New Risks Moving Crude Oil by Rail
The rapidly changing landscape of crude oil exploration and drilling in the US and Canada, together with economic considerations, logistical issues related to pipeline transport, and the availability of new types of crude oils, including Bakken crude and various forms of bitumen, have resulted in a very sudden and dramatic increase in the transport of crude oil by railroad. “Unit trains” containing 100 or more tank cars are transporting crude oil through regions that have not previously experienced this type of rail transport, and there are significant concerns about safety.
Spill Response Continues on Mississippi River
The unified command in Paducah continues its response to a spill in the Mississippi River at mile marker 937, Wednesday as active recovery efforts are underway to remove the submerged clarified slurry oil spilled as a result of a collision involving two towboats on September 2, 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard reported. According to the Coast Guard, recovery is focused on the two anomalies near the incident site that were detected by high resolution side scan sonar. The two areas were broken down into 24 grids to enable response personnel to target removal of the oil and document the progress. As of Tuesday afternoon, an environmental clamshell equipped with precision dredge position software was removing moderate to heavily oiled sediment from the river bottom.
Marine Salvage & Oil Spill Response Insights
Last month Maritime Reporter had the good fortune to receive insights from a trio of maritime salvage leaders – Paul Hankins, Tim Beaver & Jim Elliott – garnering insights on one of the most challenging and ever-changing sectors of the maritime market. It was recently written “salvors have become more closely tied to Oil Spill Response Organizations (OSROs).” Why? Hankins The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90) defines how all stakeholders will respond to potential or actual oil spill responses.
BP Whiting Oil Spill: Latest Update
The US Coast Guard informs that weather conditions improved overnight enabling clean up operations and assessment activities to progress near the BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Indiana. High winds and heavy surf created unsafe conditions for contractors and assessment team personnel both Friday and Saturday, suspending activities. A Coast Guard helicopter returning from a separate mission conducted an overflight assessment of the area and did not observe any oil sheen on the water.
BP Whiting Refinery Spill: Latest Update
An assessment of yesterday's cleanup operations found small amounts of oil on the beach and along the east shoreline of the cove. A BP cleanup crew repositioned the boom to prevent the sheen from spreading outside of the cove and will remove the remaining traces of oil, inform the US Coast Guard. A shoreline cleanup and assessment technique team, comprised of members of the Coast Guard, EPA and BP, proceeded further northwest along the rocky wall of the cove this afternoon to determine the full extent of the oiling along the shore. Those efforts are ongoing.
Push Is On To Declutter Gulf of Idle Iron
Nearly two years ago, the Obama Administration tightened rules for removing “idle iron” – old oil platforms and pipelines – and on plugging unused wells in the Gulf of Mexico. That September 2010 move was part of a federal crackdown on deepwater oil and gas operations following the 2010 BP spill. Since then, heavy-lift companies have continued to rid the Gulf of unused structures and other firms have positioned themselves for that work. Under the 2010 rules, wells that hadn't been used for five years were to be abandoned or “zonally isolated” within three years after Oct. 15, 2010.
Ampol Completes Oil Recovery Equipment Testing
Oil Stop Division of American Pollution Control Corp. (AMPOL) completed phase two of its contract with the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center for the testing of Submerged Oil Recovery Equipment. The contract was completed in November after successfully executing a variety of tests at the OHMSETT facility in Leonardo, New Jersey. The OHMSETT facility allows industry professionals to work with real oil in simulated environments. As a result of testing, adaptations were made to AMPOL’s Oil Stop Bottom Oil Recovery System (OSBORS).
AMPOL Wins Coast Guard Contract
NEW IBERIA, La. (March 14, 2011) – The Oil Stop Division of the American Pollution Control Corp. (AMPOL), the industry leader in oil spill response and total environmental solutions, has been granted a Phase 2 contract for development and testing of its OSBORS (Oil Stop Bottom Oil Recovery System) submerged oil recovery system by the United States Coast Guard Research and Development Branch. “Working with the United States Coast Guard Research and Development Branch is a great honor,” said CEO Kirk Headley.
New Effort to Collect & Review Oil Spill Solutions
The Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program workgroup, newly established by the National Incident Commander for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, announced a new effort to collect and review oil spill response solutions from scientists and vendors. The Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center, in collaboration with interagency partners, issued a Broad Agency Announcement on www.FedBizOpps.gov, calling for the submission of white papers that cover: oil sensing improvements to response and detection; oil wellhead control and submerged oil response; traditional oil spill response technologies; alternative oil spill response technologies; and oil spill damage assessment and restoration.
Erika Oil Washing Ashore Again
Oil believed to have seeped from the tanker Erika is washing ashore again 10 months after it sank off Brittany, officials said. They said that volunteers cleaning up the coast had reported oil pellets washing up on the island of Belle-Ile and along sections of the coast in the region of Le Croisic, south of Brittany, over the past week. The oil was believed to come from submerged oil slicks spotted by divers during the summer, and authorities feared current heavy seas would worsen the pollution. The Maltese-registered Erika broke in half in stormy seas on December 12 last year, spewing up to 15,000 tons of oil onto the rocky shoreline.
Delaware Oil Spill Update
The Unified Command continues oil clean-up and recovery efforts, but inclement weather may affect operations, delaying or halting them in some instances to ensure the safety of clean-up workers. The incident is still under investigation and the final results of that investigation are not expected to be released for several months. Over 1,700 responders are working in the command center and along the Delaware River. 130 vessels are deployed in the response effort. 35,799 gallons of oil and oily liquid and 1,817 gallons of submerged oil have been recovered. 2,008 tons of oily solids (cleanup materials and oil) have been collected. Eleven waterfront facilities have been decontaminated thus far.
