Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

The REAL World of Oil Spills and Warfare [must watch-read]

Uploaded by JogBird on Apr 30, 2010

READ THIS: Dick Cheney’s deregulation agenda is the real (underlying) reason / cause behind the US oil spill by British Petroleum (BP) in 2010 off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Deregulation coupled with lax government oversight (lackies appointed by Dick Cheney at the helm) lead to the omission of key safety features and protocols, a free pass for drilling licenses, emphasis on profit over safety, and absolutely NO PLAN for containment of blowouts. In addition, the courts in the Gulf States, are completely stacked with Republican appointees (like Feldman) with major investments in or connections with BIG OIL (see last paragraph).

Must read: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/21/us/21blowout.html?hp=&pagewanted=all

For example, George W Bush and Dick Cheney helped block a 2002/03 Bill that would have required the use of acoustic switches as a means to activate the blowout preventer (BOP).

Also, BP did not want to lose an oil well (by activating the BOP); this would have cost them future profit in addition to the costs for exploration and preparation of the well. This is most evident when you look at attempts in the first month and a half: all of the post-blowout efforts have been focused on SAVING the well; it was only after more than a month before BP attempted “TOPKILL”, which would have sealed the well.

Lastly, US District Judge Martin Feldman, who overturned the temporary drilling ban on June 22, owns investments in Ocean Energy (Houston-based), Quicksilver Resources, Prospect Energy, Peabody Energy, Halliburton, Pengrowth Energy Trust, Atlas Energy Resources, Parker Drilling and others. Feldman is also a REAGAN appointee, in 1983. Conflict of interest or institutional corporate control over public policy?

The real world of oil spills

Unfortunately there are places in the world where oil spills are common place and sometimes intentional they are either hidden behind politics or just ignored because the public have grown accustomed to them. With the greed of a few this will probably continue until there is no more oil to exploit.

 

Maybe if more people in the world know more about this sort of thing then it can change for the better.

 

 

Komi, FSU 

 

The Former Soviet Union (FSU) has over a million miles of gas and oil pipelines, many of them poorly maintained. Every year, up to one fifth of Russia‘s total oil production is lost partly through theft, but much of it through leakage. Komineft, the company responsible for this old pipeline system, has a history of accidents caused by aging and corroded pipelines, they experience hundreds of leaks and ruptures each year, the ground is saturated with oil. Some of the oil has seeped into the water table.  

 

One of the main reasons for the large oil spills is the money made from the oil which drives officials to strain the antiquated infrastructure and to keep it moving despite breakdowns.

         

October 1st 1994 the oil spill north of the town of Usinsk in the Komi Region of the FSU became the third largest oil spill in history.  During the Cold War this area was top secret and no westerners were allowed near it. The pipeline just south of the Arctic Circle had been leaking since February 1994 but the oil was contained behind a dam. These are often constructed to contain spills, but heavy rains on October 1st broke down the dam and allowed the large lake of oil to spread over the tundra.  Approx. 102,000m3 of oil began to run over this highly sensitive taigaarea (Exxon Valdez was approx 35,000m3)

 

Some of this released oil flowed into the Kolva river; the Kolva river is a tributary of the Pechora river, which flows into the Barents sea.  Most of the oil spread over an area of approx 187km2. at a time when weather conditions helped the containment and some was recovered the rest proceeded to freeze during the winter months.

 

The main concern was the next spring thaw, which threatened to release much of the remaining oil into the rivers again.  The Kolva and Usa river feeds into the Pechora river which contains large amounts of salmon and other valuable fish species. Teams built or reinforced enormous  dams and constructed massive earthworks to hold oil laden flood waters back 

 

The structure of the top soil in this area differs greatly from site to site. In some places it is a peat bed with the mosses growing on the top, there is a permafrost which even during the summer is approx.1 meter below the surface. In other areas the bed rock is very close to the surface with a fine layer of sand and the peat on top, in these areas the weight of the oil during the spring thaw slid the moss and sand off the rock, this meant that the oil now was mixed with this organic matter and could not be pumped back into the pipeline, so it was put into huge storage pits and set on fire, these pits burned for a couple of weeks they were filled again and the process repeated.  

As a part of the clean up operation over the next six months, the oil was deliberately set on fire in different areas in order reduce the quantities that could spread as a result of the warmer temperatures. The smoke plume rose more than 8,000 feet and extended beyond the horizon some 40 miles away.

With low temperatures, oil tends to persist for long periods of time because of the low evaporation rates.  The frozen ground prevents the oil from seeping into it, and this allows it spread over large areas.  In addition, disturbance to the thin layer of vegetation covering a frozen soil can precipitate a catastrophic and extensive erosion. The effects remain visible for many years.  For example, it can take decades for a tree to grow one meter, and tyre tracks in tundra vegetation can remain for up to 100 years.

Birch and Spruce trees growing in the area looked as if they were smothered with thick black shoe polish.  Nearby lakes are resting grounds for migrating mallard ducks.  There are many species that were likely to be affected by this spill.

This region has one of the largest herds of domestic reindeer, estimated between 65,000-120,000 in the 1980’s. Tundra environments are characterised by rich lichen communities which are susceptible to crude oil which they absorb very quickly. Reindeer are entirely dependent on lichen and are therefore were likely to be severely impacted.  Commercial reindeer herding is one of the major  industries in the Komi Republic. The Pechorskoye sea within the Barents sea holds some of the largest concentrations of white whales.  There were also a number of birds and freshwater fish species that are could have been at risk.  

Komineft was fined $600,000 for its pipeline spill. Although the company is unable to pay much of that sum because of its severe financial problems, it did give each resident of Ust-Usa 36,000 rubles about $7 in compensation.     

      

 

Greenpeace were given an invite to go to the area, they were horrified by what they saw and due to their reports of the damage done and so international money was asked for to accelerate the clean up. This case was handled by the Russian government in terms of cleaning up the oil.  The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development lent the clean-up operation $25 million and the World Bank provided $100 million.  From a cynical point of view most of it disappeared due to corruption and other powerful organisations. Greenpeace were not invited back probably because they had served their purpose.

 

The attitude is very much ‘so what?‘  spills are the norm rather than the exception in the Former Soviet Union. You can see damage like this all over Siberia and down to the borders with IranJust because someone happened to notice some oil floating down the river a couple of days ago, it suddenly makes the headlines, but the sad fact is it is not unusual.

 

Local villagers have suffered for years from the effects of petroleum pollution from the many oil spills in the region. Most natives are worried about the fish living in the Kolva river. The river used to have lots of fish, now there are hardly any and when we cook them they smell bad, people here survive but they are worried about their future.

 

I visited the area in June 1996 the clean up had finished but you would not have guessed, on the drive north past the spill area and past the Arctic Circle the oil continues to leak. I went to do some training for Komi Arctic Oil a joint venture of British Gas and a Local company. In their operating area everything had to be to Western standards any spills would be followed by fines starting at $15,000 but when it left their site the new was welded to the old and spills from Komineft pipelines do not incur fines (the joint venture lasted a couple of years before BG pulled out having earned basically nothing).

I was driven around the area which was obviously beautiful before the oil, birch and small spruce trees, lakes, rivers and the different species of moss. Unfortunately the lakes were covered in rainbow sheens the trees just trunks and the smell of crude oil everywhere.

 

The photographs with booms and skimmers as well as the fires were taken during the spill clean up, the other oil on the ground ones were taken during my visit. The first photo is just one of hundreds of leaking pipelines across the region. It is quite impressive how man and his greed for money can destroy such a beautiful area with little or no thought. Having said that the people who gain the money do not live in the area and probably have never been there.

This area can be seen on Google Earth at (latitude 66°.102400 longtitude 57.100988).

15 years later the area has rock above the surface and no sign of the living mosses that can be seen as in areas near by.

Money is spent but not on infrastucture!

Sept. 10, 2011 photos below show dying trees next to an oil spill near the town of Usinsk, 1500 kilometers (930 miles) northeast of Moscow. Komi is one of Russia’s largest and oldest oil provinces but ruptures in aging pipelines and leaks from decommissioned oil wells make oil spills in the region routine. Environmentalists estimate at least 1 percent of Russia’s annual oil production, or 5 million tons (35 million barrels), is spilled every year. That’s equivalent to one Deepwater Horizon-scale leak about every two months. Crumbling infrastructure and a harsh climate combine to spell disaster in the world’s largest oil producer, responsible for 13 percent of global output. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)


 


 

 

   

 

Here is an aerial photo of the area around Usinsk during the summer showing the lakes and bog land that is being destroyed by oil spill that mostly are not cleaned up.

Who would want to stop the money being generated for the rich few by shutting down the system to make repairs.

It did´nt happen during the communist era and will not happen now the political scene has turned democratic!

We are looking at demonstrations over the move by the USA to explore more in the Arctic region of Alaska.

It has to be said that the regulations there will be better than in the Russian Arctic where exploration has started. I dont see many demonstration happening in this part of the world.

The next question is will the oil field practices and atitudes of the last 40 years change? The answer is probably not.

 

Response to oil spills on land are much easier than in ice cover seas. Photo left shows a Russian tanker at a loading point in a frozen sea, to get there the tanker needs the ice breaker shown behing as the hull of the tanker is not strong enough to break the ice herself.

Baku, Azerbaijan, FSU

A brief history of the place will allow you to understand that the population has been used to the smell of crude oil on the ground for over one hundred years so its not new, it is common place. The existence of petroleum has been known since the 8th century. In the 10th century, an Arabian traveler reported that both white and black oil were being extracted naturally in Baku. By the 15th century oil for lamps was obtained from hand dug surface wells. First oil well was drilled in Baku in 1846. The Bolshevik revolution started in 1905 and ran through World War I. In 1918 Baku came under the control of Bolshevik’s who inspired and condoned civil warfare in and around Baku. during this period the oil field were set on fire.

Large-scale oil development started in 1872, when the Russian imperial authorities auctioned the parcels of oil-rich land around Baku to private investors. Within a short period of time Various European and American investors arrived in Baku, among them the drilling companies were the Nobel brothers and Rothschild to name but two, the industrial oil area, known as the Black City, which was established in the outskirts of the city. By the beginning of the 20th century the oil fields were the largest in the world. The revolution and civil unrest led to both Rothschild and the Nobel brothers leaving Baku.

The photograph above shows the oil was pumped into reservoirs which was the start of the pollution which still plagues the area today.

The photograph on the right shows an oil well being dug by hand in Azerbaijan during these early days the oil was very close to the surface.

These black and white photographs were taken from the site address mentioned below where an excellent chronology of the oil era up to the Soviet period can be found.

http://azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/ai102_folder/102_articles/102_oil_chronology.html

Other information can be found with searches at azer.com

By 1900 the city had more than 3,000 oil wells of which 2,000 were producing oil at industrial levels. Baku ranked as one of the largest centres for the production of oil industry equipment before World War II. During World War II while battle of Stalingrad was fought at the same time as a push was made to control the Baku oil fields the push failed. Fifty years before, Baku produced half of the world’s oil supply.

At the end of the 20th century much of the onshore petroleum had been exhausted, and drilling was extended into the Caspian sea

At the end of the 1940s the construction of the “Oil Rocks” (“Neft Dashlari”) started. On November 14, 1948 the group of oil workers landed on a group of rocks in the open sea 42 km to the south-east of the Apsheron Peninsular called “Gara Dashlar” (“Black Rocks”). After finishing the construction of a small house on piles and an electric power station, they started drilling the first well and on June 24, 1949. On November 7, 1949 this well at a depth of 1100 m, out gushed the oil at a rate of 100 tons per day. In honour of this event it was decided to rename the “Black Rocks” the “Oil Rocks”.

On February 18, 1951 the worlds first tanker with the first oil was ceremoniously sent to the shore. It was then decided to create series of artificial islands of 7 thousand hectares around the Oil Rocks. Half a million cubic metres of rock and sand were brought from the islands off Zhiloy and Urunos. Breakwaters, moorings and shelters for vessels were built. In 1952 for the first time in the world they started the construction of a pier which connected the artificial islands.

There were times when the length of the pier connecting the numerous areas reached 300 km. In the open sea 110 km off Baku electric power stations, five and even nine-storey buildings including hostels, hospitals, palaces of culture, bakeries and a lemonade factory were constructed, a park with trees was laid out too. Since 1949 there have been 1940 wells drilled, more than 160 million tons of oil and 12 billion cubic metres of gas have been extracted.

The Oil Rocks are the furthest eastern settlement in the country. The facility is poorly maintained, with miles of roads now under the sea. The waterline is at the second-floor windows of some worker’s dormitories. Although one-third of the Oil Rocks complex’s 600 wells are inoperable or inaccessible, operations have continued without a significant increase in investment.

Several action sequences in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough are set on the Oil Rocks. Today more than 2000 people work there.

The position on Google Earth for this strange place is (latitude 40°17′ 42.42” N Longtitude 50°01′ 00.45” E)

There was a delegation of Azeries who visited an oil field in Dorset, England in the 1990’s they did not believe there was oil production there because they could not smell it or see it.

A BP company representative said the difference in the UK is that if you could see or smell it the oil field would be closed down.

I took these onshore photographs one Saturday in the early 90’s, I could go back tomorrow and take the same ones again. As I said previously approx. 20% of production is on or worse still in the ground. These photographs explain very vividly this fact. This oilfield belongs to the State of Azerbaijan oil company SOCAR so it is alright. Foreign oil companies are fined heavily if they have spills. The main export pipelines from here to the Black sea and Southern Turkey were constructed and paid for by the Foreign oil companies and are built to Western standards.

Unfortunately the old original ones still continue to leak. I guess if this area is ever to be cleaned up it will take Western money but what is the point when the pollution will just continue, it is part of the culture of the city, to smell crude oil is normal, the population has known nothing else for generations

In 2006 the world bank’s representatives had talks with President Ilham Aliyev and other officials about a multi-million-dollar project to clean an area roughly the size of Malta.

The clean up would focus on oil-soaked areas in the Absheron peninsula, Azerbaijan’s most densely populated region and location of the capital Baku. A clean-up of this size hasn’t been undertaken anywhere.

The World Bank said it would potentially provide a loan of about 50 million dollars for capacity building and an initial clean-up but also expected funding from the Azeri government, which at the time was earning large profits from the current oil boom.

From a sadly cynical point of view this could turn into another Komi bonanza.

The latest news from Baku is that from a distance the contaminated area is beginning to look clean. Unfortunately on closer inspection lorry loads of earth is being tipped at the edges of the oiled areas and are being bulldozed over the oil. This is an out of sight out of mind approach to remediation. Photo right shows the changes it looks good on Google Earth. Oh and the leaks have not been stopped!

This area can be seen on Google Earth at position (latitude 40°32′ 44.21”N Longtitude 49°83′ 65.27”E).

 

Lebanon-Jiyye Oil Spill July 2006

 


It can be difficult trying to clean up a spill when the war is still going on
!

On July 12, 2006 Israel declared war on Hezbollah in Lebanon. During conflicts it is normal to destroy enemy communication centres but on July 13 and 15, 2006 during the first days of the war Israeli forces bombed the Jiyyeh power plant, located on the coastline, 30 km South of Beirut, causing a major oil spill, two tanks at Jiyyeh caused approx. 25,000 m3 to burn for more than three weeks smoke and vapours affected an area that is inhabited by approx. three million people. On the longer term, this may lead to increased respiratory and other health problems. 

