2 percent of the oil spilling into the Gulf; most of the oil remains submerged in the form of droplets that only slowly make their way to the surface

  • Fears grow that Gulf oil could strike Florida

    Worries grow over the ecological and economic impact of the huge oil spill, with the most recent fears focused on its possible spread into a “loop current” that could carry the pollution to the Florida Keys and nearby tourist beaches; the U.S. government has already extended fishing closure to nearly 20 percent of the Gulf because of the contamination of harvested seafood

  • BP's emergency "plan" for the Gulf discusses impact on "seals, sea otters and walruses"

    BP’s 582-page emergency-response never anticipated an oil spill as large as the one now gushing on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico; a closer reading shows the document was not much than a boilerplate, cut-and-paste job used by BP from region to region; in a section titled “Sensitive Biological & Human-Use Resources,” the emergency plan lists “seals, sea otters and walruses” as animals that could be impacted by a Gulf of Mexico spill — even though no such animals live in the Gulf; the plan was approved in July by the federal Minerals Management Service (MMS), a toothless agency accused by lawmakers of being in the pocket of the oil industry