Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gulf Oil Still Around

Spilling a glass of milk is bad enough, spilling 4.9 million barrels of crude is a disaster of a lifetime.


The title says it all. It's still around. Four months of cleaning and US$3 billion later, the slick is still around. Pathetic? Yes it is~

The wellhead was capped on July 15th, and the cleaning process followed soon after. Until recently, August that is, people have discovered oil residue in gulf beach sand.

In fact, scientists are still finding plenty of spilled Gulf oil—whether it's bubbling up from under Louisiana's islands, trapped underneath Florida's sugar-white beaches, or in the ocean's unseen reaches.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report said that about 33 percent of the spilled oil in the water has been burned, skimmed, dispersed, or directly recovered by cleanup operations.

This is how they clean up the mess.. burning the oil. This in turn will release a vast amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Another 25 percent has evaporated into the atmosphere or dissolved in the ocean, and 16 percent has been dispersed via natural breakup of the oil into microscopic droplets, the study says.

The U.S. government estimated that the Deepwater Horizon spill had yielded about 4.9 million barrels' worth of crude, that's 4900000 barrels~~ a barrel holds 159 litre of crude. At Rm 1.85 per litre, that's equal to a staggering RM 1.44 billion!
That amount of petrol could subject my bike to 289 million refueling, or support 289 million-100 CC motorcycle for a week.

This has a long term impact on the environment. Thousands of birds and marine life died in the process. The effect of this oil plume will go on for decades, if not centuries.

Having enough trouble on board, BP tries to settle some of the debt by selling some of its assets to Petronas~ At the start of August, the group agreed to offload its Colombian business for 1.9 billion dollars to national oil company Ecopetrol and Talisman of Canada, and they are expected to sell off up to 30 billion dollars of assets over the next 18 months to settle the costs from the oil spill disaster.

Lucky for us, Mother Nature has her own soldier to combat this problem.

Oil-eating bacteria is hard at work at the crime scene to help us clean up the mess. The ocean is home to many groups of bacteria that can break down the chemicals found in crude oil. Some, like Alcanivorax, are oil-eating specialists that are usually found in low numbers, only to bloom when oil spills provide them with a sudden banquet. That’s exactly what has happened in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nonetheless, there is no room for complacency. Effective though the bacteria are, the oil contains some components that they simply won’t be able to break down and the sheer scale of the spill cannot be taken lightly.

So the lesson to all of us: don't spill anything. You cannot see what's hidden behind the consequences. Spilling a glass of milk is bad enough, spilling 4.9 million barrels of crude is a disaster of a lifetime.



1 comment:

  1. well written. it's reli amazing bout God's creation , refering to the Alcanivorax XD



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