 

Approx.15,000 m3 heavy fuel oil to spilled into the Sea. It became one of the largest environmental incidents in Mediterranean history The wind was from the South West and Northerly current pushed the oil spill northwards along the coast of Lebanon. The affected area within Lebanon spread for more than 100 km of rocky shores and sandy beaches, marinas, ports, fishing harbours, and tourist resorts; from Jiyeh all the way up to the Syrian boarders. The oil entered Syria for approx 50 km.

 

Sensitive fish spawning and nursery areas as well as valuable sea turtle nesting sites were in one of the affected areas.

 

The spill could have reached neighbouring countries such as Cyprus, Turkey and Greece depending on water currents and weather conditions.  

The impact of the the oil spill caused tremendous negative environmental, social and economical impacts both for the short term and long term. It damaged marine ecosystems, damaged fishermen’s livelihoods and rendered coastal areas lifeless. Heavy fuel oil, is among the most difficult oils to cleanup. Its viscous nature leads to prolonged persistence in the marine environment, such oils have the potential to cause widespread contamination of sensitive environmental and economic resources which will take many years to recover.

 

The total direct economic cost of this oil spill has been estimated at more than 200 million dollars.

The long term costs are not determined yet and are likely to be much more. Even a month after the attacks oil was still entering the sea. The oil settled deep into the sand, rocks and seabed. Cleanup operations could not start until the ceasefire was enforced. Delaying the start of cleanup operations made this spill harder to clean up. Despite the danger local NGOs, private sector and the Ministry of Environment started to cleanup certain sensitive and highly impacted areas. 

 

The delay caused the highly viscous heavy fuel to solidify; it emulsified with sea water, formed tar balls, lumps or emulsions, settled on the seabed and traveled further along the coast line. This makes clean up efforts and costs of clean up greater and mobility of experts and essential equipment nearly impossible. The absence of a pre-spill contingency plan made the job more difficult to allocate high and low priorities for the cleanup effort.

Local volunteers and a number of environmental activists formed an oil spill working group to follow on this issue and where among the first on the ground. Assessment operations and documentation of the damage started on the 17th of July covering the Lebanese coast from Beirut, northwards. Cleanup plans, scientific and economic research of the oil spill to determine the cost of the damage and how to minimise its impact as much as possible were carried out. The Lebanese Ministry of Environment, REMPEC (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Center, Barcelona Convention, international NGOs and experts from around the World were contracted in. The cleanup had problem in mid 2007 due to lack of funds.

This was approx 25,000 m3 Exxon Valdez was approx 35,000 m3 which was seen by the whole world and is still talked about today, many people think it was one of the largest tanker spills (it is actually the 35th largest to date). This on the other hand is a spill that hardly anyone knew about. I guess if it was anyone other than Israel this would be classed as environmental terrorism.

 

It is somewhat ironic that the main backer of Israel, the USA are paying the most towards the cleanup cause by the friends.

The power plant can be found on Google Earth at Latitude 33°64’65.37”N longtitude 35°39’85.50”E.

Unfortunately on the American Google Earth there is no sign of what Israel did, unlike the other places in this section.

Thankfully we still have NASA also an American company who do tell the truth as can be seen at Beirut on the right.

Mikati calls for intl. tribunal to try Israel for 2006 Lebanon oil spill  

June 22, 2012 11:23 AM

The Daily Star

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Najib Mikati called Thursday for the creation of an international environmental tribunal to try Israel for causing the 2006 oil spill on Lebanon’s shoreline, and criticized the Jewish state’s refusal to comply with U.N. resolutions.

“Lebanon proposes establishing an international environmental tribunal following the environmental consequences of the 2006 war – primarily the oil pollution crisis over which Lebanon has not received any compensation from the Israeli enemy,” Mikati said during his speech at the U.N. conference for Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Mikati was referring to Israel’s bombing of Lebanon’s Jiyyeh power station during the 34-day conflict in July and August of 2006. The bombing caused the power station to release 15,000 tons of unrefined fuel oil into the Mediterranean sea.

In an assessment of the economic damage released a year later, the World Bank estimated Lebanon’s overall losses at being between $527 million and $931 million. The report added that the average of these two figures, $729 million, constitutes 3.6 percent of Lebanon’s gross domestic product in 2006.

The U.N. has repeatedly urged Israel to assume responsibility and provide adequate compensation to Lebanon’s government.

During his speech in Brazil, Mikati also accused Israel of repeatedly contravening U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 which ended the 2006 war, saying that Israel constantly violates Lebanon’s land, airspace and maritime waters.

“The painful reality of Israel’s refusal to comply with international resolutions is not limited to this environmental case but extends to Israel’s continued occupation of valuable parts of my country: the Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shuba Hills as well as the northern part of Ghajar,” the prime minister said.

He added that Lebanon reserves the right to regain those parts of its territory under Israeli occupation and to stop Israel’s hostile practices via all available means within the framework of international agreements and treaties.

Mikati, who met with Lebanese expatriates in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, also addressed the U.N.’s program for sustainable development. He said developing countries such as Lebanon require time, technological and financial support as well as international partnership to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. He added that the U.N. program would be unsuccessful if all countries fail to come together.

Mikati also stressed the need to achieve Millennium Development Goals by 2015 to create a roadmap for a better future.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Jun-22/177750-mikati-calls-for-intl-tribunal-to-try-israel-for-2006-lebanon-oil-spill.ashx#ixzz1z5vghGty
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

1991 Gulf War

The Gulf (to please both sides) whether you call it the Persian or the Arabian is up to you. Geographically it covers 233,100 km2 is a kidney-shaped water body. It is approx. 917 km long with its greatest width being 338 km. The Tigris and Euphrates, two of the largest rivers in the Middle East, merge to form the Shatt-al-Arab waterway, the Gulf’s main source of fresh water, flows primarily from Iraq into the northern end of the Gulf.

Fresh water in the Gulf region comes from rain mainly in the winter months, which is also the lowest period of evaporation.

 

The region’s high summer temperatures, and the high evaporation rate make the Gulf water nearly one and a half times more saline than the oceans.

The Gulf’s counterclockwise current moves through the Strait of Hormuz along the Iranian coast past the Shatt-al-Arab then along the very shallow Saudi coastline. These shallow areas have been the resting place for oil spills. Anually approx 40,000 m3 of oil is spilled in the Gulf. The Gulf’s water circulation takes more than five years to return to Strait of Hormuz.

 

On January 21st, 1991, a few days after the start of the air campaign against Iraq, the Iraqi military in Kuwait opened valves at the Sea Island oil terminal near Kuwait City and released massive quantities of crude oil into the Gulf, as an act of environmental warfare (if we can’t have the oil then neither can you). The oil moved southwards with the current and began to accumulate on the north coast of Saudi Arabia, where it endangered the fragile intertidal zones, mangrove forests and wildlife habitats such as bird feeding grounds and fish and shrimp nurseries.

The first oil was spotted on January 24th the main source of oil appeared to be Kuwait’s off-shore Sea Island terminal.

The U.S. Air Force bombed the terminal’s shore side pipelines and manifold complex in an attempt to stop the oil flow. This bombing did not completely stop the flow and it was realised that other sources were contributing to the spill. Tankers near Mina Al Ahmadi, a damaged refinery south of Mina Al Ahmadi, the Iraqi Mina Al Bakr terminal, and tankers anchored north of Kuwait’s Bubiyan Island.

As Iraqi troops withdrew from Kuwait at the end of the first Gulf War, they set fire to over 650 oil wells and damaged many more, just south of the Iraq border (yellow line).

These Landsat images left show before, during and after the release of 1.5 billion barrels of oil into the environment, the largest oil spill in human history.
(Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

For the initial two weeks the winds were soft and from the southeast which slowed the oil from moving to the southwest and provided valuable time to prepare for it.

The oily plumes extended three to five kilometers up into the atmosphere and hundreds of kilometers across the horizon.
Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory

The Saudi governmental agencies together with oil companies from home and abroad started the difficult task of evaluating the amount and location of the oil using satellite imagery and mathematical models in order concentrate response resources.

In February, 1992, an international team of scientists started a 100 day survey of the Area, mapping the shallow marine habitats around Abu Ali Island, a portion of the study area. The team found an asphalt pavement on the beaches of the island as well as along sections of the north of the island. The asphalt surface was approx. 0.2m thick. This pre-dated the 1991 War and indicated the long term effect on the Gulf.

Saudi Arabia relies on desalinated sea water for its fresh water supply, sea water is also used for the cooling of electric power station and oil refineries. The object of the Iraqi exercise was to shut down all of these operations.

Fortunately the amount of boom and response personnel protected all of the sea water intakes by deflecting the oil past them. Abu Ali Island and Ad Daffi Bay which jut out into the Gulf approx. half way down the Saudi coast experienced the greatest pollution, with the main effect of the spill concentrated in the mangrove areas and shrimp grounds. Large numbers of marine birds, such as cormorants. The beaches around the entire bay shoreline were covered with oil and tar balls.

Many of the mangrove pneumatophore breathing roots became covered with oil resulting in the death of the trees. In some collection areas the oil was over a meter thick.

Huge quantities of oil were removed and temporarily stored in huge pits built in the sand like this one, to give it scale the trucks on the right bottom are forty foot road tanks.

 Much of the liquid oil was re refined while large quantities were used, it was said to stabilise sand dunes in the desert as you can imagine there is no oil to be seen. a difficult task holding millions of tons of sand against the wind. So its buried what’s the problem this is Saudi where you do as you are told or it hurts! 

Update:

In 1991, Landsat captured the devastating environmental consequences of war. As Iraqi forces withdrew from Kuwait, they set fire to over 650 oil wells and damaged almost 75 more, which then poured crude oil across the desert and into the Gulf.

Fires burned for ten months. According to a 2009 study published in Disaster Prevention and Management, firefighting crews from ten countries, part of a response team that comprised approximately 11,450 workers from 38 countries, used familiar and new technologies to put out the fires. When the last one was extinguished in November, about 300 lakes of oil remained, as well as a layer of soot and oil that fell out of the sky and mixed with sand and gravel to form ‘tarcrete’ across 5 percent of Kuwait’s landscape. Emergency responders and scientists in Kuwait used Landsat and other satellite data to locate and monitor the plumes of smoke and burning wells. The three images above from Landsat 5’s Thermal Mapper show Kuwait in August 1990 before the fires, June 1991 while the fires were burning, and January 1992, two months after the last fires were put out. In this 3-band composite (7-4-2), Landsat-5’s shortwave infrared band (band 7) easily detected the flames burning at over 1300°F (700-800°C). The fires were so hot that the detectors overloaded temporarily, turning the saturated red dots into saturated lines visible in the June 1991 image.

Subsequent studies used Landsat to look at the before and after effects of the fires and to monitor the changes to the oil lakes over the past 22 years. The lakes are visible in the 1992 image around the area of the former fires.

An estimated one to 1.5 billion barrels of oil were released into the environment. After most burned, 25 to 40 million barrels ended up spread across the desert and 11 million barrels in the Gulf, according to a 2012 paper published in Remote Sensing of Environment. For comparison, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill into the Gulf of Mexico is estimated to have released nearly 5 million barrels of oil. Kuwait’s landscape has recovered somewhat. Clean up efforts have removed 21 million barrels of oil from the desert, but an estimated 1 million barrels still remain.

NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) jointly manage Landsat, and the USGS preserves a 40-year archive of Landsat images that is freely available over the Internet. The next Landsat satellite, now known as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) and later to be called Landsat 8, is scheduled for launch in 2013.

 

The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia    

Code-named Operation Allied Force this military operation against the federal Republic of Yugoslavia lasted from 24 March to 10 June 1999. The bombing of the oil refinery in Novi Sad heavily contaminated the Danube river and its sediments, as well as the surrounding soil and groundwater.

The destruction of the factories released approx. 73,000 m3 tons of crude oil of which 90% was incinerated, 560 tons reached the Danube river, and the remainder was spilled onto the soil.The contents of oil and oil derivatives in the soil were in the range of 3 to 42,000 mg/kg. The first soil layer contained an average of 67,000 mg/kg of crude oil and oil derivatives. The layers beneath it, above the groundwater table, contained 56 ml/l of oil derivatives in the water.

The dates that refineries were bombed are April 13th, 15th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 27th, and 29th then again on June 8th and 9th 

It is not a big refinery, so why it took so much bombing is beyond me.

On one of these days the river jetties were bombed with precision, just the ends where the vessels tie up. Incredibly no one working in the refinery died during this time, especially when they were trying to put the fires out.

On June 9th Milan Bajić (42 years old) returned to his home which he left after the first bombing raid,  he was killed when for some unknown reason it was deemed by NATO necessary to bomb the refinery again especially when they knew the war would end at noon the next day.

On the 10th June, I arrived in Belgrade with a group from the World Wildlife Fund to report on the oil pollution from the two refineries,  We had flown down the Romanian boarded with the Danube the week before to the first dam system (Iron Gates) downstream left, where we expected to find floating oil it was not as bad as we had expected the area was clean. It became clear that the majority of the oil was now mixed into the sediments.

The following day we went to the Novi Sad refinery right this was built by an American oil company so they had the plans and knew where it was. There was only one tank in the refinery that had no damage. The rest were blast damaged or burnt down to chest height.

We visited the town of Panchevo chemical plant located 15 kms northeast of Belgrade. We saw the oil from this refinery in the river system, we were not allowed into the refinery but were given a series of postcards by the towns mayor, they were photographs of the plants during the bombing.

 

The chemical complex included a fertiliser processing plant, oil refinery, petrochemical plant and a vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant among others. Residential buildings are 150 meters away.

The plants stored volumes of ethylene-dichloride (EDC), ethylene, chlorine, chlorine-hydrogen, propylene and vinyl chloride monomers. During NATO attacks on April 18th, these were released into the atmosphere, water and soil and now pose a serious threat to human health, local ecological systems as well as the broader Balkan region. According to Yugoslav estimates, some 70,000 people were endangered locally – poisoned, injured and/or evacuated. Many dead fish were observed 30 kilometres downstream of Pancevo where fishing is now forbidden.

It is estimated that 1,400 tonnes of EDC were released directly into the Danube River. According to BBC News, workers at the complex decided to release tons of carcinogenic EDC into the Danube to avoid an explosion. Some 3,000 tonnes of a 40 percent solution of natrium hydroxide and 1,000 tonnes of a 33 percent solution of hydrogen chloride leaked into the Danube. Tonnes of liquid chlorine were released, as was toxic chlorine gas after bombing. there was evidence that the oil had been released on various occasions as the water levels fell as can be seen with the lines on the fence right.

 

Mercury was probably released after destruction of the chlorine-alkaline electrolysis plant where some 100 tonnes of mercury were stored. Fifty tonnes of oil emulsion and more than 100 tonnes of liquid ammonia also leaked into the Danube. Belgrade, with roughly 2 million inhabitants, was faced with a potentially serious health emergency on April 18th after the Pancevo bombing. Had winds been Southerly, all the air-borne toxic substances and poisons would have blown into Belgrade. Luckily, the winds were westerly and this, coupled with rain, helped in reducing air pollution.

