Dealing with an oil spill

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Information about Dealing with an oil spill

Published on October 5, 2008

Author: GeoDave


Dealing with an oil spill : Dealing with an oil spill Slide 2: What are we dealing with? “petroleum or crude oil is a thick, dark brown or greenish flammable liquid, which exists naturally in the upper layers of some areas of the Earth's crust” Slide 3: Where does it come from? The top petroleum producing countries (ranked by amount produced ) are: Saudi Arabia (OPEC) United States Russia Iran (OPEC) Mexico China Norway Canada United Arab Emirates (OPEC) Venezuela (OPEC) United Kingdom Kuwait (OPEC) Nigeria (OPEC) Six of the main producers are members of a group called the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Slide 4: Why is there a problem? In order to move the oil from the producing countries to where it is needed, large amounts of oil are loaded into tankers. Every so often, one of these tankers has an accident….. An oil spill is the release of oil into the natural environment, usually the ocean. Oil means oil of any kind or in any form and includes crude oil, oil products such as diesel, oily waste, and oily bilge water. Oil can also be washed up on beaches, requiring a large amount of work to be cleaned up. Slide 5: If oil an spill occurs, then urgent action is needed. Any or all of the following techniques may be used: BOOM SKIMMER MOP/SPONGE CHEMICAL DISPERSANT PUMP SUCTION Slide 6: A boom is like a floating barrier. It is used to stop the oil spreading. It is cheap and effective. It works best in calm water. Slide 7: Pumps work like a hoover sucking up the liquid so that it can be safely disposed of. It is slow and difficult to collect oil by this method. Slide 8: Chemicals (dispersants) can be sprayed on to the oil to make it slowly disappear. The danger is that the chemicals themselves can cause harm to wildlife. It is an expensive technique. Boom Towing boat Chemicals being sprayed Slide 9: Here, high pressure hoses are being used to clean oil from beaches and rocky coastlines Slide 10: Sometimes, oil is just wiped from the rocks with sponges and rags. The red bags contain the oily sponges and rags. Slide 11: Although volunteers try to help clean up birds and animals such as these sea otters, many of them are beyond help and die. Slide 12: “The cost of removing oil offshore (by either dispersants or mechanical recovery) averaged $7,000/tonne, whereas shoreline cleanup ran as high as $$300,000/tonne” The total cost for this one oil spill was $2,000,000,000 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska 1989

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