Delaware River Protection Act of 2005 Passes House
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Delaware River Protection Act of 2005, which was introduced earlier this year by Congressman Lobiondo (New Jersey) as a result of the Athos I oil spill in the Delaware River in November 2004. 1. Anyone who knows about the release from a vessel or facility into the navigable waters of the U.S. of any object that creates an obstruction to navigation shall notify the federal authorities. - USD 1700 in 2007 and after. Additionally, within 3 years after enactment of this law and every three years thereafter, the federal government shall adjust these limits to reflect the consumer price index (CPI). 3. The U.S.
Barge Returned to Port
The re-floated double-hulled tank barge DBL152 started its voyage for Alabama, where it will await final disposition. The barge capsized after it collided with a submerged platform while en route from Houston to Tampa, Fla. The intended destination for the barge is the Holcim dock in Theodore, Ala. During the last two weeks, the barge was re-floated and more than two million gallons of the cargo was safely offloaded, emptying the barge of all but residual product. Three cargo tanks were damaged on the barge. One cargo tank leaked initially from the collision on Nov. 10, and two others leaked after the barge capsized. The barge's oil cargo is a thick, heavy petroleum product known as number-six fuel oil. The oil is heavier than water, and sinks to the bottom of the sea.
Survey Reveals Barge Struck Submerged Platform
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration completed a survey today revealing that the double-hulled tank barge DBL 152 struck a submerged platform on Nov. 10, while en route from Houston to Tampa, Fla. The platform gouged a 35-foot long by 6-foot wide hole in the barge's starboard bow, puncturing both hulls and damaging the number one cargo tank. The platform West Cameron 229A, owned by Targa Midstream Services Limited Partnership, was a non-producing platform used to support pipeline inspection and operation. It is normally above the surface of the water but was damaged and sank during Hurricane Rita. Following the storm the company located their platform and marked it with unlit buoys. Response crews began lightering the fuel from the double-hulled tank barge DBL 152. At 4 p.m.
Rough Weather Hinders Barge Salvage Operations
Rough weather continues to hinder the salvage and recovery of the double-hulled tank barge DBL 152. Today, seas subsided enough for divers to begin reconnecting lightering hoses to the DBL 152. Lightering is the process of transferring oil cargo using hoses and pumps. The majority of the oil from the DBL 152 will be lightered prior to the salvaging of the barge. Three cargo tanks of the double-hulled tank barge DBL 152 were damaged and leaked oil. The number one starboard cargo tank, containing approximately 300,000 gallons of oil, was damaged in the collision with debris on Nov. 10. The number one port cargo tank and the number three starboard cargo tanks were breached sometime after the barge DBL 152 capsized on Nov. 14.
Cargo Tank Damaged, Leaking Oil
Divers completed the damage assessment of the capsized barge, which revealed that a third cargo tank has breached. The number one port cargo tank hatch was damage sometime after the double-hulled tank barge DBL 152 capsized on Nov. 14. The cargo tank contained approximately 440,000 gallons of oil. A diver survey of the barge on Saturday evening discovered a 2.5-ft. by 8-ft. hole in the top of the number three starboard cargo tank. It also had been damaged sometime when or after the barge capsized, and it contained approximately 564,000 gallons of oil. The number one starboard cargo tank was damaged in the collision with debris on Nov. 10. The entire contents of all three damaged cargo tanks were 1,309,000 gallons of oil. It is not known how much oil has escaped the damaged tanks.
Salvage Operations Resume for Capsized Barge
Salvage and clean-up operations resumed yesterday after rough weather that moved into the area Tuesday had suspended all operations. Divers surveyed the barge Saturday evening and discovered a 2.5-foot by 8-foot hole in the top of the number 3 starboard cargo tank. The number 3 starboard cargo tank was damaged sometime after the barge capsized, it contained approximately 563,000 gallons of oil. It is not known how much oil has leaked from the number 3 tank, but divers located oil under the barge. Today's operations are focused on locating the submerged oil, beginning the clean-up process and preparing to remove the remaining oil in the barge's cargo tanks. There was submerged oil located near where the collision occurred. Assets are being mobilized to begin removal of this oil.
Spills of Nonfloating Oils: Risk and Response
In the USCG Authorization Act of 1996, the USCG was directed to assess the risk of spills for oils that may sink or be negatively buoyant, to examine and evaluate existing cleanup technologies, and to identify and appraise technological and financial barriers that could impede a prompt response to such spills. The USCG requested the National Research Council (NRC) perform these tasks. In response to this request, the NRC established the Committee on the Marine Transportation of Heavy Oils. Maritime accidents resulting in oil spills are high on the list of public environmental concerns. These spills are difficult to control and can contaminate the marine environment.
Coast Guard Authorization Act Passes House
By a unanimous vote, the House of Representatives approved the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2005 (H.R. 889). A variety of amendments were added, including an authorization for an additional $60 million for Hurricane Katrina relief operations; a requirement to notify the Coast Guard if an object that creates an unauthorized obstruction to navigation is released into the water; a phased increase in limits of liability from tank vessels for oil spills; a program to detect, monitor, and evaluate the effects of submerged oil; and establishment of a Delaware River and Bay Oil Spill Advisory Committee. Passage of the legislation was accompanied by numerous speeches by members lauding the work of the Coast Guard in the Hurricane Katrina response effort.