Polluted clouds created by the bombing carried the products of combustion of VCMs (phosgene, chlorine, chlorine oxides and nitrogen oxides) as well as ammonia, petroleum and petroleum products. The Pancevo VCM plant was completely destroyed and more than 1,000 tonnes of VCM were released. This plant burned for hours, creating a whitish smoke that moved toward Belgrade. The cloud was carried by low air currents and merged with another cloud formed when a storehouse full of fertiliser was hit.

The Times of London quoted the Yugoslav environment minister as saying the amount of carcinogenic matter in the air over Pancevo was 7,200 times above permitted levels. According to a press release from Belgrade’s Institute of Public Health, a VCM concentration of 10,600 times above permitted levels was recorded near Pancevo.

 

War in this case was necessary as diplomacy was impossible, thousands of people had lost their life and many more lives were at risk. But how many peoples healths have been damaged due to the constant bombing of chemical plants. The unknown environmental damage is more difficult to access as the Danube flows through Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria on its way to the Black sea. With all the contaminants how many  fish, birds, animals and humans have died and will die due to this damage.


These fairly rare aerial photos of before, during and after the raid can be seen at full size with right click and save as

 

The refinery can be found on Google Earth at Latitude 45°27’53.41”N longtitude 19°86’33.14”E.

                  Here we are 10 years later and the refinery is less than half built.

 

Exxon Valdez update

Exxon Vadez was an accident some say which was waiting to happen due to company pressure and crew cutting. The rest in this section are intentional spills due to war or greed.

In the days that followed, impact inventories revealed the lethal outcome: 250,000 sea birds had been died, along with 22 Orca’s or killer whales, nearly 3000 sea otters, 300 harbour seals.

20 years later there are health problems with the clean up workers, oil still remains on many shorelines and will continue to be a problem for many more years

The Exxon Valdez was repaired in the Seattle shipyard where she was originally built. When she left she was named Exxon Mediterranean and was not allowed to return to Alaska by American law (Oil Pollution Act 90). With another name change the Sea River Mediterranean, she started work in Europe but was hounded by Greenpeace and the like, every time she came to a terminal. Due to the public no pressure group pressure she is now mothballed at anchor in an unreleased area in Asia.

I find it strange that groups of adults including the American political and justice systems, actually think this piece of steel ran aground on its own and would probably do it again if the pressure was not kept up. I thought for a ship to operate you needed humans and that is the problem, humans cause accidents not ships.

Exxon representative Tom Burnett said at a Valdez town hall meeting (you have had some good luck and you don’t realise it. You have Exxon and we do business strait) We have never had a claim that took 20 years to pay.

Film and looking in retrospect are useful when you see that you were taken for a fool.

Exxon managed to reduce the amount they needed to pay for the Valdez spill in March 1989.

In 1994 the courts awarded 32,000 Alaskan plaintiff’s US$ 5 billion.

In 2006 this was halved to US$ 2.5 billion.

In 2009 the US Supreme Court cut this amount to US$ 507.5 million, one tenth of the original award.

How is the rest of the money split up?  According to the Anchorage Daily News, native villages will receive four percent of the take.  Lawyers will get 22 percent.   Forty nine percent goes to affected fishing companies who split the award based on the size of their business.  By example, fisherman in Cook’s Inlet will receive $160,000 on average per permit.

Exxon claims they have already paid out $3.4 billion in penalties, clean up costs and damages.  Businesses are especially happy with this ruling because it appears to limit the amount of damages juries can award in maritime cases.

As you can imagine Alaskans are not happy but Exxon are laughing all the way to the bank.

During this time over 2,000 plaintiffs have died, so too have the fisheries and livelihoods of the local Alaskan people.

The moral of the story is do not take an American oil company to court in the USA as they will keep it rolling through the “justice” system until you die.

Cartoon from Seppo.net

Texaco in Equador

It is up to you to decide but here are both sides of the argument. 

This is the Texaco version from their site.

Texaco Petroleum (Texpet) was minority partner in an exploration and production venture with Petroecuador, Ecuador‘s state-owned oil company. The production operation took place primarily on government lands and was conducted in compliance with Ecuadorian laws and regulations. Roughly 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil were produced, with the Government of Ecuador (GOE) receiving 95 percent of the total financial proceeds.At the conclusion of the venture’s twenty-year concession, the area and facilities of the former consortium were subjected to a government-supervised audit, which, together with other Government data, became the basis for a settlement agreement under which Texpet was required to conduct environmental remediation with respect to sites in proportion to its one third interest in the venture. To that end, Texpet executed a $40 million remediation and public works program under close GOE supervision; Texpet’s remediation was fully inspected, certified and approved by the GOE; and the GOE granted Texpet a full and complete release of all further claims, liabilities and obligations associated with Texpet’s operations in Ecuador.

The release documents were signed by GOE’s Minister of Mines & Energy, the President of Petroecuador, and the General Manager of Petroproducción–the operational division of Petroecuador. Texpet has had no role whatsoever in exploration and production operations in Ecuador since 1992.

Petroecuador, on the other hand, the operator and sole owner of the oil fields for 15 years, never fulfilled its responsibility to remediate its share of the venture’s production sites and, since Texpet’s exit from Ecuador, has compiled an atrocious and well-documented record of environmental neglect and misconduct. The environmental degradation present in Ecuador today is the result of Petroecuador’s poor operations and the Ecuadorian government’s unwillingness to fund adequate remediation.

Texaco has been embroiled in a long-standing legal dispute lead by U.S. based contingency-fee trial lawyers working in partnership with NGOs and local activists whose goal is to extort a large financial windfall from Chevron. These lawyers’ efforts to bring these cases in U.S. courts have resulted in a string of dismissals, most recently in a case where the court found that these lawyers had fabricated their clients’ health claims. The court in that case described the lawsuit as part of a broader scheme against the company. The current controversy, however, involves a suit that these same lawyers commenced in Ecuador.

In 1999, seven years after Texpet ceased to have any involvement in the operations in Ecuador, the government of Ecuador enacted a new environmental statute – the 1999 Environmental Management Act ( EMA)- that purports to allow any Ecuadorian resident to file suit for environmental reparations on behalf of the collectivity. While the 1999 EMA created new substantive rights that did not previously exist, the new law cannot be used to challenge pre-1999 conduct,as per Article 7 of the Civil Code of Ecuador, which expressly prohibits retroactive application of Ecuadorian substantive law. Nevertheless, in 2003 the very same U.S. lawyers who have waging this campaign since 1993, filed suit against Chevron in Ecuador using that same 1999 law.

The litigation in Ecuador has followed the typical pattern for such suits. The lawyers retained a consultant to devise an astronomical estimate of financial liability, which the plaintiffs have attempted to use to frighten the company into a settlement. The expert in question made only a cursory examination of a small handful of sites and did not seek to distinguish between damage caused by the Texpet/Petroecuador consortium and damage caused by Petroecuador over the 15 years since Texpet left Ecuador. Simultaneously, the plaintiffs have mounted a continuous assault on the Company’s reputation – including media campaigns, shareholder proposals, etc. – with the stated goal to pressure the company into a settlement, while at the same time, refusing to acknowledge Petroecuador ongoing record of environmental mismanagement and clean up obligations.

To their credit, the courts in Ecuador initially observed the rule of law, insisting upon a rigorous process of evidence collection and analysis. The court ordered the judicially supervised inspections of 122 sites, with evidentiary submissions by both parties to be evaluated and reconciled by to a panel of five “settling experts” appointed by the court (47 judicial inspections have been conducted to date). These evidentiary submissions, including the reports of the court’s settling experts, were to form the basis of a second round of expert analysis by the same court-appointed experts to determine the extent and cause of any environmental damage proven by the plaintiffs.

The initial evidentiary phase of the litigation in Ecuador went disastrously wrong for the plaintiffs. Of the 172 drinking water samples taken at sites Texpet remediated, 99% met Ecuadorian, US EPA and World Health Organization standards. Similarly, more than 99% of all soil samples collected from Texpet-remediated areas confirm that the remediation met the standards set by the GOE. These findings demonstrated that Texpet’s remediation was done properly and that there was no significant impact to the environment or to the health of the local people. Of significant interest, high levels of bacterial contamination from human or animal waste were found in 90% of drinking water samples indicating widespread microbial contamination of the water sources.

The judicial site inspection process came to a head, with the production of the first and only report submitted by the five independent court-appointed settling experts for the Sacha-53 site. The experts concluded that Texpet’s remediation was conducted in accordance with the required parameters and that there is low health risk to humans from oil at that site. That event marked a tuning point in the case and changed the course of the litigation.

Thereafter, the plaintiffs began an intense campaign to abort the evidentiary process and increase the circus of protests designed to bring pressure on the court. They ceased paying their share of court ordered settling expert fees, bringing their work to a standstill. They “waived” the inspection of the remaining 64 sites, while contending that they should still be allowed to claim damages from these un-inspected sites, without first substantiating their claims with proof. And, most importantly, they demanded that the court proceed directly to a liability determination phase and that it appoint a single expert of their choice – not the same settling experts initially appointed by the court – to perform the entire assessment.

With the election of a new government in Ecuador and the appointment of a new judge, plaintiffs’ wishes have come true. Having completely abandoned the evidentiary process required under Ecuadorian law and observed by the court for over three years of litigation, the new judge terminated the evidentiary phase and assigned a single Ecuadorian mining engineer to assess all of the alleged environmental damage. Moreover, the new executive branch of the Ecuadorian government now has abandoned even facial adherence to the rule of law, having formed an open working partnership with the plaintiffs to use the full force of the Ecuadorian government to hold Chevron responsible for the 17 years of environmental damage caused by its own state oil company, Petroecuador. Senior members of the GOE have spoken on-record through official GOE channels and even taken high visibility trips to the region to exhort the court to find Chevron liable.

In short, this case has now descended into a judicial farce. Chevron is left with no alternative other than to speak openly about the denial of justice that is occurring in Ecuador. In our view, this proceeding no longer has any legal validity, and our company will fight this embarrassing display of hometown injustice in every conceivable forum.

Here is the Chevron Toxico version from their site.

In 1964, Texaco (now Chevron), discovered oil in the remote northern region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, known as the “Oriente.” The indigenous inhabitants of this pristine rainforest, including the Cofán, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa and Huaorani, lived traditional lifestyles largely untouched by modern civilization. The forests and rivers provided the physical and cultural subsistence base for their daily survival. They had little idea what to expect or how to prepare when oil workers moved into their backyard and founded the town of Lago Agrio, named for Texaco’s birthplace of Sour Lake, Texas. The Ecuadorian government had similarly little idea what to expect; no one had ever successfully drilled for oil in the Amazon rainforest before. The government entrusted Texaco, a well-known U.S. company with more than a half-century’s worth of experience, with employing modern oil practices and technology in the country’s emerging oil patch.  However, despite existing environmental laws, Texaco made deliberate, cost-cutting operational decisions that, for 28 years, resulted in an environmental catastrophe that experts have dubbed the “Rainforest Chernobyl.”

Unlike the Exxon Valdez disaster that spilled over a billion gallons of crude during a one time cataclysmic event, Texaco’s oil extraction system in Ecuador was designed, built, and operated on the cheap using substandard technology from the outset. This led to extreme, systematic pollution and exposure to toxins from multiple sources on a daily basis for almost three decades.

In a rainforest area roughly three times the size of Manhattan, Texaco carved out 350 oil wells, and upon leaving the country in 1992, left behind some 1,000 open toxic waste pits. Many of these pits leak into the water table or overflow in heavy rains, polluting rivers and streams that 30,000 people depend on for drinking, cooking, bathing and fishing. Texaco also dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic and highly saline “formation waters,” a byproduct of the drilling process, into the rivers of the Oriente. At the height of Texaco’s operations, the company was dumping an estimated 4 million gallons of formation waters per day,a practice outlawed in major US oil producing states like Louisiana, Texas, and California decades before the company began operations in Ecuador in 1967. By handling its toxic waste in Ecuador in ways that were illegal in its home country, Texaco saved an estimated $3 per barrel of oil produced.

Here is a nice incriminating memo from the chairman of the board in 1972. I found this at huffingtonpost.com

 

 

 

A new iniative

Ecuador plans to sign an agreement today with the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) that will open an international trust fund to receive donations supporting the government’s proposal to keep some 900 million barrels of oil in the ground. The heavy crude is found in three oil reserves beneath the fragile Yasuni National Park – the Ishpingo, Tambococha, and Tiputini (ITT).

Three tumultuous years in the making, the deal with UNDP finally spares a significant area of the Park from oil drilling. Initial donor countries include Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, and Switzerland which have collectively committed an estimated US $1.5 billion of the US$3.6 billon that the Ecuadorian government seeks.

The plan will keep an estimated 410 million tons of C02 – the major greenhouse gas driving climate change – from reaching the atmosphere. This precedent of avoided CO2 emissions could factor into future climate negotiations.

In 2007, Ecuador’s President Correa launched the Yasuni-ITT initiative, seeking international financial contributions equaling half of the country’s forgone revenues if the government left Yasuni’s oil reserve untouched.

The proposal seeks to strike a balance between protecting the park and its indigenous inhabitants, while still generating some revenue for Ecuador, a country dependent on oil for 60 percent of its exports. Covering nearly 2.5 million acres of primary tropical rainforest at the intersection of the Andes and the Amazon close to the equator, Yasuni is the ancestral territory of the Huaorani people, as well as two other indigenous tribes living in voluntary isolation, the Tagaeri and the Taromenane.

As a result of its unique location, Yasuni is an area of extreme biodiversity, containing what are thought to be the greatest variety of tree and insect species anywhere on the planet. In just 2.5 acres, there are as many tree species as in all of the US and Canada combined.

“We welcome this long sought after final step to protect an important part of Yasuni National Park,” said Kevin Koenig, Amazon Watch Ecuador Coordinator who has been closely monitoring the initiative since its inception. “This is a big win for Ecuador, and the world. Now we need more countries to contribute, and for President Correa to keep his word.”

The landmark proposal was an uncertain three years in the making, and on several occasions appeared dead in the water. From the outset, the government insisted on a one-year deadline to raise close to $4.5 billion, which was viewed as an impossibility by potential donors and undercut the proposal’s perceived viability. Political turnover led to three different Foreign Affairs ministers and three distinct negotiating teams, while the government implemented seemingly contradictory environmental policies that continued to allow drilling inside the park and expanded mining concessions
throughout the Amazon.

Correa’s public rebuke of his negotiating team after the Copenhagen Climate Summit were the trust fund was originally set to be signed, led to the resignation of the entire team as well as the Foreign Minister and confidant, Fander Falconi.
But Ecuador’s civil society organizations, as well as the Huaorani themselves, kept the proposal alive by pressuring the government and continuing to increase the proposals popularity nationally and internationally.

The environmental organization, _Acción Ecológica_ with its “Amazon For Life” campaign collected tens of thousands of signatures of support and kept the initiative in the news during times when the government’s commitment appeared to wane. The Huaorani continued to raise their voices on the importance of the park, the perils of oil extraction,
and the need to keep out extractive industries from areas where the nomadic Tagaeri and Taromenane are present.

Although there is cause for celebration, some of Ecuador’s indigenous groups are concerned by the Correa administration’s announcement this week to open up areas of Ecuador’s roadless, pristine southeastern Amazon region, as well as re-offering older oil blocks that were unsuccessful due to indigenous resistance.

“We hope that the success of the Yasuni proposal doesn’t mean a defeat for the forests and people of the southern rainforests,” said Marlon Santi, President of the powerful national indigenous confederation CONAIE. “We don’t want Correa to offset his lost income from leaving the ITT oil in the ground by opening up other areas of equally pristine indigenous lands.”

A new report has uncovered 90 oil spills by Pluspetrol in northern Peru’s Amazon rainforest over the past 3 years. Covering two oil blocs—1-AB and 8—the report, complied by the Federation of Indigenous Communities of the Corrientes River (FECONACO), recorded 18 major oil spills in just the last year.

“A week after the landmark ruling against Chevron in Ecuador for $9 billion of damage from operations in the 1970’s and 80’s, this new report highlights the ongoing devastation caused by the oil industry on the fragile Amazon ecosystem and the people that live there,” said Atossa Soltani, Executive Director at Amazon Watch, in a press release.

In June of last year a tanker spilled 400 barrels of oil into the Maranon River, which led to a blockade where indigenous protested called for Pluspetrol to pay them compensation for the pollution in the form reforestation, food, medicine, and cash payments.

Using community monitoring of oil operations along the Corrientes River, the report also documents over 90 contamination sites left from over previous oil operator Occidental Petroleum that were not made apart of a clean-up agreement taken on by Pluspetrol. For its part Occidental Petroleum is currently embroiled in a lawsuit brought to court by members of the indigenous tribe Achuar for contaminating the region.

Peruvian health studies have found that 98% of Achuar children have high levels of cadmium in their blood, and two-thirds suffer from lead poisoning.

“[The report] raises serious concerns about Peru’s aggressive development strategy to open the Amazon to oil drilling,” said Gregor MacLennan, Amazon Watch Peru Program Coordinator, also in a press release.

The government of Peru, led by President Alan Garcia, is currently pushing an oil boom. Around 70% of the Peruvian Amazon has been opened for oil and gas exploration and drilling, and a number of foreign companies have heard the call, including Talisman Energy, Petrolifera, ConocoPhilips, and Hunt Oil.

The conflict between indigenous people living the region and big oil turned violent in 2009. A standoff between indigenous protestors and government police ended with 23 police officers and at least 10 protesters dead, though indigenous people say that bodies of protesters were dumped in rivers to hide the numbers killed.

Chevron used secret lab to hide dirty soil samples from ecuador court, say company documents

Dec. 20, 2011

NEW YORK — In an ever more stunning expose of Chevron’s fraud before the Ecuador court, a U.S. federal judge has ordered the disclosure of documents that demonstrate Chevron used a secret lab in the United States to hide the existence of dirty soil samples taken from the company’s contaminated former well sites in the Amazon.

The documents also show that Chevron’s scientific experts in the Ecuador trial — one of whom is a respected professor at the University of California  — executed a scheme that guaranteed the company would find only ‘clean’ soil samples from contaminated well sites while all ‘dirty’ samples would be sent to a lab called NewFields, where they would not be disclosed to the court.

The existence of the NewFields lab, which is based in Atlanta, was not disclosed by Chevron to either the plaintiffs or the Ecuador trial court before it ruled in February that the company was liable for $18 billion in clean-up damages. Even though Chevron tried to present a false picture of the evidence to the court, the Ecuador judge found that scientific samples from the plaintiffs and other court-appointed experts clearly demonstrated extensive pollution at all of the 94 former Chevron well sites and production stations inspected during the trial.

Chevron executed its deceptive sampling plan by secretly and unilaterally pre-inspecting well sites in the days before court-supervised judicial inspections of the same sites, which were attended by both parties and the judge. Chevron used the pre-inspections to plot areas on ground higher than the contaminated waste pits where soil samples would come up ‘clean’ during the official inspections process.  See here and here.

As a general matter, the documents show that only Chevron’s ‘clean’ soil samples were submitted to the Ecuador court despite rampant pollution on the ground and in streams and rivers near all Chevron well sites that were inspected by the parties during the trial, which lasted from 2003 to 2011.  As an example, see this photo of Shushufindi 38, a former Chevron well site where Chevron in contrast to the plaintiffs reported that it found no contamination in its soil samples.

Other documents (here and here) show Chevron committed fraud by lying to some of its own technical experts so they would laud the company’s deceptive sampling practices even though they were designed to mislead the court.

Lawyers for the rainforest communities immediately submitted the new documents – one called ‘The Judicial Inspection Playbook’ and written by a Houston-based environmental consulting firm — to the Ecuador appellate court that will determine whether to uphold the $18 billion judgment against Chevron for discharging billions of gallons of oil-laced toxic waste into the Amazon rainforest, decimating five indigenous groups and causing an outbreak of cancer. The judgment was handed down on February 14 after an eight-year trial that produced 220,000 pages of evidence.

The new documents were not part of the evidence presented to the Ecuador trial court.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hagarty in August 2011 ordered them disclosed as part of a discovery action in Colorado against Bjorn Bjorkman, a Chevron expert. They were included in a legal filing last week made before a New York federal judge. See here for all the documents.

‘The stunning 11th-hour disclosure of these in-house documents clearly proves Chevron went through a meticulous planning process to defraud the Ecuador court and in fact defrauded the Ecuador court in a systematic way during the judicial inspections process,’ said Pablo Fajardo the lead Ecuadorian lawyer in the case.

‘The document also closes the loop on what we long suspected — that Chevron’s scientists were systematically hiding from the court the existence of extensive contamination at all of Chevron’s former well sites,’ he added.

Completed in 2006 by Chevron experts at GSI Environmental in Houston, ‘The Judicial Inspection Playbook’ indicates that during the trial Chevron planned to hide or minimize the extent of the toxic threat at each of its 378 former well sites and production stations. Dozens of those sites were inspected during the trial, with soil and water samples being submitted to laboratories for analysis with the results becoming part of the main body of evidence relied on by the court.

The newly disclosed documents demonstrate that:

  • Chevron secretly pre-tested its former well sites to guarantee results the company sought during the judicial inspections process;
  • Chevron directed its experts to only test areas that had been pre-determined ‘clean’ during the secret pre-inspections;
  • Chevron directed its experts to send its ‘dirty’ samples to the undisclosed lab, called NewFields;
  • To whitewash its rigged sampling procedures, Chevron made false representations to the Ecuador court;
  • Chevron attempted to thwart the ability of the Ecuadorian communities to obtain the new documents on the grounds they could cause ‘substantial harm’ to Chevron.

The Ecuador court never received lab results from NewFields, which markets its ability to help corporations manage human rights violations involving contamination. ‘Clean’ samples were sent to the Severn Trent lab, Chevron’s laboratory of record during the trial but one that also has come under attack for not being independent.

Evidence also emerged that Chevron altered the ‘Judicial Inspections Playbook’ document to remove references to parts of its deceptive sampling plan before giving it to Douglas M. MacKay, Ph.D, a Chevron expert who teaches at the University of California at Davis. Based on the altered plan, MacKay was induced by Chevron to submit a robust defense of Chevron’s sampling plan to the Ecuador court — a blatant act of fraud by Chevron, according to the plaintiffs.

In his submission to the Ecuador court, MacKay and two other experts, Pedro J. Alvarez, Ph.D and Robert E. Hinchee, Ph.D, concluded ‘there is no foundation for the serious allegations … that [Chevron’s] sampling program deliberately hides or minimizes the existing contamination.’  The allegation has been made by the plaintiffs in a report submitted by their own U.S. technical experts, Dr. Ann Maest and Bill Powers.

‘Chevron’s decision to withhold this information from the Ecuadorian court, to defend its otherwise indefensible sampling methodology, and to submit expert reports that rely on altered documents is a fraud on the Ecuadorian justice system,’ read a brief filed recently by the plaintiffs before a New York federal court in a related matter.

The  Chevron ‘playbook’ for the judicial inspections instructed the company’s experts that ‘locations for sampling should be chosen to emphasize clean points around pits’.  Chevron also directed its experts to ‘collect soil samples at 4 or more locations surrounding the site, using locations the PI (Pre-Inspection) team has shown to be clean.’

Chevron also created individual ‘playbooks’ for each site to be inspected by the court, based on its undisclosed pre-inspection visits.  For example, the playbook for the Sacha North Production Station indicates that of three borings Chevron made during its pre-inspection, one afforded Chevron an acceptable ‘delineation point’ to return to at the subsequent court inspection.  The others showed or tested positive for contamination.

During the trial, Chevron issued multiple press releases defending the integrity of its sampling process, all of which contained false information, said Karen Hinton, the U.S. spokesperson for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs.

Chevron’s manipulation of sampling evidence is also consistent with statements made by Chevron contractor Diego Borja that he would swap out contaminated samples collected from judicial inspection sites with clean samples collected at other locations to send to the supposedly independent Severn Trent Laboratory.  Borja testified that the Severn Trent Laboratory actually ‘belonged to Chevron’ and was directed by Borja’s wife, Sara Portilla.

The Ecuadorians called on MacKay, Alvarez and Hinchee to disavow their report in light of the new evidence, said Hinton.

“Chevron duped Dr. MacKay and the other experts,’ she said. “We therefore urge them to recant their findings and immediately notify the Ecuador appellate court.”

The new information also increases the pressure on John Conner, Chevron’s lead U.S. technical expert during the Ecuador trial.  Conner, the lead partner at GSI Environmental, was paid an estimated $8 million by Chevron for his work in Ecuador and is thought to be the main author of the ‘Judicial Inspection Playbook’ document.

As Chevron’s main technical witness in the Ecuador case, Connor’s credibility has taken several serious blows as of late and he could be sanctioned for participating in the oil giant’s scheme in Ecuador, said Hinton.  Last year, Conner was the main Chevron witness at a trial in Mississippi where a jury rejected his scientific analysis and decided in favor of the plaintiffs.

Conner is now Chevron’s main technical witness in a private international arbitration action that the oil giant hopes will shift the $18 billion liability to Ecuador’s government.  Without his testimony, Chevron’s prospects in that action certainly look dim, said Hinton.

A list of some of Chevron’s judicial inspection experts, all of whom were presumably guided by the protocols in the ‘Playbook’, included (in addition to Connor): Ernesto Baca, Gino Bianchi, Fernando Morales, Jorge Salcedo, Bjorn Bjorkman, Gregory Douglas, Charles Newell, Jimmy Kirkland, Les Oakes, Thomas McHugh, Burton Suedel, Van Ekambaram, Mala Pattanayek, Bridgette DeShields, Lloyd Deuel, Raymond C. Loehr, Marcelo Muñez, and Gerardo Barros.

Latin America 2011 nothing changes

Brazil is temporarily banning the American company, Chevron, from drilling for oil in its territory.

The National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said it would suspend Chevron’s activities in Brazil until it had established the cause of an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Chevron has apologised for the leak, but has stressed it acted as rapidly and safely as possible to contain it. The Brazilian government has fined Chevron $28m (£18m) for the spill. Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said Chevron could face further fines if an investigation into the spill revealed more infractions.

ANP also rejected a Chevron request to drill a deeper well in the Frade field in order to reach sub-salt fields, which could hold  reserves of more than 100bn barrels of high-quality recoverable oil. It said such drilling would “pose risks to the environment similar to those that occurred in the well where the spill occurred, but bigger and magnified by the greater depth”.

Chevron apology

The head of Chevron’s Brazil operation, George Buck, appeared before the lower house of the Brazilian parliament to apologise for the leak. He said the company respected Brazil and the Brazilian people, its environment, laws and institutions.

“We are going to thoroughly investigate the accident and present the results to the Brazilian people… so that this does not happen again either here or in any other part of the world,” Mr Buck said. Brazilian authorities said the spill was now under control and the oil slick had been reduced to two square kilometres.

ANP said the leak released between 200 and 330 barrels a day at the height of the spill. The head of the ANP, Haroldo Lima, said the accident was “serious, but not major”.

He said there was “no comparison” between this spill and last year’s disaster at BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, where 11 people died and about 3,000 barrels a day were leaked. In recent years Brazil has discovered billions of barrels of oil in deep water that could make it one of the wold’s top five producers.

This is why people like Chevron have come to Brasil, to exploit yet another so called third world country.

Facing sharp criticism from Brazilian officials, senior management of Chevron Brazil said that Chevron takes “full responsibility” for an oil spill off the southeastern coast of Brazil that was discovered on November 7. George Buck, Chevron’s chief operating officer in Brazil, told reporters on Sunday that Chevron “takes full responsibility for this incident,” and said that “any oil on the surface of the ocean is unacceptable to Chevron.” The oil spill began when an undersea well operated by Chevron succumbed to pressure from the oil reservoir, allowing crude to escape through a breach in the bore hole wall and up through the ocean floor. According to Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, up to 110,000 gallons of oil may have leaked into the Atlantic Ocean. On uThursday, Chevron capped the well with cement, but oil is reportedly still leaking from cracks in the seabed. Buck said that storms and ocean swells prevented Chevron cleanup boats from reaching the oil slick for two days after the leak was discovered, but they are now skimming the ocean surface to clean up the spill. Coming on the heels of a long legal battle with Ecuador over contamination in the rainforest, Chevron employees may face $5.5 million in fines and potential prison time in Brazil, according to the environmental minister of Rio de Janeiro state.

Now lets look at the responsibility Chevron is taking for the clean up.

So here we are at ground zero as some people like to call it, there are supposed to be 16 ships collecting, recovering and mechanically dispersing the oil.

Heres one right but needs to be a bit closer to the oil to do any good!

Here is a boom between two ships just a little question where is the skimmer or is this mechanical dispersion Chevron style.

So as you can see nothing changes there are rules at home an no rules when working in other parts of the world.

I can even lay a bet that if the Brasilian government were to fine Chevron on the same scale as the US did to BP then the US government would defend Chevron!

Seeing as the rig was owned by Transocean know doubt the other major players in Deep water horizon were also involved and it looks like they are trying to get their act together at the cost of another country then they do deserve a considerablbly higher fine than they have recieved to date..

Chevron is revered in Wall St. and City of London for its massive abilities as a money machine. Last year Chevron, the United States’ largest oil and gas company after ExxonMobil, boosted its revenues by an impressive 25% over FY 2010 to $245.6 billion. Of even greater interest to Chevron shareholders, profits soared by 41% to $26.9 billion. Little wonder then that Chevron CEO and chairman John Watson strolled home with roughly $25 million in total compensation in 2011, a 52% increase over his 2010 pay, according to Chevron’s securities filing.


2012 now it’s Nigeria

20 January 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – Crude oil spill has been reported from the fire which hit the oil drilling rig, KS Endeavor, early Monday morning offshore Nigeria, with two dead.

The rig, working for Chevron Nigeria Limited, is now partially submerged but continues to burn on Block 86 in the Funiwa field.

Director general of the Nigerian National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Peter Idabor, said some community leaders in Bayelsa State have complained that oil from the accident was already ashore and polluting the environment.

This is also based on a report from NOSDRA’s deputy director, who was part of a helicopter fly over the burning rig together with officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Chevron on Wednesday.

Idabor said: “A crude oil spill from the facility was spotted by the surveillance around the KS Endeavor and along the shoreline,” adding: “This is a very serious explosion. You have drilling fluids and oil seen around the rig itself.”

He stated that complaints have been received by his agency from government officials in some parts of Bayelsa state about pollution washing ashore.

“There are several communities already impacted,” he claimed. “The first one is Koloma towns 1 and 2, the second one is Fishtown and the third is Frupa.”

On Tuesday Chevron had confirmed that “a small sheen was visible in close proximity to the (affected) well,” estimating the sheen at 13 barrels.

3rd World polluter

It looks like there is a company policy for working at home and another for working abroad. It is much cheaper to have oil spills outside the USA!! Just as well, seeing as they are in the bids for the next round of drilling in the Arctic.

The Chevron Toxico logo still fits and will do until they clean up their act.

Nigeria on a normal day


It is estimated that an Exxon Valdez equivalent spill happens every year in Nigeria and most of it is in the delta region.

This is without doubt the worst place I have ever visited.

Bureaucracy and corruption meets you at Lagos airport on arrival at passport control where there is a notice behind the officials which reads “do not bribe the officials” who’s first words are “do you have a present for me?”.

As in all corrupt countries it starts at the top and penetrates through all the officials.

Nigeria is the land of over 250 tribes. The oil rich Niger Delta belongs to 4 or 5 but the government is made up of different ones and of course they do not live in the delta either.

The Nigerian government is the principal share holder of all of the major upstream companies operating in Nigeria. They own 55% of Shell Nigeria, 60% of Agip, 60% of Mobil and 60% of Chevron operations in the country.

The money earned by the government over the last 50 years finds its way to places like
Switzerland and little or in truth nothing returns to the Delta Region.

It is not difficult to understand the thinking in the Delta, with the oil flowing in the main in surface pipelines through the Delta region.(photo below right)

The people get some money from Shell by drilling holes in the pipelines or opening valves sometimes even using explosives to steal the oil (known as bunkering) or tocause a pollution problem for which they then require compensation. This is paid by Shell not the Swiss banks.

The explanation for a hole in one crude line which was on the top of the pipe with the steel bent inwards  was corrosionwe were told it, it looked more like an explosion as corrosion usually occurs under the pipe, but you don’t argue with the man with the AK47 Kalashnikov.

It is quite a common event for someone to hole a gasoline line then everyone is in line with anything that will hold liquid, from time to time there are huge fires during these incidents it is not uncommon for hundreds of people to die or be badly burn.

The photo above is the result of a gasoline explosion and fire that killed 200 people.

When all your countries wealth is running past your door and you have nothing I suppose it is hard not to try and get something.

The gas flares in the delta region are usually in big pits; the locals cook cassava part of the local diet here (photo left) they usually have black spots made by oil that passes the flare, not very healthy

In recent years a various ethnic militia groups calling themselves the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) and Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV) havebeen taking hostage oil workers and damaging the oil infrastructure e.g. Terminals, pipeline, valves and rigs.

As with all of the worlds terrorist organisations recruiting people, raising money and buying arms for the cause is not difficult. The arms in many cases are better than the army and police have.

There are few negotiations for these groups to stop. In the mean time how many people kidnapped, die and how much damage is done to both the oil infrastructure and the environment. 

This of course will continue until the Delta Region gets something for what they think is their oil or the government stops being corrupt. I guess it will be a while!

 

Alang and Chittagong Ship Wreckers

Here is an interesting fact about the longest and heaviest ship ever built which was also a supertanker. built in 1979 at Sumitomo Heavy Industries’ Oppama shipyard as the Seawise Giant.

She had a deadweight of 565,000 metric tons a length of the vessel is 458 meters, a beam of 69 meters and draft of 26.4 meters, when fully loaded, her water displacement was 646,642 tons.

She was the longest ship ever constructed, longer than many of the world’s tallest buildings are tall including  the Petronas Twin Towers at 452 metres (1,483 ft).

With these dimensions she was unable to navigate the English Channel, the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal when its load was up to capacity.

Below 14 May 1988, Hormuz Terminal, “Seawise Giant” on fire after the Iraqi Air-attack during the Iraq/Iran war.

As a tanker she also was known as the, Happy Giant, and Jahre Viking.

In 2004, she was renamed Knock Nevis, and converted into a Floating storage tanker (FSO) moored in the Qatar, Al Shaheen oil field in the Arabian Gulf.

So what do you do with a ship like this when her working days are done?

In December 2009, the vessel was sold to Indian breakers and renamed Mont for her final journey.

After clearing Indian customs, she was then intentionally beached at Alang, India. A sad end for some of the worlds most famous ships.

 

Photo of Mont 29/03/2010 at Alang (www.midshipcentury.com 2010)                                           

Here is a photo before she disappears

A big ship needs a big anchor and they don’t come bigger than this it weights 36 tonnes with 20 links of chain, is 7m long in the shank, 4.45m across the flukes and 1.13m thick.

Gifted to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum by an anonymous donor, it waits for approval from the Central and Western District Council and other stakeholders for its proposed placement near the Central “Star” Ferry Piers as a monument to many generations of Hong Kong seafarers and port workers.

 

This photo below is from Google Earth of 10 kilometers of the coast at Alang, India

 

         

Just to give you an idea of what goes on in Alang here are a few photos. The ships are run aground at high tide and taken apart with gas axes and man power, of course the oil in there tanks is not completely removed as can be seen below. These people are used to that.
You can only imagine with the price for scrapping ships the best in the world due mainly to the cheap labour used, there are more and more ships being sent there to cause more and more pollution.

This link will show more close up photos http://connect.in.com/alang-ship-breakers/photos-1-1-1-e03b95b357b4a7ae01ecccbf1948cdd4.html

It is getting difficult to hide from Google Earth when you know where to look. Below is the Sitakundu coast near Chittagong, Bangladesh here it is only a stretch of coast 8.5 kms that is used. At the end is where the mangroves try to survive.

Debate over Cause of Oil Spill Near Ship Destruction Yards 

15/12/2011

A 10-kilometre oil slick has been reported in the Bay of Bengal off the Sitakunda upazila area in Bangladesh. Boatmen and passengers crossing the area in the morning said they had noticed the strip, which was around 50 feet wide and spreading to Kadam Rasul from the Kumira coast. Both the reason for and the severity of the spillage so far remain unconfirmed.

A ferry operator on the sea route noticed black burnt oil floating on the surface. Boatmen, fishermen and people travelling between Sandwip and Chittagong said they often see oil spills, for which they blame the ship-demolishing industry. There are over 50 ship destruction yards next to the coast and more than 100 vessels are beached there for dismantling.

Hefazatur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Ship Breakers’ Association, brushed aside the suggestion that scrap ships caused oil spills in the sea. Oil might have leaked from tankers that travel to different parts of the country from the Chittagong port, he said.

An Environment department director from the port city said they had inspected the area in the afternoon and noticed no major spill. They saw a 100-metre layer of oil floating between Kadam Rasul and Kumira, but could not identify its source, he said.

Image Courtesy: SPOT Image/ Google Maps

Just to show how some people live with oil pollution as a daily occurrence below is a satelite photo of an Indian oil field. The white dots are oil platforms where as the black areas are oil slicks which happen daily. without satelites know one outside would know!

 

My controversy over the flow rate from Deepwater Horizon Spill 2010

A tale of two blow outs.

In a bid to win the world series of oil spills it comes as no surprise that the Deepwater Horizon spill is now said to be the biggest marine accident in the world.

I would like to put the case that it was actually smaller than Ixtoc 1.

The fact is that there is no factual basis for these figures, they are known as a guesstimates.

The total amount from Deepwater Horizon (DWH) is said to be 4,100,000 – 4,300,000 barrels.

When the spill began supposedly when the rig sank on the 22nd of April 2010 it was said the leak was approximately 1,000 barrels per day (160 m3/d).

After many years in this industry a rule of thumb in the early hours of a spill is to add one more zero to the figure therefore making it 10,000 bpd. Outside scientists quickly produced higher estimates.

Official estimates increased from 1,000 to 5,000 barrels per day (160 to 790 m3/d)

On April 29, to 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day (1,900 to 3,000 m3/d)

On May 27, to 25,000 to 30,000 barrels per day (4,000 to 4,800 m3/d)

On June 10, and to between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day (5,600 and 9,500 m3/d),

On July 15, 3 months later, the leak was stopped by capping the well. It was then estimated that 53,000 barrels per day (8,400 m3/d) were escaping from the well just before it was capped. It was believed that the daily flow rate diminished over time, starting at about 62,000 barrels per day (9,900 m3/d) and decreasing as the reservoir of hydrocarbons feeding the gusher was gradually depleted.

Official estimates were provided by the Flow Rate Technical Group—scientists from USCG, (NOAA), (DOE), and outside academics, led by (USGS). The later estimates were believed to be more accurate because it was no longer necessary to measure multiple leaks, and because detailed pressure measurements and high-resolution video had become available. According to BP, estimating the oil flow was very difficult as there was no underwater metering at the wellhead and because of the natural gas in the outflow. The company had initially refused to allow scientists to perform more accurate, independent measurements, saying that it was not relevant to the response and that such efforts might distract from efforts to stem the flow. Former Administrator of the EPA Carol Browner and Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) both accused BP of having a vested financial interest in downplaying the size of the leak in part due to the fine they will have to pay based on the amount of leaked oil. So obviously there had to be a big increase in the flow rate.

Here are some photos of the shoreline in Louisiana 41 miles away from the well in May and June

The total amount from Ixtoc 1 is said to be 3,329,000–3,520,000 barrels.

 

In the case of Ixtoc 1 which on June 3, 1979, the 2 mile deep exploratory well, blew out in the Bahia de Campeche, 600 miles south of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico.

The platform collapsed into the wellhead area hindering any immediate attempts to control the blowout.

In the initial stages of the spill, an estimated 30,000 barrels of oil per day were flowing from the well.

In July 1979 the pumping of mud into the well reduced the flow to 20,000 barrels per day

In August the pumping of nearly 100,000 steel, iron, and lead balls into the well reduced the flow to 10,000 barrels per day until it was finally capped 11 months later on March 23, 1980.

Prevailing northerly currents in the western Gulf of Mexico carried spilled oil toward the U.S.A. A 60-mile by 70-mile patch of sheen containing a 300 foot by 500 foot patch of heavy crude moved toward the Texas coast.
On August 6,15 and 18,1979, tarballs from the spill impacted a 17 mile stretch of Texas beach. Mousse patches impacted the shoreline north of Port Mansfield Channel

On August 24, mousse impacted shoreline south of Aransas Pass.

By August 26, most of North Padre Island was covered with moderate amounts of oil.

On September 1, the entire south Texas coast had been impacted by oil.

Ultimately, 71,500 barrels of oil impacted 162 miles of U.S. beaches, and over 10,000 cubic yards of oiled material were removed.

Here are some photos of the shoreline in Texas 600 miles away in Aug, Sept and Oct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 SOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few simularities:

Sedco rig at Ixtoc who later became Transocean
Both BOP’s failed to work correctly

3% of the oil was recovered at sea in both cases using booms and skimmers
Dispersant were used in both cases mainly on emulsion which was both inefficient and expensive.
Dispersant was used for the first time at the wellhead during DWH its efficiency is questionable.
5% of the oil was burned in-situ at DWH where as the well burned at Ixtoc
Dome placed over the well at Ixtoc called Sombrero at DWH called Top hat both failed
Steel balls forced into the well to stem the flow
at Ixtoc DWH Junk shot both failed
Introduction of drilling mud to reduce the flow Top kill tried at both and failed
Plumes of oil in the water column at both
Both resolved with relief wells Ixtoc after 9 months and DWH after 3 months

It seems very strange to me that both these oil spills were of large proportions and the both oils emulsified, one was 41 miles off the coast while the other was 600 miles away yet the shoreline impact was worse from the Ixtoc 1 than DWH. Therefore in my opinion there was more oil from Ixtoc 1 than from DWH.

Every day that passes it looks like, what Tony Hayward said “I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest,” along most of the coastline he was probably right.

To go back to the world series statement at the start, it now becomes obvious why the figures have been manipulated to be the supposed biggest marine accident to date. It has now been decided that BP will pay US$1,500 per barrel so the more you up the figure the more the fine becomes.

One thing is for sure the cost will get into the Guinness Book of Records. BP said in November that the cost of the oil spill had risen to $11.6 billion. Total costs are expected to reach about $40 billion, including $20 billion set aside for compensation payments in an agreement signed with the US government. Costing more than all the past oil spills on earth since World War 2.

It has taken until Feb 2012 to find the disparacy in quantities across the different articles about DWH. 

We now have a difference between 454,000 – 480,000mt for Ixtox1 and 77,000 – 250,000mt for DWH of course the fines will be based on the highest.


Oil Spill Sad Facts

 

1. Gulf War Oil Spill
Tons spilled: 1,360,000-1,500,000
In January 1991, Iraqi forces deliberately released more than 240 million gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf in an attempt to thwart an amphibious landing by the U.S. Marines. The resulting oil slick ravaged the area’s marine ecosystem, killing thousands of seabirds and endangering other wildlife. To date, it remains the worst disaster of its kind.

2. Ixtoc I
Tons spilled: 454,000-480,000
The exploratory oil well Ixtoc I exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on June 3, 1979, spewing 140 million gallons of oil into the open sea. It took control experts more than nine months to cap the spill and begin cleanup. Thousands of endangered sea turtles were airlifted to safety when the oil slick encroached upon their nesting site.

3. The Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain
Tons spilled: 287,000
On July 19, 1979, two gigantic supertankers collided off the Caribbean island of Little Tobago during a tropical rainstorm. The accident killed 26 crew members and dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into the sea.

4. Fergana Valley
Tons spilled: 285,000
In March 1992, 88 million gallons of oil spilled from a well in Fergana Valley, a densely populated industrial and agricultural zone in Uzbekistan. It remains the largest inland oil spill in history.

5. Nowruz Oil Field
Tons spilled: 260,000
On February 10, 1983, at the height of the Iran-Iraq War, an oil tanker collided with the Nowruz platform in the Persian Gulf. The slick caught fire when Iraqi planes attacked, and it took Iranian workers more than six months to cap the well. Eleven people died in the process.

6. ABT Summer
Tons spilled: 260,000
The Liberian supertanker ABT Summer exploded off the coast of Angola on May 28, 1991, killing five crew members. Millions of gallons of oil leaked into the Atlantic Ocean.

7. Castillo de Bellver
Tons spilled: 252,000
On August 6, 1983, a fire broke out aboard the Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver, causing a massive explosion that spilled 78 million gallons of oil off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. A shift in winds pushed the oil offshore, minimizing the disaster’s environmental effects.

8. Amoco Cadiz
Tons spilled: 223,000
On March 16, 1978, the Amoco Cadiz supertanker wrecked off the coast of Portsall, France. Ultimately, 240 miles of France’s Brittany coast suffered oil damage, with millions of dead mollusks and sea urchins washing ashore. This was the first time images of oil-coated sea birds were seen by the world.

9. M/T Haven
Tons spilled: 144,000
The M/T Haven, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), suffered a huge explosion off the coast of Genoa, Italy, on April 11, 1991. Six crew members were killed, and the Mediterranean coasts of Italy and France remained polluted for the next 12 years.

10. Odyssey
Tons spilled: 132,000
In November 1988, the American-owned Odyssey drilling rig burst into flames and split in two off the coast of Novia Scotia. The accident killed one person and poured 43 million gallons of oil into the sea.

 


A spill settlement could leave Halliburton cash for buybacks

 

If negotiations between the federal government and companies linked to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill lead to a settlement with Halliburton, it could present an opportunity for the company to repurchase some of its stock and boost its share prices, an analyst said Monday.

“A Macondo resolution would allow the company to resume buying back stock and expect Halliburton to be a relative outperformer,” Barclays Capital wrote in a Monday morning analyst’s note.

Halliburton was the cement contractor on BP’s Macondo well, which blew out in April 2010, killing 11 workers on Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spilling an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

The federal government has filed suit alleging Clean Water Act violations that could result in billions of dollars in fines, depending on how a federal court apportions culpability for the spill and whether it finds the disaster resulted from gross negligence.

In the first quarter Halliburton booked a $300 million charge for estimated loss contingencies related to the accident. Analysts have said that Halliburton estimates the total loss it will incur to be about $1 billion.

The company has been conserving its cash in preparation for a possible payout, and now has about $2.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Barclays believes some of that might be available for a stock buyback when the litigation is resolved.

Halliburton’s stock has been volatile in the two years since the accident, pulled in opposite directions by uncertainty surrounding its spill liability and by its role as a major provider of oil field services technology that’s driving the boom in oil and gas production from shale formations. Its shares fell from $34.96 just before the accident to $28.63 that summer, then reached a high of $57.20 in July 2011. In the past year, the low price of natural gas and drop in natural gas drilling has contribute to another stock decline, and it now hovers around $28, a price that analysts believe does not reflect its underlying value.

“Despite the challenges in the North American Markets that have weighed on the shares, HAL remains a best-in-class domestic franchise and internationally volumes are trending higher and we expect margins to improve throughout the year,” Barclays wrote.Source

 


The Gulf Oil Disaster: 1 image equals 1000 Words

Hey hi ) I dont agree 100% with Alex Jones,Infowars or /and Jesse Ventura but I have to admit they both hit a nerve. Something wasn’t adding up in both disasters.Something wasn’t right. And I say that as an ex Oil Engineer/Researcher.Something wasn’t right from the beginning. My apologies it took me so long to end up on this one.concentrating all theories which.. BTW.. they are not conspiracies.. Those are your only reality.. Scroll back at my older Oil posts.. something is Greasy,many interests not even in conflict but working together.

Even the Anaheim event was staged. I mean Jesus..


9 Mysterious Deaths For BP

The Intel Hub
October 27, 2011

In the last year and a half at least 10 experts, whistleblowers and BP connected individuals have died under mysterious circumstances.

This information was widely reported in an April 10th, 2011 video which at the time listed 9 deaths and 3 imprisonments, disappearances, or attempted assassinations.

Now, another BP oil spill connected individual has mysteriously died, moving the number of oil spill connected deaths to at least 10.

George Thomas Wainwright, a BP ROV pilot was supposedly killed in a freak shark attack in Australia.

The avid outdoorsman and Texas A&M graduate was a marine systems engineer involved with capping the Macondo well after last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wainwright – whose body was recovered by the college friends he was boating with – is the third man killed by a great white in the state in two months.

While this is obviously a very sad story, it may have a more sinister meaning considering the fact that at least 9 other BP and oil spill related whistleblowers or experts have died since the oil spill that saw a horrendous amount of openly toxic dispersant sprayed throughout the gulf.

Consider this breakdown from Real Coastal Warriors:

Tucker Mendoza

April 2, 2011 – Tucker Mendoza, gulf truth activist, still recovering, along with his niece. Shot four times through his front door, niece hit twice. Anyone with information regarding this shooting incident should call St. John the Baptist Parish Detectives at 985-359-8769 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

 

 

 

 

 

Gregory Stone

February 17, 2011 – LSU scientist Gregory Stone, 54 – Died of Unknown Illness. Stone was an oft-quoted

expert concerning the damage the leaked oil might cause to the coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony Nicholas Tremonte

January 26, 2011 – Anthony Nicholas Tremonte, age 31 – Mississippi Department of Marine Resources officer, from Ocean Springs arrested on child porn charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Thomas B. Manton

January 19, 2011 – Dr. Thomas B. Manton, former President and CEO of the International Oil Spill Control Corporation – imprisonment and subsequent murder while jailed.

 

 

 

 

John P. Wheeler III

December 31, 2010 – John P. Wheeler III, a former Pentagon official and presidential aide and a defense consultant and expert on chemical and biological weapons – was beaten to death in an assault, body was discovered in a Wilmington landfill.

 

 

 

 

James Patrick Black

November 23, 2010 – James Patrick Black, an incident commander for BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill response team, died Tuesday night near Destin, Florida in a small plane crash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chitra Chaunhan

November 15, 2010 – Chitra Chaunhan, age 33, worked in the USF Center for Biological Defense and Global Health Infectious Disease Research – Found dead in an apparent suicide by cyanide at a Temple Terrace hotel. She leaves behind a husband and a young child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Geoffrey Gardner

November, 2010 – MIA Status – Dr. Geoffrey Gardner of Lakeland, FL – Swan expert who “ran into legal trouble over an expired prescription license has closed his practice” — Was investigating unexplained bird deaths near Sarasota abruptly and immediately closed his practice, and apparently his investigation into the deaths of swans in Sarasota, suspected to have been impacted by the BP Oil Disaster. No one has heard or spoken with him since. Watch this news report covering his investigation before his disappearance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqbx2TnbYlc&feature=player_embedded

 

 

 

Roger Grooters

October 6, 2010 – Roger Grooters, age 66, was hit by a truck as he passed through Panama City, Florida. Mr. Grooters had been knocked down and killed close to the end of a 3,200-mile trans-America charity ride to raise awareness about the Gulf Coast oil disaster. He began his cross-country bike ride in Oceanside, California, on September 10th. Grooters’s family and friends will cycle the final stretch of the journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic in his honour, raising cash to support Gulf Coast families.

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Ted Stevens

August 9, 2010 – Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, 86, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, was among nine people on board when the 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter, crashed into a brush- and rock-covered mountainside Monday afternoon about 17 miles north of the southwest Alaska fishing town of Dillingham, federal officials said. Stevens was the recipient of a whistleblower’s communication relative to the BP Oil Disaster blow-out preventer, and a conspiracy of secrecy to hide the facts from the public.

“You and your fellow Committee members may wish to require BP to explain what action was ultimately instituted to cease the practice of falsifying BOP tests at BP Prudhoe drilling rigs. It was a cost saving but dangerous practice, again endangering the BP workforce, until I exposed it to Senator Ted Stevens, the EPA, and the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.” The cause of the crash is still an OPEN investigation by the NTSB (http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp?id=ANC10MA068&rpt=p)

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Simmons

August 13, 2010 – Matthew Simmons, age 67 – Simmons’ body was found Sunday night in his hot tub, investigators said. An autopsy by the state medical examiner’s office concluded Monday that he died from accidental drowning with heart disease as a contributing factor – “It was painful as can be” to be only insider willing to speak out against the “officials” during the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scientist Joseph Morrissey

April 6, 2010 – Scientist

Scientist Joseph Morrissey, age 46 – cell biologist and college professor, a near-native Floridian who chose to return to South Florida after studying at elite universities – was fatally shot during what police say was a home invasion robbery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, after the untimely death of George Thomas Wainwright we can add another to this eerie list: (First part of deaths lists courtesy of Real Coastal Warriors.)

Marine Systems Engineer George Thomas Wainwright

October 22nd/23rd 2011 – BP ROV pilot George Wainwright was killed in apparent freak shark attack off the cost of Australia where some believe he was hiding out in fear of his life.(unconfirmed)

These mysterious deaths absolutely must be investigated but without widespread media coverage they will most likely remain largely unknown. The sad fact is most journalists may actually fear reprisal if they even bring up these deaths.Source


Jatropha biofuels: the true cost to Tanzania

.Billed as wonder crop, the establishment of jatropha plantations on the ground in Tanzania has been far from successful, or, in some cases, ethical

Biofuel investment and production in Tanzania is a highly contentious issue.

Biofuel investors have been doing business in Tanzania since 2000, but business stepped up a gear after 2006. To date there are 17 investor companies here, from UK, Germany, Sweden, the Nederlands and America – a small number compared to those in Brazil and Indonesia, but a number with clear motives.

With over four million hectares requested by investors for biofuels (but only 650,000 hectares currently allocated), this is a sizeable potential earner for Tanzania.

Or is it? Much of the hype and excitement surrounding biofuels – and surrounding the oil seed crop jatropha in particular – seems to be coming from international consultants and investors. Ministers, farmers, politicians and NGOs who are based here are unanimous in one thing: scepticism. Dr Felician Kilahama, head of Tanzanian Beekeeping and Forestry, and part of the task force overseeing jatropha cultivation in Tanzania puts it succinctly: ‘How will jatropha benefit Tanzania? Well exactly. We have no answers. We want food first, not jatropha’.

Jo Anderson, a Tanzanian environmental consultant, feels similarly:
‘There’s a lot of theory about jatropha. Despite acres of scientific research, there’s no evidence of it working on a large scale at all. It’s driven by the industrialised countries and donors’ need to find potential fuel to mitigate against environmental problems: it’s sold as a plant that grows anywhere: on degraded land, as a hedgerow… Any poor farmer can just put it in, and get rich. But jatropha doesn’t grow on the commercial industrial scale needed to run biodiesel plants: the transaction costs of large scale don’t add up. On a small scale, say 500 villages, you could produce the oil for this village to cook on, but not enough to run it at the size the investors need.’

READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INVESTIGATION INTO THE UK FUND MANAGERS SELLING JATROPHA AS AN ETHICAL INVESTMENT

A crop of questions

The arguments around jatropha fall into several distinct categories. First the land-use debate: can it actually be grown on marginal land? Should valuable land be used for food, or fuel? And how should land be partitioned, both nationally and at village level? What about the water and forests on that land: how does one calculate their actual economic, social, cultural, ecological and projected value, and to whom? Locals or investors?

And then come questions of benefit: will Tanzania actually profit from biofuels – can we use biofuels here rather than simply export to Europe and the US?

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) claims that over 70 per cent of Tanzania is potentially available for agriculture, yet for this to be true valuable indigenous forest must be cut down. Dr Felician Kilahuma, Head of The Beekeeping and Forestry Ministry is worried: ‘Thus far villagers who are desperately poor have sold off land at way below its market value to biofuel investors without fully understanding or thinking it through – they are selling off valuable investments. Plus of course, in Rufigi [an area in Southern Tanzania], one of the 25 allocated global hotspots – an area of ‘outstanding natural biodiversity’ – 81,000 hectares were given over to [bioenergy company] SEKAB for biofuels. This is valuable forest, where the rare hardwoods African blackwood, and mpingo are grown.’

SEKAB was in the process of closing down its operations in Tanzania as this article was written and refused to comment: so far the future of this plantation is unclear.

Land clearances

The story is not an isolated case. A report published by WWF Tanzania in March 2009, ‘Biofuel Industry Study: An Assessment of the Current Situation’, includes a very long list of endemic animals and plants (including rare orchids and the rarest bush baby in the world – Galago rondoensis) on the the redlist living in areas where Dutch firm BioShape has plantations.

Land has been cleared there, admits BioShape, but not by burning, and the company says it has paid compensation. Opponents say the land was not gained legally, and that it makes no sense to counter climate change through deforestation. The Makonde carvers flourish in this area, and the hardwoods are used to make woodwind instruments. And, as Fred Nelson, of the NGO Tanzania Natural Resources Forum points out, ‘The World Bank says managed forests can potentially earn $25-$50 a month for villagers, from medicinal products, food, charcoal… we don’t know what jatropha can earn for people yet’.

Mark Baker, of EI consultants based in Tanzania, is less equivocal:
‘Recently, in Kilwa, the Dutch firm BioShape rejected land that is labelled barren, or idle, in favour of fertile forest, the Namatimbile, the largest coastal forest in East Africa. Why did they do that if jatropha can grow on weak land? And anyway, what exactly is ‘barren’ land if it is being used extensively by pastoralists?’

Like SEKAB, BioShape said that it has now completely ceased operations in Tanzania, for reasons that are unclear. No-one from the company was prepared to comment on its activities.

Not indigenous

SEKAB and Bioshape are not alone: of the nine other major jatropha investors in Tanzania, 90 per cent are using at least some land that is not considered ‘marginal’, according to WWF.

A key question is whether jatropha really is as hardy and durable as its supporters claim. Geoffrey Howard, of the International Union of Conservation of Nature in Kenya says: ‘Because jatropha is used locally on graves by East Africans we assume it’s indigenous. It’s not. Jatopha is essentially an invasive species. It is thirsty, needs irrigation and in no studies has it met the expectations of projected yields, either in terms of fruit, or oil produced.’

Jam tomorrow

Perhaps the least investigated side of the jatropha debate is the social and economic implications. It is hard for most people in the industrialised world to imagine the level of desperation that many Tanzanians experience. In the Rufigi Delta, where Swedish firm SEKAB has recently halted its work with jatropha, locals look set to be bitterly disappointed.

Mohamed Osman Makaui, a resident of Nyamage village in Rufigi, who was unaware the project had completely stopped, told me: ‘Overall my expectations for the future of the village are good and I am hopeful about the presence of the [biofuel] company here. If the company sticks to what they have agreed in their discussions with us, the income of our village will grow and everyone will benefit from their presence.’

According to WWF’s report, no compensation had been paid for land at the time of publication in March 2009, and no jobs created. The campaign group also alleged that glaring holes exist where labour relations, child labour and health and safety considerations should be; though Tanzanian law states these are necessary preconditions for investors, in practice they can’t enforce these practices. At the time, SEKAB told WWF that it was still waiting for the land deeds, and that compensation will be paid when these are received. Now that the company has ceased operations in Tanzania, the likelihood of compensation being paid is unknown.

In a damning Oxfam report, ‘Another Inconvenient Truth’, a subsidiary of British firm Sun Biofuels plc was criticised for telling the press it was awarding compensation of over $600,000 to villagers who allowed jatropha to be planted on their land, a figure that was later revealed to be twice the offered amount, and many times what actually seems to have been taken up by villagers who were uncertain on what to do with their claim forms.

In fact, WWF’s research suggests that even where land was purchased, over half the biofuel investors did not carry out Environmental Impact Assessments, and none consulted villagers or informed them of what they were doing, or offered villagers opportunities in farming management.

A way forward?

There is clearly a big need for thorough and comprehensive minimum standards for jatropha investors, both before they arrive in Tanzania, and once they are here.

Says Professor Pius Yanda at the Institute for Research on Environment at the University of Dar Es Salaam: ‘At the moment there is a complete freeze on jatropha investors, as we assess what our options are for jatropha. Minimum guidelines need to include clear definitions of no-go areas for investors, and a policy for jatropha use here in Tanzania, so we run our own cars, buses and factories on jatropha. At present Fairtrade International is researching jatropha as a fair trade product, we shall see.’

But jatropha could yet be produced in an equitable and sustainable way. On the ground in Tanzania, firms were distinctly cagey about agreeing to let the Ecologist look at their projects, but one notable exception was Diligent Energy Systems. After two years, this small Dutch company has signed up 5000 farmers to grow jatropha.

What makes Diligent so interesting is that it owns no land. Effectively it ‘outsources’ the growing: villagers get the economic benefits of money for seeds and cultivation. Secondary benefits include oil for cooking stoves, lamps, oilseed cake (which Diligent is encouraging villagers to put into anaerobic digesters, producing biogas with which to cook), soap, and fertiliser for use on other crops.

There’s no perceptible negative impact, though as Hayo De Feijter, general manager of Diligent, admits: ‘It’s not terribly profitable for farmers yet – 5kg of jatropha yields about 1 litre of oil, but potentially it’s only positive. We aim to make money for local farmers, and for the company, and we avoid all the environmental problems or compensation issues: we pay there and then. If this model could be developed – outgrowing schemes – it’s very hopeful.’

The farmers seem to agree with him. Mzee El Rahema, based in Makoa, in West Kilimanjaro says: ‘I get 180 shillings per kilo (18 pence) of jatropha; I do farming as well, but the extra income means the kids get food, schooling, clothes. It absolutely, definitely does help me and our community, and I am delighted.’

Thembi Mutch is a freelance journalist based in Tanzania

Source


When Life Gives You OIL Dispersants Toxicity …

Oil is known to be toxic to living organisms of all types. However, oil dispersants used to treat and control oil spills also can be harmful and lethal.

Oil dispersants are useful when oil spills occur and these dispersants are helpful in the control and management of oil spills in saline or fresh waters. Oil dispersants permit oil spills to be processed and degraded more rapidly by creating oil-dispersant-water interfaces. Oil dispersants remove oil from the water surface and cause it to sink into the water column. Also, subsurface oil masses subjected to underwater dispersants are prevented from rising to the surface. Both surface and subsurface oil dispersants contribute to the formation of distinct underwater oil plumes.
Oil Dispersant Chemical Composition of COREXIT

Listed below are the EPA-listed components (epa.gov) contained in the two major COREXIT products used by BP for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

COREXIT Oil Dispersant – Biochemical Composition

1,2-Propanediol (CAS: 57-55-6)
Ethanol, 2-butoxy-* (CAS: 111-76-2)
Butanedioic acid, 2-sulfo-, 1,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl) ester, sodium salt (1:1) (CAS: 577-11-7)
Sorbitan, mono-(9Z)-9-octadecenoate (UCAS: 1338-43-8)
Sorbitan, mono-(9Z)-9-octadecenoate, poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) derivs. (CAS: 9005-65-6)
Sorbitan, tri-(9Z)-9-octadecenoate, poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) derivs. (CAS: 9005-70-3 )
Propanol, 1-(2-butoxy-1-methylethoxy)- (CAS: 29911-28-2 2)
Distillates (petroleum), hydrotreated light (CAS: 64742-47-8 )

(*Note: Ethanol, 2-butoxy- is not contained in Corexit 9500 and the CAS numbers provided above are registry numbers of the American Chemical Society)

Hydrogen Sulfide Problem? Reduce H2S in oils and fuels Sulfix™ H2S scavengers http://www.bakerhughes.com/sulfix
Oil Spill Detection Using Coastal or Port radar system Automatic Real Time Oil Spill Alert http://www.VissimVts.com

In summary, the major components of COREXIT are essentially butanedioic acid, butoxyethanol, propanediol, propanol, sorbitan (octadecenoate compounds and derivatives) and some light petroleum distillates. Depending on the concentration, each of these products alone has some toxic or lethal characteristics.
Oil Dispersant Toxicity Lab Tests

The EPA has established specific laboratory procedures to evaluate the toxicity of the 18 different dispersants currently approved for use to treat oil spills. These lab tests involve the following major aspects:

test organisms (one specific species of fish and one specific species of crustacean)
serial diluted concentrations of dispersant or oil to yield known parts per million (ppm)
introduction of test organisms and timed exposure for 48 and 96 hours
observation and recording of live and dead test organisms after the 48- and 96-hr exposure and comparison with controls not exposed to either dispersant or dispersant-oil combination

Oil Dispersant Lab Methods and Results

The healthy fish and the crustaceans are counted and added in defined numbers to the test and control containers. Control containers contain neither the dispersant nor the oil and controls serve to determine if anything abnormal is happening in the test system. Typically, all control animals survive in the control containers. Experimental test containers harbor the diluted dispersant or dispersant-oil materials at the different, measured concentrations in ppm.

Cited here below are actual lab results in parts per million for dispersant alone and dispersant mixed with fuel oil. Notice that the dispersant alone requires higher ppm to cause death than the combination of fuel oil and dispersant. This shows that this combination is more dangerous than dispersant alone. No results are given for fuel oil alone. This control is omitted for these tests:

COREXIT® EC9500A was tested on the fish Menidia beryllina and the crustacean Mysidopsis bahia and the LC50 (ppm) was 25.20 at 96-hr and 32.23 48-hr respectively for each species.
COREXIT® EC9500A and No. 2 Fuel Oil (1:10) mixed tested similarly with Menidia beryllina and the crustacean Mysidopsis bahia yielded an LC50 of 2.61 at 96-hr and 3.40 at 48-hr.

(Data above is adapted from epa.gov. Accessed June 11, 2010.)
Oil Dispersants and Animal and Human Toxicity

Oil, dispersants and oil-dispersant mixtures are known to have toxicity for marine animals in their natural environments (response.restoration.noaa.gov. Accessed June 11, 2010) However, the overall and detailed long-term effects of these chemicals and mixtures on marine animals is not documented.

People using oil dispersants are advised to use:

a half face filter mask or an air-supplied breathing apparatus (protects respiratory tissues of the nose, throat, bronchi and lungs)
nitrile or PVC gloves, coveralls, boots for skin protection
chemical splash goggles for eye safety

Product warnings from the manufacturer clearly indicate the possible dangers of contact with concentrated or diluted dispersants. Therefore, skin, respiratory and ocular damage is possible when exposed to oil dispersants.

In summary, dispersants alone, or when combined and interacting with oil, pose hazards to animals and humans. Long term studies on the effects of these chemicals on individuals and populations is lacking and it may be hypothesized that internal tissue damage to essential organs such as liver, kidneys and intestines of animals and humans may well occur. The EPA is expected to make some of these determinations following the current BP Gulf spill.

Read more at Suite101: Oil Dispersant Toxic Effects on Animals and Humans | Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/oil-dispersant-toxic-effects-on-plants-animals-and-humans-a247831#ixzz21W7VqTJE


Obama Promised GMO Labeling in 2007

According to a poll conducted by Reuters Thompson, more than 90% of Americans feel that products containing GMOs should be labeled.  Back in 2007, Obama pulled the support of GMO activists by promising to push for proper labeling of GMO food items, stating that he would push to “let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.” Of course the promise was not fulfilled, as 4 years later in 2011 GMO foods are still not properly labeled. In fact, products containing the Non-GMO label have actually been found to contain GMOs.

Not only has Obama been completely silent on the GMO labeling issue despite his bold statements, but so has the FDA — the very organization in charge of ensuring the ‘health’ of United States consumers. An organization that has caused even more harm, however, is the USDA. The USDA has been approving the production of many new genetically modified crops, including the highly-controversial genetically modified alfalfa. Despite the warnings of scientists and health activists over the dangers of genetically modified crops on human health and the environment, the USDA has continually supported biotech corporation Monsanto over the American public.

GMOs rambunctiously approved by the FDA and USDA, despite known dangers

Despite acknowledging the fact that these crops lead to herbicide-resistant weeds, the USDA assures consumers that these DNA-altering crops are safe for consumption.

As the FDA and USDA continually approve genetically modified creations such as AquaAdvantage salmon without proper labeling, it becomes necessary for consumers to take action. Major ‘health’ food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s still offer products that contain GMOs that are either not labeled at all, or deceptively so. Slogans like ‘All Natural’ mean virtually nothing when it comes to GMOs and other toxic ingredients, tricking shoppers into thinking they are avoiding these health sinks.

Tell Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to label their GMO products and stop deceiving customers. It seems that it will be health-conscious activists, not Obama, who will ”let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.”


Statoil: The Transcript of One Of The Best Kept Energy Secrets In North America

 

It’s not shocking to learn that world oil production is expected to grow modestly over the next five years. But when you look at WHERE that oil growth is expected to come from I bet you’ll be surprised.

To get a perspective from the field, today I’m talking with Stephen Bull, Vice President of Strategy DPNA for Statoil. To find out how Statoil is playing an integral role in America’s energy boom AND why this Norwegian company is one of the best kept secrets in North America, listen to the full interview below…

Full Transcript Below:

Matt Insley, Managing Editor, Daily Resource Hunter:
Welcome to the Daily Resource Hunter. This is our operator spotlight. Today, I have the pleasure of talking with Stephen Bull, he’s the Vice President of Strategy for Development and Production in North America onshore for Statoil. Stephen also heads up the integration team in their Bakken business unit. As we know, the Bakken and a lot of unconventionals in the US have been booming lately. Stephen, thanks for being here. It’s great to sit down and talk with you today.

Stephen Bull, Vice President, Strategy DPNA Onshore, Statoil: Thank you, Matt.

Matt: We might as well get right into the questions. Before we get into any details, could you tell us a little bit about your company, Statoil?

Stephen Bull: Yeah, sure. Statoil will be 40 years old this year. We’re an international company with operations in 41 countries. We have 21,000 employees, and we’ve got a market cap now of about $83 billion. For the last 10 years, we’ve been listed on the New York and the Oslo stock exchanges. Really, the company started out on the Norwegian continental shelf as the national oil company of Norway, developing resources there. Since that time, particularly in the last 10 years, we’ve grown our international portfolio pretty big — nearly 25 percent of our production now comes from the international outside of Norway.

We’re producing just over 2 million barrels a day, and then we’ve got pretty ambitious growth targets. We had a 3 percent growth rate annual on the last 10 years, and we expect to have the same one for the next 10 years going out there. The company itself is sort of a semi-national and private oil company. Our goal is to accommodate the world’s energy needs in a responsible manner, and apply the technology that we’ve developed over the years to create innovative business solutions.

Matt: And that clearly has pointed you in the direction of US onshore operations, which is interesting for you guys as an offshore company. Statoil in the last couple of years has been part of several newsworthy deals in the US market. Can you tell us a little bit about those deals and where you guys are focused in the US?

Stephen Bull: We started off our US business in the offshore environment in 2004, and we started in our Houston office. It was a natural movement from our deepwater operations in the Norwegian continental shelf to move over to the Gulf of Mexico. From 2008 onwards, we started to invest in the US shale business. We’ve been looking at the unconventional space for some time before that, looking at tight gas, looking at coal bed methane and also into shale. The deal that we struck there was in late 2008 with Chesapeake Energy where we acquired a third of their Marcellus acreage portfolio, which is about 700,000 acres to ourselves today.

From there, we really went to a learning phase. We started to build up an office in Houston and employed locals and expats that we could develop and build as a shadow organization and work with Chesapeake. In addition, we took out 12 Norwegians secondees who we basically sent up there with an SUV and a backpack, and they went up to Oklahoma City and sort of worked up there for two years learning all the technical disciplines from Chesapeake.

Matt: So everything started with 12 Norwegians hopping in an SUV and heading to Oklahoma?

Stephen Bull: Yeah, pretty much. Then, it’s grown from there. We now have nearly 1.2 million acres total in the US in shale, and that’s built from on top of the Marcellus acquisition and a partnership we have with Chesapeake. Then in 2010, we entered into the Eagle Ford, in which is a 50/50 joint development with Talisman Energy, a Canadian energy company, and that is a pathway to operatorship for ourselves where we expect to start operating starting out through into 2013.

The last sort of icing on the cake that we’ve seen from our developments in shale has been the acquisition of Brigham Exploration. That was in 2011, a big deal for us, a $4.7 billion acquisition. We took the whole company. I’m based here in Austin. We continue with our operations and our office in Austin, and we have 375,000 acres in the heart of the Williston Basin. We took on the whole of the operating organization and all the personnel. It’s been a very, very successful story for us so far.

Matt: It seems like you guys were — just starting in 2008 in the right place at the right time with the Chesapeake deal, and now, with oil prices where they are, getting into Bakken and getting your production ramped up at this point is definitely a good situation to be in. I guess this just begs the bigger question. Why is the world’s larger offshore operator, a Norwegian company, focusing its primary efforts onshore in the US?

Stephen Bull: For us, the onshore business a big part of our future investments for sure, and it’s a big driver for our North American operations. Remember, it is just part of the other aspects of our growth strategy. We still continue with exploration. We still continue to build new positions in about 3 to 5 bigger offshore clusters, and that builds on our deep water story. We’re the biggest international operator in Brazil. We have large production and acreage acquisitions that we’ve made in deep water Angola. We’re a very large owner in the Gulf of Mexico. We see a lot of more exploration upside in these different plays.

At the same time, we’re still developing and spending a lot of money in our Norwegian continental shelf. The Berents Sea in particular up towards the border with Russia in the Arctic has been a fantastic story for us with some high impact wells that we’ve realized over the last year and a half. Also, we’re seeing new partnerships as well with Russia that we’ll be developing into the eastern blocs of Russia as well offshore.

We’re still building a midstream and a downstream business as well. We’re looking at CAPEX investments of about $20 billion globally for the company. This is a big part of our business in the US onshore, a big driver locally, but it is part of a bigger picture of investments throughout the world.

Matt: It seems as if in 2011, Statoil restructured its focus a little bit, and that includes the US onshore operations. Can you explain how that pertains to the unconventional oil and gas shale plays that we’re seeing pop up sort of everywhere around the US?

Stephen Bull: Sure. Globally, we’re seeing positive developments in oil and gas prices in the future. We think that the outlook for the hydrocarbon energy business remains strong and good, and that when it comes to supply, we’re expecting about half of the world’s oil and gas resources will come from unconventionals. That could come from shale oil and gas, it could come from tight gas, it could come from tight oil formations, coal bed methane. It could even come from gas hydrates.

Having exposure and technology competence in the unconventional space is an important part of our strategy for developing in the rest of the world, moving outside of the US. But in terms of our US business, when we came in here, we saw that the growth opportunities were so large and our US business was so large that we actually split off the North American business from the international portfolio, so we have an executive vice president for the US. He’s an American. He sits on the corporate executive committee reporting to our CEO.

This is important for us because this really shows that we are a geoglobal company with — we’re a national company from Norway, but we have non-Norwegian nationals sitting on our corporate executive committee. We have another strategy group led by a British guy who’s based out of London. I think compared to other companies, you’ll see that we’re much more of an international flavor. The other part as to why we wanted to restructure is that we really want to learn and do this right in the US and really get the shale business exactly how we should be doing this.

Generally what we do in the company, when we feel we’ve mastered something, we want to take that technology, and we develop it over other areas. We do that in offshore heavy oil. We do it in our onshore operations in Venezuela and Canada as well, and this is what we expect to be doing here as well in our shale business.

Just to give you an example of that, Matt, we’ve got a new strategic co-operations with the Russian oil giant, Rosneft. Although a lot of this actually is in the Berents Sea, also there is an onshore dimension to this as well. There are some shale oil developments in southwest Russia in a place called Stavropol, and we actually have the cooperation and development thereto start drilling and exploring on behalf of Rosneft and ourselves. A few years ago, that would have been impossible for us, but now that we have the competence and the knowhow to do this, we’ll be spinning out these kinds of concepts around in the world a lot more in the future.

Matt: So not only are you learning while you’re increasing production here in the US, but you’ll be able to leverage that knowledge in some of your other international plays. Getting back to the United States, which of those US unconventional deposits do you see having the most potential?

Stephen Bull: The three areas we’re in: we’re in the Marcellus, dry gas; we have the Eagle Ford, which is liquids and condensate and NGLs; and we have the Bakken, which is pretty much a pure oil play, some gas as well and NGLs. With these three areas, we’ve got a pretty good acreage position, we must admit, and we feel we’re at the heart of those plays. I think all three of them offer something particularly interesting. First of all, all three really are the bottom of the break even curve. If you look along there, check with any investment back or with other analysts, and you’ll see that when it comes to break even costs, these are some of the lowest plays, particular for the Marcellus, the lowest gas break-even pricing as well.

Eagle Ford and the Bakken as well are excellent when it comes to break even pricing, so we feel that we’ve positioned ourselves in a pretty good area. Although gas prices remain weak today, we expect them to strengthen in the future. If you want to be in a dry gas play, then basically the Marcellus is the best play you could think of in North America.

Matt: Yep.

Stephen Bull: There is a liquid upside as well. In West Virginia, in the panhandle, we’re developing with our partners Chesapeake so that we’re seeing a lot more NGLs. and that goes over towards Ohio and the Utica shale, Basically the northeast and the Marcellus in particular is potentially a massive powerhouse for the regeneration of American industry. We’ll see industrialization of hydrocarbons either going from gas to liquids or investments using simply gas based products.

Also potential to start getting pipelines out towards the Atlantic coastal markets, to actually switch out from the coal and in towards natural gas. The Marcellus is a leviathan of an asset. It really is. It has decades of drilling potential. The Eagle Ford is fantastically placed geographically so close to Houston and the gulf coast markets, so you get a very good price differential down there, and some pretty amazing wells and good growth prospects.

The Bakken is as well, which I personally am involved in pretty deeply here in Austin and also up in Williston at our office up there. The Williston Basin itself is much larger than we see, just around that North Dakota, around the Williston city itself. It goes up towards Canada as well. These assets keep giving back over time. They really do.

Matt: Yep. I guess just focusing right now a little bit more on North Dakota’s booming Bakken area, what makes Statoil’s position there unique?

Stephen Bull: Well, I think the presence that we got the in Bakken — as I mentioned, we got this through Brigham Exploration. Brigham itself is a well-known and reputable producer, it had a first class reputation as an operator in the area, and a real local presence as well in Williston that we’re very proud of. We’re gonna continue building on this work. We’re making a difference in the community there through two things. The first is the way we apply technology, and I think the second is our direct engagement in the community.

If you think of the technology aspect, which is important to our company, we’re investing in a huge pipeline network of over 700 miles of freshwater, saltwater and also oil as well. What’s important here is particularly that we have the oil terminals linked up to each other. That reduces the amount of trucking. Really the big thing here is actually the saltwater, which is the disposal water from the wells, and the fresh water that we’re using on hydraulic fracturing. Generally it’s thousands of truck loads that we’re just taking off the road in Williston by developing this pipeline infrastructure network.

We’ll be using this for our own operations, but also offering this to third party operators as well, so they will actually take some of the benefits of our infrastructure investments. Another part is that want to reduce flaring. We see flaring as an issue. From a Norwegian perspective, we have taxes on CO2. We have many initiatives from the government to reduce and cut out flaring on the North Sea. We can use similar techniques over here

Matt: And flaring, just for anyone that doesn’t know, that’s when you’re burning the natural gas off as a byproduct.

Stephen Bull: That’s right. You burn it off as a byproduct on the side as you’re producing your oil. Most operators don’t want to flare. We would prefer to actually put that into the pipe and sell it. We’re developing infrastructure networks and cooperating with a company called One Oak, which is developing a lot of processing capacity in the region, so we will be putting more and more of that natural gas and the NGLs from that natural gas into pipeline and selling it.

We want to try and commercialize this natural gas as well. Since natural gas prices are so low, we want to be using natural gas to create something called gas lift, where we’re pumping natural gas back into the well, into the vertical section. Instead of using pump jacks — you usually see the cliché of a pump jack all over those oil areas — we’re trying to work with natural gas to bring up the pressure there and to produce a lot more.

The other part is we’re using natural gas to develop some of our rigs. We can use natural gas to power locally onsite, so that means cutting diesel. Cutting diesel means cutting emissions. That’s the technology aspect of it. We’re working on some bigger plans on how to engage deeper in the community.
Just a few weeks ago, our manager of our Williston office was driving along through Williston actually seeing the amount of trash on the side of the highway. He said, “This is just such a mess. We’re closing the office.” They closed the office. They all went outside. They drove their own trucks. They pulled out some of their service supply companies as well, and they picked up trash all along the highway.

Matt: Wow.

Stephen Bull: And it set off a chain reaction with other companies wanting to do similar kind of things, so all of the small stuff that we want to do in the community, we would like to develop into something a bit bigger as well.

Matt: Yeah, and I can sort of vouch for that from my side, especially in regard to Statoil. You guys seem like you’re leading a lot of the new technologies, and especially the environmental technologies like flare reduction and, like you said, using natural gas to actually power the rig. That’s great to hear. It seems like not only are we seeing new technologies to produce more oil and gas than we could ever have thought of five years ago, but we’re also seeing new technology and new innovation for protecting the environment. It seems like you guys are definitely leading the way in that.

Switching gears a little bit, talking about New York State, they’ve banned the shale gas development with a moratorium on fracking, but I’ve also heard rumors that New York City is set to be fueled by Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale gas. Can you explain that situation in the northeast and tell us a little bit more about Statoil’s role there?

Stephen Bull: Yeah, sure. There remains a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York State, and there’s a general environmental investigation impact assessment that they will be developing. It’s out for hearing at the moment within New York State. They’re taking it slow.

Generally in the northeast, Pennsylvania has been an interesting state where they’ve really tried to manage the differences between what is a sort of blue collar industrial aspect of Pennsylvania, and environmentally is a very sensitive area as well, so they’ve managed that in a pretty good way, actually, to develop the Marcellus, and it works well. We hope that there will be a similar situation to New York, but we’ll just wait and see with that. In the meantime, we have plenty of acreage to develop in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

When we first looked into this business, our analysts — we have a large market analysis and trading hub in Stamford, Connecticut. When we all got together and we discussed how we see the fundamentals of the Marcellus in the future, our analysts looked ahead and thought, “Okay, there’s not enough pipeline in the area is one thing. You’re gonna produce a lot of natural gas. This thing is gonna get big. You’re gonna probably see some backing up here and also sort of excess supply in the area because the demand won’t take it.”

So what we thought, okay, generally as part of strategy in Statoil, we’ve always been happy to try and develop and find undersupplied high priced markets and put long term 20-year contracts together to get suppliers to build our pipeline systems for us. We identified two particular areas of growth. One was Manhattan — Manhattan Island, New York itself — and the other we saw in Toronto.

So within Manhattan, that’s pretty interesting because they only have one natural gas pipeline that crosses the river into Manhattan. That was constructed in 1958, and 50 percent of New Yorkers are getting their electricity from heating oil, which as you probably know has a very high CO2 content.

Matt: Yeah, and the price is quite high as well.

Stephen Bull: Absolutely, it is very high, compared to natural gas. So there’s 8 million residents there. It’s kind of a bottleneck market, so we’ve actually started development to get a pipeline through the river into Manhattan. That will be probably ready within about a year’s time.

The other project is the reversal of an existing pipeline from Toronto, which came down into the US. We’re seeing the natural decline of conventional natural gas production from Canada, so reversing this out into Toronto got us into a very profitable market. Toronto itself was one of the fastest growing cities in North America at the end of 2011. It had 132 high rise buildings under construction, and it still has huge growth potential, especially as natural gas is declining in Canada.

These kind of two areas are ones that we’re had the foresight to think ahead. We’re trying to do that for other areas as well, to get oil out of the Bakken and get that down into the gulf coast, and also we’ll be doing similar developments as well in the Eagle Ford.

Matt: So looking at the big picture, what’s your long term goal for production from North American unconventionals?

Stephen Bull: For the whole of our North American business, our goal is 500,000 barrels a day in 2020, and of that about 60 percent will be from our unconventional business here. That’s over a threefold increase on today’s production we’re expecting from the US.

Matt: So, in the coming year is there anything else we should be looking forward to from Statoil?

Stephen Bull: Yeah, absolutely. We’re gonna be developing our three continuing assets. We’d like to see more growth in the Bakken. We would like to grow that asset. We’d like to grow the Eagle Ford in particular. Something about the Eagle Ford is that we’ll be phasing ourselves into operatorship mode. We’ll be splitting acreage with Talisman, and we’re taking on operatorship ourselves in one of the areas there. That’s exciting for our organization to gear up towards operatorship and actually develop the technology that we would like to apply in that particular area and transfer that across the other areas we’re producing.

Also, I think we’ll see more deals. We’re looking at more and more acreage in North America. But you’re gonna see potentially more stuff from the international scene as well. I mentioned the cooperation that we have with Rosneft. We have other shale areas that we’re looking at globallyThe other part is that Statoil is not very well known in North America. We just have to admit that. We’re kind of one of the best kept secrets in the oil business. It’s a big company, but we want to be seen. We want to be known., I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of Statoil’s brand and name out there in the North American context this year.

Matt: I heard you speak a little while ago at a conference on developing unconventional shale gas. From that speech, you also were saying that by 2020, 12 percent of Statoil’s production will be coming from North American unconventionals. So when you look at that, it just seems like you guys are ramping up, and in particular at this timely point where it means a lot to get your foothold in the US market.

One thing that we always talk about at Daily Resource Hunter is how long is this boom gonna last? It’s sort of a new thing for all of us. Five years ago, natural gas prices were — well, it looked like we were gonna be importing natural gas, and now it looks like we’re gonna be exporting natural gas.

Not only that, but we’ve actually seen the declining curve of the US oil production. Instead of heading on that downward slope that we thought was gonna continue forever, it started to perk back up, and in the last couple of years it’s headed higher. So is this unconventional growth a flash in the pan or a true long term opportunity for American growth? What can we expect to see happening here just in the US long term?

Stephen Bull: This revolution we’ve seen with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling and the application of new technologies has been an amazing turnaround. Previously, I’d worked in market analysis. You try and draw supply/demand curves and expect one to meet the other. And as we say, this completely blew everyone out the water. As you say, there were expectations of large LNG imports from Russia, Qatar, and North Africa to the US, and now we’re talking about exporting it eventually.

It has been an absolutely amazing revolution, and I think we’re still seeing the effects of that. 25 percent of our natural gas in the US is coming from shale. Another 20-odd percent is probably coming from tight gas. Coal bed methane has always been producing along, and we have a declining in conventional production. The last figures from the Department of Energy show expectations of 5 percent growth in natural gas demand.

Natural gas has made an amazing impact, even in a short space of time. The demand side doesn’t pick up as quickly as one would hope for, and that’s because generally we just see switching from coal to natural gas, but we could see new technology, new applications, in the long term. The US is sitting on an amazing resource here. It’s done a lot to bring the US out of a very tricky and difficult recession with very low energy prices and a sort of renaissance in investment from natural gas related industries.

When it comes to the oil side, we’re sitting with a Qatar basically or a Kuwait up in the middle of North Dakota. There’s only 500,000 barrels a day being produced out of the Williston Basin today. Expectations are that will easily go to 1, maybe 1.5, million barrels a day. It could be a brand new hub in that whole area for a new trading, a new position that you’ll see in the US. You could be referring that to actually the flat price as opposed to the WTI price today.

It’s not a flash in the pan. We see — and I see it. I run with the economics, and we can see that this works. The new and further application of technology and increased recovery rates means that this is gonna get better over time. How we crack the code with new shale plays will be interesting. Some of the new shale plays we’re seeing in the US, some of these Mississippi lime, the granite wash, there are many other shale plays already existing in California and others around in the Rockies as well.

It’s the size of these things. The business model that we need to have, if you’re gonna divert for smaller play, will have to have less time on experimentation. You need to know what you’re doing pretty much straightaway and actually start turning a profit as quick as you can to develop these resources in the right way. This is gonna be the kind of thing that we expect to win at as well. We expect any company that has a good grasp and understanding of technology and can apply that as quickly as possible with the technology partners in the market, they’re the ones we’re gonna see as the winners.

As I said, on the big picture, unconventional resources, there’s a huge amount of resources in the world from China to South America to Australia and Europe. Some areas are easier to develop than others because of above surface risk, but we’re thinking this shale revolution is here to stay.

Matt: That’s great to hear. You guys have been in the right place at the time, in terms of being able to leverage this technology. And it’s good to hear just from a specific company standpoint that the boom that we’ve seen over the last couple of years seems to be headed in the same direction. It’s creating opportunity for investors, and for companies like Statoil and just the American economy in general.

Stephen, I want to thank you for your time here. We appreciate talking to you.Source

 


Chevron- An Alternative Report

In April 2010 Chevron released its 2009 Annual Report. It would not take long for the cover design – Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico ultra-deepwater drillship, the Discoverer Clear Leader – to seem a terribly poor choice.

Just days prior to publication, 18,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a Chevron operated pipeline in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Louisiana.

A far worse disaster struck less than two weeks later. The largest blowout of an oil and gas well in the Gulf of Mexico in 30 years killed eleven people and saturated the surrounding areas in a blanket of oily destruction. The rig was owned and operated by Transocean, the same company with which Chevron has a five-year contract to operate the Discoverer Clear Leader, among other Chevron offshore rigs.

While the cover image of Chevron’s Annual Report shows a pristine rig, perhaps the more appropriate photo for Chevron will prove to be the image on page two: the sun setting on Chevron’s Way.

Chevron’s 2009 Annual Report celebrates 130 years of Chevron operations. In it, the company declares that the “values of The Chevron Way” include operating “with the highest standards of integrity and respect for human rights,” a deep commitment “to safe and efficient operations and to conducting our business in an environmentally sound manner,” and the building of “strong partnerships to produce energy and support communities.”

We, the communities and our allies who bear the consequences of Chevron’s offshore drilling rigs, oil and natural gas production, coal fields, refineries, depots, pipelines, exploration, chemical plants, political control, consumer abuse, false promises, and much more, have a very different account to offer. Thus, we have once again prepared an Alternative Annual Report for Chevron.

Written by dozens of community leaders from sixteen countries and ten states across the United States where Chevron operates, the 60-page report encompasses the full range of Chevron’s activities, from coal to chemicals, offshore to onshore production, pipelines to refineries, natural gas to toxic waste, and lobbying and campaign contributions to greenwashing. CorpWatch is proud to be a contributor to this important collaborative report.

On May 25, forty report authors will appear in Houston at a press conference to address the true cost of Chevron’s operations in their communities. On May 26, they will deliver the report directly to Chevron inside the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) while supporters rally outside.Source


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